If you are thinking of adding a vacuum cleaner to your set of functional cleaning tools, you will want to choose one with excellent filtration.
Those who own vacuums know that filtration quality is a primary concern. After investing heavily in a one, the last thing you want is to have dirt and dust particles exhausted back into the air stream.
It is important for you to understand how filtration works in most common cleaners. You also want to know how to match and replace filters when needed.
Knowledge about the features and types available in the market goes a long way in helping you understand your own needs.
How Filtration Works
Small particles contaminate the air and can be huge health hazards. Family members who are prone to allergic reactions may suffer greatly from respiratory problems if you have a vacuum cleaner that regurgitates small dust particles into the air each time you clean.
Experts believe that you can breathe in dust particles less than 10 microns in size. When inhaled, they have dangerous health consequences.
In a process known as straining, the spaces between the fibers of a filter capture small particles. These spaces are smaller than the particles, making it easy for the filter to trap them.
Impaction is another process with which a filter captures large particles.
Interception is another way a filter traps particles. The filter attracts any small particles that come within a small distance of it.
Powerful filters also use diffusion to capture air molecules. Small particles bombard air molecules and disperse them. This increases the chances of the filter trapping them.
A dynamic vacuum cleaner filter makes use of these processes to enhance filtration quality.
Matching And Replacing a Vacuum Cleaner Filter
This part is usually pretty straightforward. If you are looking to replace your vacuum cleaner filter, you will need to know the model number of your product. Always have it on hand. Match the filter with the correct cleaner model.
If your vacuum uses a bag filter, buy the same bag type.
Choosing a Filter Type
Vacuum cleaners filter in different ways. Choose a filter with features that suit your needs.
1. Allergen Filters
Allergen filters separate smaller particles from the air. Manufacturers advertise them as being able to catch smaller particles than other filter types.
A drawback of such a feature is that it is not usually as strong as advertised. Most of them are slightly more powerful than standard filters, but less dynamic than HEPA.
This is probably the type of filter most of us are familiar with. Standing for High Efficiency Particulate Air, HEPA is a system that filters extremely sensitive or polluted air. They are usually found in vacuums built to North American Standards, absorb nearly 100% of the particles in the air.
In a defective cleaner, a powerful HEPA filter is dangerous. It is a health hazard if the vacuum exhausts such sensitive particles back into the air.
If you have a concern with removing pet odors, a carbon-charcoal filter is probably what you are looking for.
Manufacturers design these filters to absorb foul smells from the air.
3. Micro Fresh
A micro-fresh filter is suitable for those who have strong allergic reactions or are extremely health conscious. These remove bacteria from the air with a special additive.
The name speaks for itself. Such filters release a specific scent when you vacuum. Many of these are available on the market.
These are a boon for those who find purchasing disposable filters bothersome. Remove them easily from your vacuum and wash them.
Vacuums that have both wet and dry cleaning functions will need this. Again, match the model number to the filter you need.
Other Types of Filters And How They Look
Vacuum cleaners come in different forms as well. Some are primary filters that separate the larger particles the vacuum draws in. Others are secondary filters that absorb smaller particles.
If you are about to replace any of your filters, these are the common types you’ll be choosing from:
Find these in canister vacuums with bags. The vacuum draws the air into the bag. The air then moves air inside the bag out of the bag, leaving the larger particles within.
They filter the air and draw particles, but not completely. Bag filters are primary filters, A secondary filter is still needed to deal with smaller, more dangerous particles.
Again, cartridge filters are disposable. This design is more of a draw for home owners, who can remove the dust easily from between the grooves by tapping them.
These are always secondary filters that trap smaller particles in the air stream. A major advantage is that they are often washable. However, do consult your manual to see if the one in your vacuum is.
They function together with bag filters to absorb all unwanted particles from the air.
Disc filters look like coffee funnels. These are primary filters that separate large particles the vacuum takes in.
Those made from paper are disposable. If your vacuum uses this, check that they are replaceable.
If the manufacturer made yours from cloth, check and see if it’s washable first.
Cloth filters take on a primary role and are often found in heavy-duty, industrial vacuum cleaners. A secondary filter accompanies them to trap smaller particles.
If your vacuum cleaner filter needs replacing, check your model to see which of these fits.