How vacuum cleaners work?

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The mechanism behind the suction – The only article you need to read to understand how vacuum cleaners work(in a nutshell)

Your vacuum cleaners are probably the most popularly used household appliance right now. The design and mechanism have helped you immensely by cutting short the time needed to dust off every corner of your home.

At its core, it is nothing but suction that helps the vacuum cleaner to get the job done. Believe it or not, this appliance is no less than a hero of every household!

The most common example when it comes to the mechanism of vacuum cleaners is the straw and soda! Do you remember how you sucked the soda from your glass with a straw the last time you had a fresh lime drink? The basic science of pressure drops in the bottom and top of the straw due to your sucking of the liquid and more fluid pressure at the bottom than the top brings the soda drink to your mouth.

This is basically all the science that goes into the functioning of your much-loved vacuum cleaner. It is also known as negative pressure, just the kind which astronauts deal with in space! The implementation of the same science inside the vacuum is a lot more complex and in this article, we will discuss in further detail how it works. 

6 basic elements of your vacuum(vacuum cleaner working elements)

  • Intake port 
  • Exhaust port 
  • Fan 
  • Electric motor 
  • Housing for all other major and minor parts 
  • A bag to store dust

As you plug in your vacuum, here’s all that happens- 

  1. The motor starts running with the flow of electricity in the machine. The motor is attached to a fan that starts spinning
  2. Now this fan starts pushing air forward i.e., towards the exhaust port (Yes, just like airplanes) 
  3. As the air particles are driven forward, the density of the particles keep increasing in front of the fan and reduces behind the fan 

The pressure drop or the negative pressure behind the fan creates a vacuum or partial suction at this point. As the ambient pressure is higher than the pressure inside, the ambient air gets dragged into the suction port of the cleaner. As long as you keep the fan running, the suction continues and your carpet is cleaned thoroughly of dust, mites, or any other bacteria even!  

Vacuum Cleaner Filters

Now that you know that the air is sucked into the machine, one thing that needs to be clarified is that the air isn’t sucked from one end and let out from the other. Apart from the dust, there are numerously invisible to the naked eye allergens which are sucked in by the vacuum. If they are not kept inside the cleaner, it can cause serious allergies and even breathing issues for you. If these are inhaled in huge amounts then lungs can even face permanent damage.

This is why the game of filters need to be extremely strong! These invisible suspended particles aren’t always caught in the canister or bag which is why they use an added filter is prevalent. The air that is sucked in passes through a fine filter or a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Arresting) filter which catches all the dust only to make the air worth breathing again. 

Vacuum cleaner attachments

If you are thinking that this is it and now you know all about how vacuum works, hold on for a second! You have no idea of the major role the attachments of your vacuum cleaner play in its proper functioning. It ain’t only the power of the motor that determines the capacity of intake of your cleaner rather it is the intake port and its size that decides this. The smaller the intake port, the more efficient and powerful cleaning you expect. More air moves through a narrow opening which increases pressure. This is why larger and wider intake ports are less powerful than the ones with smaller and compact intake ports. 

All that you read till now is more or less everything you needed to know about how vacuums work! There are numerous types of vacuum cleaners available in the market but the basic science of all remains the same which is creating negative pressure to enhance suction with constant friction.

For more information on varied inquiries on vacuum cleaners, check out the site!

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