How Vacuum Cleaners Work – Part 1

how vacuum cleaners work part 1

In the last 70 to 80 years, electronic vacuum cleaners have become an essential part of our home appliances. The fact it is nearly impossible to hand pick all the sawdust out of the carpet is what contributed towards the success of vacuum cleaners. A vacuum is an extremely smart machine that is designed to run on a simple mechanism. The act of sipping soda through a straw is perhaps the simplest of all suction processes, driven by the pressure drop between the top of the straw and the bottom of the straw. As the pressure increases, the amount of soda pushed up to your mouth also increases and vice versa. A vacuum cleaner also incorporates the same suction mechanism to clean all corners of your home. It should be noted that the execution of suction mechanism in vacuums is slightly more complex compared to a straw. In this article, we will discussing how vacuum cleaners have played a big part in keeping the indoor air fresher and cleaner and how it puts suction technology to work when cleaning debris, fur, hair and dust in your house. In addition to the suction mechanism, a regular vacuum cleaner relies on various other principles to ensure maximum efficiency.

Components of a vacuum cleaner

You will be surprised to know that a traditional vacuum cleaner is made up of only six parts even through it looks like an extremely complex machine. Credit should be given to engineers for keeping the design so much simple so it easy for consumer to replace or change parts when required.

Housing is main component of a vacuum cleaner

It contains all these parts:

  • An exhaust port
  • An electric motor
  • A fan
  • A porous bag
  • An intake port that usually comes with a range of cleaning tools

The suction mechanism

When you plug the vacuum cleaner in and turn it on, this is how different components work to ensure efficient cleaning.

  1. The motor placed inside the vacuum runs on electric current. A fan with angled blades (very similar to airplane-propeller) is also attached to this motor.
  2. The moment the fan blades start to rotate, an inward force is generated towards the exhaust port.
  3. The inward force pushes the air particles, decreasing the density behind the fan and increasing the density in front of the fan.

Just like the pressure drop created in the straw when we sip from the drink, there is a pressure drop right behind the fan relative to the pressure in front of the fan. Eventually, the pressure behind the fan drops below the outside pressure which result in partial vacuum or suction inside the machine. The air in the environment is pushed into the vacuum cleaner since the pressure on the outside is greater than the air pressure inside the vacuum.

The process of suction will continue for as long as the blades are moving and there is a clear passageway for air. Another question that could come into your mind is that how flowing air manages to collect debris, hair and dust particles? The Answer is Friction!

Use this link to continue to part 2.

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