How Vacuum Cleaners Function

By simply sipping soda using a straw, you are using one of the most basic of all suction devices. By doing so, there is a drop in pressure between the top and the bottom of the straw. Since the liquid has more pressure on the bottom compared to the top, the drink is brought up to your mouth.

The same kind of function is happening in your own vacuum cleaner though what is happening is much more complicated that the straw. Through this article, you will know what is inside a vacuum cleaner in order to learn how it functions in sucking up dust and other small debris around your home. We will learn that the standard type of vacuum’s design is pretty simple. However, it relies on many kinds of physical principles to be able to clean with effect.

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Though the machine itself looks complicated, the vacuum cleaner is just actually composed of six components needed to function.

  • The intake port, it may also have a range of accessories used for cleaning.
  • The exhaust port
  • The electric motor
  • A fan
  • A porous bag
  • And a housing to hold all the mentioned parts of the vacuum

When the device itself is plugged into an outlet, the following happens inside:

  1. The electricity flow through and turns on the motor. The motor is connected to the fan, that has blades positioned at an angle (much like those of an airplane propeller)
  2. When the fan blades turn around, they push the air forward and going to the exhaust port (this is explained in How Airplanes Work).
  3. As the particles of the air are pushed forward, there is an increase in the pressure of the density (as well as the pressure of the air) which happens in the front of the fan and simultaneously, there is a decrease in the rear of the fan.

The drop in pressure is the fan’s rear is similar to that of the pressure drop when drinking with a straw and sipping. The level of the pressure found in the area at the back of the fan drop and becomes lower that of the pressure found outside the device itself (known as ambient air pressure). It is this process that forms suction, also known as a partial vacuum, on the inside of the vacuum. Passing through the device’s intake port, the ambient air is drawn into the vacuum due to the fact that the outside pressure is greater that of the inside of the vacuum cleaner.

It is important that if the vacuum should function, the fan should be on and the passage into the vacuum is open. This causes a constant stream going into the intake port and out from the exhaust port of the vacuum. You think it would be impossible for a constant air flow to collect dust, debris, and other small particles from the carpet. But it is all made possible through the aid of friction.