Vacuum Cleaners

Vacuum cleaners are used to remove dust and dirt, usually from the floors of homes and commercial buildings. Dirt particles are collected by using either a conventional dust bag or other methods such as canister, cyclonic, or wet collection systems. The importance of indoor air quality is recognized by all; in keeping with this fact, Americans annually spend approximately USD 500 million on whole house and portable .

In this light, a vacuum cleaner is essential for any household. In addition, nowadays, indoor air quality has attracted considerable interest because of the potential or latent drawbacks of currently available vacuum cleaners, such as resuspension of inhalable particles during vacuuming, escape of already captured particles through the dust bag or exhaust filter, and leaks in the connection parts of the vacuum cleaner .Owing to such factors, vacuuming may actually worsen the air quality in a home.

Commercially available vacuum cleaners differ in terms of various parameters such as performance, filtration, capacity, storage, and noise level. The well-known bagged-type vacuum cleaner uses a paper- or cloth-type collection method for primary filtration; a so-called high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter could also be used for this purpose. A HEPA has a filtration efficiency of 99.7% and retains particles as small as 0.3 µm. The term “down to 0.3 µm in size” does not refer to the same filtration performance. Instead, it may refer to a mixture of particle sizes for the stated efficiency. HEPAs often capture only 85–90% of the particles, and this efficiency may decrease even further for particles that are 1 µm or less in size because of air leaks or air permeation through the filter. Separately, several studies have noted the importance of periodically replacing the dust bag because of pressure drops, odors, and bacteria from the residual dust.

Unlike a bagged-type vacuum cleaner, a cyclone system primarily uses centrifugal force to separate particles from air. It collects these particles without the need for a primary filter before finally forcing the air through an exhaust HEPA filter. Numerous studies have focused on enhancing the performance of cyclone.

Vacuum cleaners need to be cleaned regularly as an important part of their maintenance. Whenever a disposable filter is replaced or the dust from a washable or reusable filter is removed, dust will inevitably spread again throughout the air. This study focuses on the emission of captured particles from vacuum cleaners during their regular operation or maintenance.

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