What to choose – a vacuum cleaner with a dust bag or a model with cyclone technology and a plastic container-dust collector? Aggressive advertising of cyclones has left almost no stone unturned in the positions of vacuum cleaners with bags, but the largest and most reputable manufacturers often remain faithful to the bag technology. We asked all the questions that customers usually ask when choosing a vacuum cleaner to experts from leading companies that manufacture vacuum cleaners.
Interviewed by Polina STRIZHAK.
AT THE MERCY OF THE CYCLONE
“BT”: The move to cyclone vacuum cleaners is an obvious trend of recent years. We know the cyclone’s advantages: It’s hygienic, easy to clean, and it doesn’t cost you money to buy consumables. What else makes bagless vacuum cleaners leaders in sales??
L. MIKHEEVA, Philips: An obvious plus of bagless vacuum cleaners is their ease of use – no need to regularly change the dust bag, a painful and costly process. The reason is the use of container as a dust canister, which can be taken out with a single touch and is easy to clean.
And. Macegora, Hoover: It is worth noting the high performance of cyclone vacuum cleaners. Their main feature is that the suction power decreases much slower than in bag vacuum cleaners. And in a multi-cycle vacuum cleaner, the bin fill level has nothing to do with suction power.
With. Dreev, Electrolux: Cleaning the container is really easy, but not that hygienic at all – you let the dust out of the closed volume and at that moment some of it is dispersed back into the air. And the lack of consumables is a myth. The cleanliness of the air coming out of the vacuum cleaner is determined by the exhaust filter, usually a HEPA-filter of class 10 to 13. Even if it provides for cleaning periodic rinsing , in 2-3 years or even sooner it will have to be replaced because of the declining efficiency. There is a filter at the container outlet, and it is subject to wear and tear. In a cyclonic vacuum cleaner, the load is less: a large proportion of the dust is extracted by the cyclone. In cheap container models all the load falls only on the filter.
“BT”: Why many well-known manufacturers do not change the bag technology? Perhaps their arsenal of special hygienic and practical bags?
L. Mikheeva, Philips: The advantage of bag vacuum cleaners is the suction power, which is much higher than that of cyclones. For example, the power of some Philips bag vacuum cleaners is 2200 watts, and the suction power reaches 500 watts, while for bagless vacuum cleaners these figures are 2100 watts and 300 to 400 watts respectively. Changing the dust bag in a modern bagless vacuum cleaner is now much easier than it used to be. For example, replacing the disposable s-bag used in all Philips vacuum cleaners is as easy as cleaning a cyclone vacuum cleaner. The s-bag has a special dust valve that prevents dust from re-entering the air and makes the bag change extremely hygienic: No direct contact with dust. Today there are both classic dustbags, and bags with additional functions. Philips has bags that absorb unpleasant odors, and bags with anti-allergenic impregnation. Another advantage of modern bags is their size. In the line of accessories for vacuum cleaners Philips present s-bag XXL volume of 4 liters, which allows you to replace the bag less frequently than once every 3 months. Replacement of disposable dust bags is not as expensive as many are accustomed to believe, with its regular replacement every 2.5 months, the monthly cost is no more than 30 Dollars.
With. Dreev, Electrolux: Resource of a modern bag made of multilayer synthetic material average 1.5-2 months, it is able to accumulate from 3 to 5 liters of debris, depending on the design of the vacuum cleaner. That is the pack of 4 bags will serve 6-8 months at a cost of 300-450 Dollars. And all this time the bag can not be touched, and the container will have to shake out and rinse after every cleaning or every other time, depending on its size.
Bag vacuum cleaners, indeed, have a number of other advantages. Firstly, they are much more powerful than cyclonic – compare the stated suction power of those and others. For a more accurate comparison, choose vacuum cleaners from the same manufacturer. Some of them are cheating, but the degree of cheating is the same for bag vacuum cleaners and cyclones within the same brand. The vacuum cleaner’s suction power drops very slightly when using a synthetic bag and vacuuming normal dust, until the bag is almost completely full. The “scare story” about a complete loss of power refers to paper bags, which are now virtually unavailable. Secondly, the level of filtration in modern bags is very high – in some models up to HEPA 10, such bags are available for allergy sufferers. This means that even when you open the body to change the bag, you do not come into contact with dust or minimize it: it is a closed construction, the dust and dirt are inside really good bags have a valve that automatically closes when you change it . You don’t have to perform the most unpleasant operation – TRANSFER the dust and dirt. Gravel and broken glass are no problem for a bag cleaner, or splinters of hardened glass when using a quality synthetic bag , while the canister may crack from this garbage.
In. Tulkina, Rowenta: Vacuum cleaners with a dust bag tend to have more power than bagless vacuum cleaners. We have a common assumption that the higher the suction power, the more efficient the vacuum cleaner is. But this is not the only factor that directly affects the efficiency of dust collection. In Europe, for example, attention is paid to the percentage of dust collected, and it depends on the design of the brush. Rowenta makes a wide range of both cyclonic and bag vacuum cleaners. The more expensive models Silence Force, Compact Silence Force have a universal, 5-layer Wonderbag Endura anti-bacterial dustbag that filters up to 99.9% of dust particles, while the regular paper dustbag captures 96.3% of dust particles and lasts half as long. The more layers the bag has, the better the filtration and the more robust it is.
. Serditov, BSH: Nowadays they haven’t invented anything more hygienic and convenient than a dust bag. The bag is durable: depending on various factors size of the apartment, frequency of vacuum cleaner use, the environment , the bag can be used up to 2 months without changing it. The average cost per bag is around 500 Dollars., and it lasts almost a year. I agree that the main advantage of using a bag is hygiene: the user’s contact with dust is completely eliminated. When the bag is taken out of the vacuum cleaner, it automatically closes the inlet, the dust remains closed, and the bag can be safely thrown away.
“BT”: But all advertising of “cyclones” is based on the opposite: unhygienic bags and cleanliness of the cyclone!
E. Kalinina, Miele: One of the main advantages of the cyclones is considered the fact that they don’t diminish in output when the dust container is full. Miele vacuum cleaners, however, are no less efficient than a cyclone vacuum cleaner: thanks to the special guide inside the bag, the suction power does not diminish even when it is full. So this “disadvantage” of bag vacuum cleaners for Miele is not relevant.
Miele vacuum cleaners are absolutely on par with cyclones, and in terms of performance. They also have a special HyClean bag with an automatic deadlocking HyClose feature that ensures hygienic disposal of the dustbag. The user does not touch the dust, he only needs to put a new bag to replace the used one. The special filtration system also provides high-quality air purification: a special HEPA-filter traps the particles, which are sensitive to allergies, while a special layer of activated carbon captures unpleasant odors.
The HyClean dust bag used in Miele vacuum cleaners is another filtration step beyond the outgoing air and engine compartment filter. Miele dust bags are made with a 9-layer non-woven material, resistant to mechanical impact, which retains not only dust but also small objects. Miele vacuum cleaners can even pick up broken glass and nails. Cyclone vacuum cleaner will not cope with such a task, as hard and sharp objects can clog or even break the guides inside the container-dust collector.
“BT”: If the dust collection container cracks or splits, is it possible to replace it and how much does it cost? There is an argument that you can throw out your vacuum cleaner at this point..
With. Dreyev, Electrolux: Substitutions are usually possible. For this purpose it is necessary to address to the service center recommended by the manufacturer. I can’t comment on other manufacturers’ prices, but for Electrolux bagless vacuum cleaners such repairs will cost around 20-30% of the retail price of the vacuum cleaner.
. Serditov, BSH: The Service Department of BSH concern guarantees the availability of all spare parts and components for the equipment during its entire service life. BSH Group has a wide service network in America – about 200 service centers across the country. Therefore, if something happens, in particular with the dust container, the customer can go to the nearest authorized service center you need to know the model of the vacuum cleaner and replace this container. Container price is dependent on vacuum cleaner model.
E. Romanova, LG: we make containers out of high-strength material – polycarbonate, resistant to shock and scratches, but if anything happens, you can replace the container at LG’s service center.
And. Balashov, Dyson: Dyson products are made to last. 30,000 hours per month are dedicated to testing vacuum cleaners. Our products undergo several cycles of testing at the prototype and assembly level. Each assembly is tested on mechanical test benches and tested by real users, including abnormal operation. In our factory in Malaysia we have a big test lab where we continue to test our products during production. Dyson vacuum cleaners come with a five year warranty. And if there’s ever a problem with your device, our customer service team can help solve it over the phone or send an engineer to fix it, absolutely free of charge.
MULTI-CYCLONE OR STORM IN A CUP?
“BT”: Cyclone is not the same as cyclone? Why one vacuum cleaner “with a cup” costs 3000 and the other 20,000 Dollars.?
. Macegaard, Hoover: A multitude of factors come into play, from the country of manufacture to the company’s pricing policy. By and large, the nominal cost of all vacuum cleaners is similar. The differences in price are determined by advertising, product presentation and, of course, technology. Many manufacturers invest a lot of money to offer something new and as efficient as possible.
And. Balashov, Dyson: It’s all about the technology. Dyson cyclonic technology vacuums do not lose suction power and trap allergens, producing clean air at the outlet. Patented Radial Root Cyclone technology separates dust from the air, trapping dust particles and even allergens smaller than 0.5 microns, which is 5000 times smaller than a pinhead. It is enough to collect all dust in the house in a plastic container, which is easy to clean. Dyson designs and manufactures vacuum cleaners that will last. We do research and development, conduct rigorous testing, and offer a five-year warranty on our products. Developing new technology is costly for the company. We spend £1million on research and development every week. And we have patented our technologies, which is very expensive. Our experience shows that Dyson users are willing to pay more for quality technology that ensures the efficiency, productivity and durability of their vacuum cleaner.
With. Dreev, Electrolux: In models with a cup for 3000 Dollars., most likely the “container” technology is used, when the dust is retained by the filtering material it may be a sponge filter made of synthetic foam sponges or a HEPA filter in a rigid case and does not pass through a cyclone pre-separation or such separation is ineffective due to the design features . This results in a heavy load on the filter, the need to wash it after almost every cleaning and often change it for a new one. A vacuum cleaner for 20,000 Dollars. A vacuum cleaner from a reputable manufacturer will use multi-cycle dust separation technology, which separates most of the fine, medium and coarse particles from the air. The remainder of the dust particles are trapped by the filter at the outlet of the container, and the air is finally cleaned in the outlet filter. This vacuum cleaner will be much more expensive at the design stage, based on proprietary technology, higher quality materials are used in production, the vacuum cleaner will be equipped with a large set of quality nozzles and provided with a long warranty period. The big stories on TV and in the press cost a lot of money and that will also be reflected in the price of the vacuum cleaner, no doubt about it.
In. Tulkina, Rowenta: A colleague is quite right: not all vacuum cleaners with a “cup” have a cyclonic dust-cleaning system. Different manufacturers use different separation technologies. There are 2 models in the Rowenta range with the cyclonic filtration system for 7,400 and 8,500 Dollars. Rowenta Intensium, for example, has a high particle separation rate of 99%, thanks to its Double Cyclonic Technology. The technology has 2 levels of cyclonic separation of air from dust, that’s why it’s called a multi-cyclonic system. The first level separates around 85% of the dust particles. Here’s how it happens: the air together with the dust is sucked in by the vacuum cleaner, and large dust particles are swirled in a vortex flow around the large cone separator and, due to the centrifugal force, cluster with each other. Once the particles become heavier than the airflow, they fall into the dust container. The second stage separates the remaining 14% of the smaller and lighter dust particles: they pass through the guide aisles and are distributed over the 4 side cones. Inside each cone, the same cyclone technology causes the fine particles, due to the vortex flow, to clump together and fall through small holes in the bottom of the cone into the dust container. And the remaining 1% of the smallest dust particles “flies out” of the cones and goes through three more levels of filtration: a dense foam filter, a microfilter, a HEPA filter. This technology could not cost a penny.
L. Mikheeva, Philips: A great advantage of Philips “cyclones” is their air-tightness: a special rubberized seal is used at the joints, which prevents dust settled inside the vacuum cleaner from penetrating back into the air. In addition, technology is constantly evolving, and vacuum cleaners are equipped with more and more efficient filters and different nozzles. For example, a number of cyclone vacuum cleaners utilize a washable HEPA-13 filter, which captures up to 99.95% of allergens and particles. Also in the complete set of vacuum cleaners are constantly appearing new attachments: a special nozzle for parquet, turbo nozzle used to clean the carpets with long pile, brush to clean furniture, nozzle for cracks, etc.
D. Mr. Serditov, BSH: The cost is influenced not only by the technology, but also by the quality of materials and components of the vacuum cleaner. For example, Bosch has just introduced a new range of container vacuum cleaners with the telling name Relaxx’x Pro Silence, the quietest container vacuum cleaner ever produced under the Bosch brand. The noise level has been reduced to 73 dB this noise level is approximately equal to the noise during a quiet conversation . Plus, the CLEANSTREAM filter’s innovative GORE membrane technology ensures that dust and dirt cannot block its pores. The great advantage of Bosch Relaxx’x Pro Silence models is the SensorBagless self-cleaning filter technology. When the vacuum cleaner’s power is turned down below the optimal power level, it activates. It enables Relaxx’x vacuum cleaners to always deliver maximum performance and greatly reduces the amount of maintenance required. The new vacuum cleaners of this series cost 15,990 Dollars. model BGS52230, color “blue infinity” and 17,490 Dollars. model BGS52242, color red .
. Romanova, LG: A vacuum cleaner with cyclone technology is just a base to which you can add a lot of features. Company LG first in the world has introduced technology to compress the dust Kompressor, which facilitates the process of cleaning and triples the usual volume of dustbin. How it works? In the container itself a special paddle is installed, which, moving automatically, compresses the dust and debris falling into the container. After cleaning is complete, the dust is a tightly compressed briquettes that do not form “clouds” when disposed of. The quality of cleaning and dust preservation inside the Kompressor series has been awarded many quality labels: ADAIR Association of Pediatric Allergologists and Immunologists of America , BAF British Allergy Foundation , SLG 5 stars Germany . Same cleaning surface, dust bin dumping will be 3 times less frequent than with a standard vacuum cleaner. Vacuum cleaners of Kompressor series VK88501HF, VK81101HF, VK80101HFR are equipped with special wheels with hydrostatic bearings for more smooth movement and maneuverability. VK81101HF model has voice prompts and indicators for container and filter cleaning. The VK88501HF features the world’s first automatic repositioning technology that reduces strain on your back, so you don’t have to pull the vacuum cleaner with you: it follows you, thanks to a system of sensors on the body and handle of the vacuum cleaner. The Kompressor vacuum cleaners also have power controls on both the handle and the body, as well as telescopic steel or lightweight aluminum tubes. LG gives a 10-year warranty on the Kompressor system and 3 years free service.
FILTERS: TRUST BUT REPLACE!
“BT”: Cyclone users rave about the fact that they don’t need any consumables. And what about changing filters?? How much it costs?
D. Serditov, BSX: Bosch Relaxx container vacuum cleaners&rsaquo x and Roxx&rsaquo x two filters are used. The first one is Cleanstream, described above, it does not get clogged since the dirt settles on its surface without getting inside. The SensorBagless system monitors the airflow inside the vacuum cleaner filter cleanliness . Vacuum cleaner cleans filter automatically if needed. The second is a HEPA H13 exhaust filter, you can wash it with water occasionally. Both filters are designed for the life of the vacuum cleaner and do not require replacement.
. Balashov, Dyson: In all Dyson vacuum cleaners the filters don’t need to be changed. Filter usage depends on the vacuum cleaner model. Some filters need to be washed once a month, others do not need to be washed at all.
E. Romanova, LG: Our filters are washable, and the average filter life is for the full life of the vacuum cleaner. Filters are available at chain stores if needed.
With. Dreev, Electrolux: Using washable filters is very convenient: they have a long life span. Some manufacturers promise up to 7 years of filter life without replacement. But in practice this is difficult to achieve, especially for HEPA outlet filters. All filters should cost about 10-20% of the cost of the vacuum cleaner.
In. Tulkina, Rowenta: The Rowenta Intensium vacuum cleaners with cyclonic air filtration system allow you to clean the HEPA filter only once a year, and you need to replace it every four years thanks to the three-level filtration system. But our customers won’t worry about buying filters, because our vacuum cleaner comes with an additional set of three filters.
L. Mikheeva, Philips: Vacuum cleaners with a container save the wearer only consumables such as bags. As for the filters, even though many of them are washable, they still need to be replaced as they wear out about once a year . Remember that changing filters on time is a guarantee of clean air in your home. You can easily replace the HEPA filter yourself: Philips replacement filters are available in our electronic stores and also in our official online store. They cost between 400 and 1100 Dollars.
And. Macegora, Hoover: Most vacuum cleaners still can’t deliver with a complete lack of consumables. More often than not, it is the HEPA filter that needs replacing. It could cost from 500 to 1,500 rub., Depending on manufacturer. But it does not need to be changed very often – with some models it is only necessary to change it once a year. In others, it will be enough to replace the filter after 3 years of use. Minimal consumables provide multicyclone vacuum cleaners. Due to the work of several cyclones, even the finest dust particles are deposited in the dust container, rather than on the filter, which is enough to wash under running water once a year.
BAG AND BIN – WHY DO YOU NEED ONE??
“BT”: Does it make sense to buy a 2-in-1 model – with a bag and a bin?? Maybe it’s a PR gimmick, but in fact it’s overkill?
.Serditov, BSH: It certainly makes sense in America! America is not only New York and large cities, where there are household appliance stores within walking distance. America is also a country of regions. If a person lives in a small town, or even in a village where the only store is far away in the district center, he will have to go there for vacuum cleaner bags. Yes, bags are more convenient and environmentally friendly, but if they’re not available, a 2-in-1 vacuum cleaner lets you keep using it without a bag. There is an alternative to bags – a fabric reusable bag, but its huge disadvantage is that it cannot be used with a HEPA filter. In this situation, the “cyclone” plus is also that it allows you to use a vacuum cleaner with HEPA filtration.
And. Matsiegora, Hoover: It’s better to understand if you want a bag or a container vacuum cleaner. Buying a 2-in-1 product, you automatically increase your spending on buying consumables. Plus, the quality of cleaning will not change at all, only make it more difficult to use the vacuum cleaner.
With. Dreev, Electrolux: Such offer is good for those who are undecided about whether to use a bag or bagless vacuum cleaner. However, if the buyer is satisfied with the operating characteristics of a bagless vacuum cleaner and uses this mode as the main one, then the ability to put a bag to clean up, say, cement dust arising from drilling the wall, for example or trash, which then do not want to touch, will be a plus. The only thing you need to remember is where to store the bag adapter and the bag itself.
“BT”: What disadvantages do cyclone models have??
. Serditov, BSH: It is not quite true that a container vacuum cleaner requires no maintenance. First, the container should be cleaned. Secondly, you have to do it carefully so that not even a small part of the dust escapes. Despite these disadvantages of container vacuum cleaners, manufacturers are working to make them as convenient to use. For example, the container of Bosch Roxx’x and Bosch Relaxx’x models has a simple shape of a big three-liter mug without any structures inside, and the block with a filter can be easily taken out. Therefore, it is very easy to clean the container.
E. Kalinina, Miele: Cyclone vacuum cleaner due to the nature of the flow of air at low levels of power dramatically loses its efficiency, so it always has to keep at high speed. Cyclonic vacuum cleaners make a lot of noise and consume a lot more electricity compared to conventional vacuum cleaners.
And. Matsiegora, Hoover: I agree that the main disadvantage is the loud operation, the discomfort will be felt quite strongly.
In. Tulkina, Rowenta: It’s true that these vacuum cleaners are noisier, but this fall we have a new Rowenta Silence Force Extreme Cyclonic Rainbow RO8132, which will make as little as 71dB of noise, while still providing plenty of power. There is an opinion that cyclones are less hygienic than bag vacuum cleaners, but we have solved this problem too. Rowenta vacuum cleaners have a Clean Express system, which allows no contact with dust: the air separator does not need to be removed from the container, as it is located in the vacuum cleaner separately.
L. Mikheeva, Philips: Cyclone vacuum cleaners are not as powerful as bag vacuum cleaners. One more their disadvantage: during the container cleaning, part of the dust is still sucked back into the air in bag vacuum cleaners this problem can be avoided by equipping the dust cans with special valves .
With. Dreev, Electrolux: The bagless models always have less suction power with the same power consumption – cyclone losses effect. The small volume of the container and the need for frequent emptying and filter maintenance are also disadvantages. Most low-cost models have no power control. I agree with colleagues that cyclones are noisier than bagless models. The canister is handled with care and is expensive to replace if damaged. After washing the filters must be dried for at least 24 hours, and they fail very quickly in cheap models.
“BT”: What advantages the good old bagless vacuum cleaners have?
. Macegora, Hoover: Bag vacuum cleaners are quite hygienic. Exclusively because many consumers quite often delay changing filters in cyclone vacuum cleaners, bagged products can be called more hygienic: if the bag gets clogged, the vacuum cleaner simply will not work properly. That’s why they don’t forget to replace the bags.
With. Dreev, Electrolux: High dust bag capacity and long service interval, simple construction, and therefore reliability. Better power and with modern synthetic bags – slightly less performance even when the bag is full , better efficiency – no cyclone losses. I’ll note the absence of contact with dust and better hygienic maintenance again, when using modern synthetic dust bags . Quick recovery time: a bag clogged when cleaning flour or cement dust – replaced – and you can continue cleaning immediately.
WHAT IS CYCLONE TECHNOLOGY?
L. Mikheeva, Philips: In bag vacuum cleaners, air with pollutant particles goes into the bag first. Then due to the motor work it is pulled back passing through a number of filters. So the large particles of dust and dirt are deposited in the bag, while the finest particles are retained by the special filters. Bagless vacuum cleaners use a slightly different technology: the air stream with dust particles enters the cyclonic chamber first, where it is spiraled. The centrifugal force created by the cyclone causes the dirt particles to be ejected to the walls of the container. The air is drawn back through a series of filters, similar to a bag vacuum cleaner.
E. Kalinina, Miele: In cyclone vacuum cleaners there is no dust bag. Centrifugal force separates the dust from the air flow and collects it in a special removable container. The air passes sequentially through the cascade of cyclones of different sizes, and its final purification is in the fine filter. However, this is connected to a major disadvantage of cyclone vacuum cleaners: after each cleaning it is necessary to clean the dust from the dust container.
YOU CAN’T ARGUE WITH STATISTICS
WITH. Dreev, Electrolux: Yes, there is a trend of switching to cyclones, but in Europe it is less pronounced than in America. Here over the past year the share of vacuum cleaners with bags decreased by 12% to 43% of the total number of vacuum cleaners sold in the country. The share of bagless vacuum cleaners increased to almost 54%, the remaining 3% are vacuum cleaners with dual technology. However, it is not the technology and its benefits that determine this process, but rather a well-constructed advertising campaign, which has been going on for years. It’s got to the point that in some European countries, the percentage of bagless vacuum cleaners does not exceed 15-20%.
. Romanova, LG: According to GFC analytical agency January-June, 2012 the share of cyclone bagless vacuum cleaners on American market is 89% in money equivalent, comparing to 82% for the same period of 2011. LG has not produced vacuum cleaners with dust bags since 2011.
OR YOU CAN GO WITH A DUST BAG IN A PLASTIC CONTAINER
Thomas vacuum cleaners of the German company Thomas – bagless, in them it is used completely original technology of dry cleaning – Thomas water filter when air with dust passes in a vacuum cleaner through a water wall and then through micro cyclones of water fog as a result of which particles of dust become coarse, heavy and settled down on the bottom of the container with water. And a HEPA filter at the outlet for microscopic dust. However, in order to facilitate the use of a vacuum cleaner for quick cleaning for example, something woke up and need to quickly collect this garbage specialists Thomas found the original solution. The patented HEPA-Carbon-box system for hygienic dry vacuuming: a universal plastic box with a HEPA-carbon-box, which collects dust and debris in an “emergency” manner, is installed in every Thomas vacuum cleaner. For more thorough cleaning dry with aqua filter or wet , remove the HEPA-Carbon-Box and close the inlet.
The special design of the box allows storing it for up to half a year, for instance in a cupboard. It has no odor and dust. If it is an emergency, just pull out the canister, put it back, and vacuum is ready to go. Thanks to this system the user can choose the mode of operation of his/her cleaner: dry cleaning with HEPA-Carbon-Box – the socalled “first aid”, dry cleaning with an aqua-filter for voluminous cleaning of the room, or wet cleaning. The HEPA-Carbon-Box is separately available – and can be retrofitted to any Thomas horizontal vacuum cleaner.