A Vacuum cleaner uses the concept of pressure in order to get the job done. For example, think of a bottle of soda, with a straw. Have you ever wondered how the drink gets into the straw and eventually your mouth? Well, this also applies the concept of pressure. Air pressure exerts itself on the liquid. Basically, sucking the soda from the straw causes air pressure to drop between the bottom of the straw and the top of the straw. Pressure is therefore higher at the bottom of the straw due to sucking and this thereby pushes the liquid up the straw.
We can use the same concept to understand how a vacuum cleaner works, although the working of a vacuum cleaner is a little bit more complex. In order to understand how the vacuum cleaner works, it will be important to know the different parts of a vacuum cleaner. It has the intake port, exhaust port, electric motor, fan and a porous bag. All these components are contained in the housing of the vacuum cleaner. Below is an illustration.
When turned on, the motor is operated by electricity. The motor is connected to the fan, which looks like a propeller. As the fun rotates, air is pushed forward to the exhaust port. When the air is pushed forward, pressure is higher at the font of the fan and lower behind the fan. Remember the drink? This pressure drop is just like the pressure drop we saw in the bottle of soda when sucking from the straw. Just like the drink, the vacuum cleaner also sucks dust and other particles from the surface. The illustration below shows how this suction works.
Sucking makes a partial vacuum to be created inside the vacuum cleaner. A vacuum is a space without anything, not even air. The air therefore pushes itself into the vacuum clear, then the intake port. This is because the pressure in the vacuum cleaner is higher than the pressure outside the vacuum cleaner. This is exactly how a vacuum cleaner is able to suck all the dust particles on the surface. As long as the fun is running, there is always the movement of air into and out of the vacuum cleaner.
There you go, that is how a vacuum cleaner works. It is interesting to know that a vacuum cleaner works in almost the same way that sucking soda from a bottle using a straw works. That is the beauty of pressure. That is how it makes work so easy and hence its importance of almost every household today. It is almost magical. Can you believe having to pick up every dust particle by hand? The vacuum cleaner has definitely made work easy.
Harris, T. (2017, October 9). How Vacuum Cleaners Work. Retrieved from How Stuff Works: https://home.howstuffworks.com/vacuum-cleaner.htm