We tend to take our regularly used household appliances for granted. They are in place, we switch them on, and they do their job. Some – such as the washing machine and dryer – we leave to get on with it without needing our help. Others, think of the lawnmower and vacuum cleaner, need us to give them a helping hand! There are robot models of each of the latter but most of us use a hand-held push-along cleaner for the most powerful effect and best results. What is interesting is that the development of the vacuum cleaner came about from something directly the opposite of what we know now.
There’s some confusion over who invented what we know as the vacuum cleaner as it would appear that many people were working on the same idea in the latter part of the 19th century. What we do know is that they evolved from carpet sweepers with wheels and a roller, and the first powered machines demonstrated blew, rather than sucked. Of course, this just moved the dust around rather than getting rid of it! In around 1901 two inventors – one British and the other American – came upon the same idea for a powered, suction cleaning machine. It’s possible that Hubert Booth – the Englishman – also coined the term ‘vacuum cleaner’! Back to the title, and how does a vacuum cleaner work?
Why a Vacuum?
To understand how the simple yet very effective vacuum cleaner works, it helps to understand what a vacuum is and why it is important in science. In the Earth’s atmosphere we are subject to pressure in the air. The air is around us at all times and is fluid. Now, consider a space – let’s say a jar – in which all the air has been sucked out. It’s hard to comprehend, but it can be done. There is nothing in that jar; inside it is a vacuum. A vacuum is defined as a space in which there is no matter, or in which the pressure is so low that it does not affect anything around it. You are now familiar with am important physics principle, and one that is used in a wide variety of instances.
Go back to that jar inside which is a vacuum: what happens if we take off the lid? Because there is nothing in the jar, it will immediately fill with air. If there is any dust in that air, that will be dragged in too. Now we are getting to the principle of the vacuum cleaner. The machine involves a form of suction device that effectively removes the air from the opening of the cleaner, and drags all the dirt on the floor into the bag. That’s why you feel it sticking to the carpet at times. It’s really that simple, but where would we be without it?
Choosing the Right Model
If you’re reading this, the chances are you’re interested in buying a vacuum cleaner. The latest models use highly efficient technology and methods to create powerful suction areas that clean any floor – soft or hard – very quickly and effectively. They use far less power than older models and can be quite sophisticated, and many designs have done away with the need for replaceable bags.
For a better idea of what you can buy check out these vacuum reviews at VacuumsGuide.com where you’ll find full details of models suitable for tiled floors and other types of flooring, and there’s bound to be one within your budget. We hope our little science and history lesson has hoped, so start searching now for the best vacuum cleaner for you.