About Vacuum Cleaners

Vacuum CleanersThe extremely essential tool within the carpet cleaning industry is the vacuum cleaner. Vacuum cleaners are available in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Particularly designed for various cleaning applications. This can be categorized into two basic groups. Those which are made for the removal of dry soils, and others designed for extraction of liquids. Several various attachments are available for use in combination with most of these vacuum cleaners. Each one designed for specific cleaning jobs.

All of these factors taken into consideration makes vacuum cleaner the most multipurpose. Indeed, indispensable cleaning tool of the trade. In order to correctly choose the right combination, the operator must first understand the basic principles of how a vacuum system functions.

First and foremost, let us define the true meaning of word “vacuum”. A vacuum is a space partially exhausted, or from which almost all air has been removed through artificial means. Conversely, a vacuum cleaner is a device of creating, containing. As well as utilizing a partial vacuum for cleaning as in a vacuum cleaning system.

How vacuum cleaners work

Vacuum cleaners contain a vacuum motor assembly which acts as a blowing fan making a vacuum behind itself. Because a vacuum is an unnatural state, air pushes in to fill the void. It is the removal of soils from a surface by means of suction. Vacuum cleaning for the intention of removing dry soils is generally considered to be a form of sweeping.

A vacuum cleaner’s effectiveness ratings should be based on airflow and suction. Indeed, not on amperage or horsepower as they were rated in the past. Far too much stress has been placed on the horsepower rating of the electric vacuum cleaner motor. The relationship between horsepower and cleaning power has reached the point . Generally where informed consumers and operators look as horsepower ratings with skepticism. When looking at horsepower ratings one must determine whether the horsepower is applied to airflow or suction.


Airflow relates to air volume, and is entirely different from suction. The airflow of a vacuum cleaning systems is measured in ‘cubic feet per minute’ or (C.F.M). This measure is used to point out how many cubic feet of air that a vacuum motor is able to inhale and exhaust without restriction within a one minute period. A high efficiency vacuum cleaner for dry soil removal on carpets for instance, might have the ability to move 156 (CFM) while a high efficiency vacuum cleaner particularly designed for the removal of liquids might only have the ability to move 88 (CFM).

Suction is measured in ‘inches of water lift’. Inches of water lift, is how high a vacuum motor is able to lift a column of water one inch in diameter within a tube. At that point, no airflow is there only suction. Special hand held vacuum gauges for measuring ‘inches of water lift’ are available for measuring the suction of vacuum cleaners. A high efficiency vacuum cleaner for dry soil removal on carpet for instance might have an ‘inches of water lift’ rating of only 12″, while a high efficiency vacuum cleaner particularly designed for removal of liquids might have a rating of 150″.

Hence, it is the balance between the CFM rating and the “inches of water lift” rating of a vacuum cleaner which determines its most appropriate cleaning application.

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