Even though it may appear to be a very complicated

machine, the conventional vacuum cleaner is actually

made up of six essential components: intake port,

exhaust port, electric motor, fan, porous bag, and

a housing that stores all of the other components.

When you plug the vacuum cleaner into the outlet and

turn it on, the following happens:

1. First of all, the electric current will

operate the motor, which is attached to the fan,

which resembles an airplane propeller.

2. As the blades begin to turn, they will

force the air upwards, towards the exhaust port.

3. When the air particles are driven forwards,

the density of the particles will increase in front

of the fan and therefore decrease behind it.

The pressure drop that occurs behind the fan is

similar to the pressure drop when you take a drink

through a straw. The pressure level in the area

that is behind the fan will drop below the pressure

level that is outside of the vacuum cleaner.

This will create a suction inside of the vacuum

cleaner. The ambient air will push itself into the

vacuum cleaner through the intake port because the

air pressure that is inside of the vacuum cleaner

is much lower than the pressure on the outside.

Picking the dirt up

The stream of air that the vacuum generates is just

like a stream of water. The air particles that move

will rub against any loose dust or debris and if

it is light enough, the friction will carry the

material around the inside of the vacuum cleaner.

As the dirt continues on to the exhaust port, it

will pass through the cleaner bag. They tiny holes

in the vacuum cleaner bag are large enough to let

the air pass through, although too small for the

dust particles to fit through. Therefore, when

the air current gets into the bag, the dirt and

debris will be collected there.

You can stick the bag anywhere along the path

between the intake tube and the exhaust port, just

as long as the air current passes through.


The power of a vacuum cleaner’s suction will depend

on several factors. The suction can be stronger

or weaker depending on:

1. Fan power – In order to generate a

strong suction, the motor needs to turn at a good


2. Air passageway – When a lot of debris

builds up in the bag, the air will face a greater

level of resistance on the way out. Each particle

of air will move slowly due to the increase in

drag. This is the reason why a vacuum cleaner

works much better once you’ve replaced the bag

than when you have been using it for a while.

3. Size of the intake port – With the

speed of the vacuum fan being constant, the amount

of air that passes through the vacuum cleaner per

second is also constant.


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