Vacuum cleaners have been in use for a very long time now and with tons of internal workings in machines these days, handheld vacuums beg to differ. These are compact models of the traditional vacuums that work efficiently well and can be carried around to clean urgent messes or spills. After all, cleaning doesn’t have to be too fussy or tiring. In this post, we’ll be looking inside a hand vacuum and how it works. Also, if you are interested in buying one, then our <review> of the best handheld vacuum might give you a hint.
How do Handheld Vacuums Work?
Suction is the easiest and the most crucial mechanisms in any vacuum cleaner. It is a negative pressure. You can think of it as sipping juice from a straw. Suction is basically the result of the difference in air pressure. A negative air pressure inside the straw is formed in the act of sipping. In the same way, a hand vacuum also creates this pressure inside a vacuum cleaner causing the air outside to flow into it.
- Air Pump
Air pump is the source behind suction about which we talked in the first point. The centrifugal fan that is usually found in canister vacuums also plays a role in handheld ones. This fan is attached to a motor which rotates it and forms an air pressure behind the fan which is negative. This whole process leads to suction.
- Electric Motor
This electric motor which rotates the fan has the most important to play in suction. As the fan moves and the air is sucked in, the dirt and particles in it find a way in the vacuum and because of the negative pressure, are forced into a bag or the other side in case of a hand vacuum. If so far you’ve been wondering “where does the extra air go”, then you’re on the right track because there also exists an exhaust port that simply lets the air out resuming the process.
Filtration comes in when the dirty air inside the vacuum needs to be vented out. Well, we can’t obviously inhale the tiny particles that get sucked in with the air and don’t make it to the dust bag. So, vacuums use the filtration technique to refine the air that comes out. The filter usually comes behind the motor in handheld vacuums but it might precede the fan in some cases too.
Most vacuums these days come equipped with these HEPA filters which is High-Efficiency Particulate Air. It is advisable that your vacuum has one of these, the reason being a healthier alternative. These filters are designed to capture smallest of particles and even the bacteria that might otherwise lead to allergic air conditions. Even if you don’t suffer from allergies or asthma, you might consider HEPA because of its ability to filter small particles that are less than a micron. (You might find this research helpful if you want to know more about HEPA and its efficiency)
Although, the power of the motor is important in determining the suction power in a handheld vacuum the size of the nozzle or the intake port is no less vital. Smaller the entry passage, higher the suction power. When the area gets reduced, the air tends to move faster thus, increasing the suction power. That is why vacuums with smaller or less wide nozzles work better than the bigger ones and in a handheld vacuum, smaller or flatter nozzles are considered the ideal kind because of their ability to clean the remote corners of the house.