The vacuum cleaner is the one household appliance which we rely on to clean the home. Unfortunately as with all household appliances wear and tear through general use can take its toll and prevent the vacuum from working; as discussed in our previous post “Prolong the Life of Your Vacuum Cleaner”.
If your vacuum cleaner has recently stopped working, before you go and purchase a new one there are a few things which you’ll need to consider. To give you a helping hand we’ve highlighted three key areas below.
How Does a Vacuum Cleaner Work?
When selecting a vacuum cleaner, it is important to make sure that you understand in principle how it works. Not only will this help you to pick the right vacuum for your needs and requirements, but by understanding how it works you’ll also be more likely to be able to fix a fault should one occur later down the line.
Up until the late 1980s most vacuum cleaners worked using a “suck and bag the dirt” method, which as the name suggests, meant the vacuum sucked up the dirty air before blowing it into the dust bag; the relatively clean air would then drift back into the room.
However, with the introduction of Dyson vacuum cleaners in the late 1980s, the way vacuums worked changed, and now alongside your traditional bagged cleaners, there are:
- Filter Based
- Multi-cyclone (usually dual)
Whilst bagged vacuum cleaners today work in pretty much the same way as they did 40 years ago, in principal the more modern cyclone and multi-cyclone vacuums work via the method outlined below.
Step 1: Air enters the vacuum through the brush bar at the bottom and then passes through the first HEPA filter.
Step 2: Air spins around the middle, during which time dirt particles swirl to the edge before falling downwards. They are then collected at the bottom, whilst the air is drawn up through the holes in the cyclone itself.
Step 3: The cleaner air passes to the upper section of the vacuum, where a similar process to step 2 takes place, with the smaller cyclone removing the finer dirt particles.
Step 4: Relatively clean air passes through the second HEPA filter before being blown back into the room.
With an understanding of how the vacuum cleaner works, you can now begin considering which vacuum cleaner is best for you, your needs and your requirements. During this process there are at least three things which you need to consider…..
Bagged v Bagless:
Whether you opt for a bagged vacuum cleaner or a bagless one, both have their advantages and disadvantages.
A bagged vacuum for example is considered to be more hygienic as it doesn’t expose the user to dirt or dust when it’s being emptied, making it ideal for asthmatic users. Such vacuums are also said to require less maintenance than bagless vacuums.
However, a disadvantage of the bagged vacuum is that as the vacuum cleaner bag fills the suction offered decreases; which is why it is recommended to change the bag once it is three quarters full.
The bagless vacuum on the other hand is deemed to be more environmentally friendly and also cheaper to run, as they require no bags. However, the downside of this is that they require regular filter cleaning and the user is likely to be exposed to dust when emptying the cleaner.
Upright v Cylinder:
Along with considering whether to go for a bagged or bagless vacuum cleaner, there’s also a choice between an upright or cylinder model.
Traditionally, cylinder vacuum cleaners are lighter and more compact making them easier to manoeuvre, particularly around furniture. A downside of such a model is that they come with less dust capacity, shorter leads and shorter hoses, making them impractical for larger areas.
Upright vacuum cleaners on the other hand come with a larger suction head, longer leads, longer hoses and a larger capacity; but are often heavier making them more difficult to manoeuvre.
Keeping these considerations in mind when going out to select a vacuum cleaner4 will help to ensure you’re able to find the best cleaner for your needs and requirements; whilst being aware of how it works will make sure that should a fault occur you’ll stand a better chance of fixing the appliance.