There are many methods manufacturers have used to separate household dirt and particulate from vacuumed air in our homes. We are going to review the most common methods with a focus on the pros and cons of each. Starting with the least effective and working toward the best.
Permanent Bag/Filter – This is a cloth or paper bag style filtering membrane that remains in the power unit (centralized or disposable) and cannot be replaced. It was meant to remain in the unit for the full operating life of the
machine. Pros…you never had to purchase new bags for the filter, so it was less expensive Cons…the first, several ounces of fine particles loaded up the membrane and airflow was decreased by about 25% leaving you with, at best, 75% cleaning power for the remainder of the life of the unit.
Inverted Bag – Similar to above where the reduction in performance was permanent.
Disposable Filter – This method is very common and effective. Filter replacement is required annually for warranty purposes. Pros – full cleaning power upon filter replacement Cons – expensive over the life of the machine, have to deal with open dirt in a bucket and very messy when replacing the filter
Disposable Bag – This method to separate dirt from the air is becoming more popular all the time due to its cleanliness. A large bag (it also acts as a filter) collects the dirt and particulate matter. It holds about 40 pounds of dirt (about a year’s worth of cleaning) and is replaced as needed or annually. Pros – swapping the bag is a dirt-less experience keeping the area around the power unit tidy and clean. Cons – you will have to purchase bags over the life of the power unit.
True Cyclonic – This method is very effective at separating dirt from the air. It does send some small particles outside the home. Pros – no bags or filters to buy so the total cost of ownership is much lower.