Vacuum Cleaner: working principle, design, selection, maintenance

Dust in the house contains the bacteria, fungal, allergic particles, mist, and environmental contaminants like perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), carbon dioxide, nitrous and sulfur oxides. Environmental contaminant concentration increases drastically in cities and metros due to the automobiles. A vacuum cleaner is one of the solutions to get a clean environment in the house. It helps in reducing the allergic environment in the house. Microfiltration bags used in the modern vacuum cleaner have the ability to capture 99% of the dust particles of size up to 0.3 microns.

Working principle of the vacuum cleaner

Materials flow from one location to another when a pressure difference is created between two location. This phenomenon is the basic working principle of an ideal vacuum cleaner. When a centrifugal fan rotates it makes the air to flow by adding it external kinetic energy. Air is sucked from behind and pushed forward with pressure and so negative pressure it creates behind the fan. An ideal vacuum cleaner has such centrifugal fan in it connected to a motor. This unit has suction and discharge connections, on the suction side filter bag is fitted before the hose connection. The discharge has another air purifier filter and opened to the atmosphere. When the electric power is given the motor rotates and so the centrifugal fan. Air from the suction side is sucked into the unit, along with the air all air born particles, cat allergen, mist, dirt, and small solid particles are carried to the suction filter. They are trapped in the filter and dirt free air is pushed out from the discharge opening.
Diagram of vacuum cleaner, with filter bag, centrifugal fan and motor arrangement

Types of vacuum cleaners

  • Robotic vacuum cleaners:

These are the best human caretakers and help in maintaining the room clean. Due to their fuzzy navigation system, they automatically identify and remove the dirt and dust on the floor. Motion sensors provide the robotic vacuum cleaner with the ability to pass between the objects in-house without any obstruction.

  • Vertical and horizontal dry and wet cleaners

  • Engineering design of vacuum cleaner

    Motor, centrifugal fan, filter are three important design items to take care of to improve the performance of the vacuum cleaner. Friction, noise, power consumption, suction pressure are the design variables that govern the aerodynamics and mechanical design factors. The nozzle and narrow compartment geometry play important role in maintaining the pressure and airflow pattern.

    Selection of vacuum cleaners

    Specifications to be known before buying a vacuum cleaner:

    • Collection Bag pore size in micron 
    • Outlet filter life and pore size in micron
    • Motor capacity 
    • The weight of the equipment 
    • Movability and easy handling facility 
    • Self-cleaning feature 
    • Accessories like painter tool, adsorbent, cord spring
    • Less noise generation during cleaning

    Maintenance of vacuum cleaner

    Periodic cleaning of the filter bag maintains the cleaning performance for longer time and power consumption can be maintained consistently.