When you think about how a vacuum works, then it quickly becomes obvious that it works based on the principle of suction. It's all about pressure. Take the example of sipping a drink with a straw.
As you suck, it reduces the pressure at the mouth end, and the pressure is increased at the drink end, and the result is that the drink flows up the straw. This is the basics of suction in action. The same principles apply in a vacuum cleaner, and the process remains just as simple.
You might not think so, however, if you pull a vacuum cleaner apart! Basically, there are six parts that make up a vacuum cleaner: - The inlet. This is where dust and dirt are sucked into the vacuum cleaner. You can also add various accessories here to enhance cleaning. - The exhaust vent.
This is how all the air gets back out of the vacuum cleaner. If your vacuum cleaner has a reverse mode, in which case the exhaust actually sucks. - An electric motor. The motor produces the suction. - A fan. The fan helps keep the suction mechanism moving.
- Collection device. The dirt and debris gets collected in either a porous bag or cylinder so that it can be disposed of. - Casing.
The outside of the vacuum cleaner, so that all the parts stay together. When you press the 'on' switch on your vacuum cleaner, the fan starts rotating thanks to the electric motor. The blades on the fan are set on a specific angle. They push the air towards the exhaust vent. As this happens, the air pressure on the other side of the fan decreases, and the suction or partial vacuum is created.
Air rushes in through the inlet to replace the partial vacuum. It's a law of nature that air will always move from high to low-pressure spaces, so while the motor runs and the fan turns, suction will be produced in the inlet. Point the inlet at a dirty piece of carpet, and the suction doesn't just move air; it also pulls up the debris and dirt in the carpet.
From there it passes into the vacuum cleaner. For a long time, vacuum cleaners came with a porous bag, so that the dirt was trapped inside but the air could still pass out through the exhaust vent. By changing or emptying the bag regularly, the vacuum cleaner could continue to function efficiently. Recently, cylinder vacuums have been introduced.
The air is passed through a maze of spiral pipes, which creates a centrifugal force to act on the dust particles. These fall away from the moving air, and land inside the removable cylinder. Vacuum cleaners are a great way to save time when you're cleaning, and more recent developments such as wet/dry vacuums that clean up liquids are a great way to tackle more than one household cleaning requirement in one piece of equipment.
Steve Dolan hates to vacuum but appreciates that it's a great convienence. Find out all about vacuums at Vacuum Cleaners.