As with most things in life, there is really nothing free. The two most claimed advantages to bagless vacuum cleaners were lower operating costs and better performance. As far as the cost issues go, all vacuums must filter the exhausting air they use to carry the dirt into the collection area, as they would otherwise simply pick the dirt up from the floor and spit it right back out.
Whether you have a bagless HEPA filter, a pre-filter, or disposable bags, they all need to be changed at some point. With the average life of a vacuum cleaner, you can expect to spend the same on either collection system for filters, but if you value your time, you can expect to spend quite a bit more on a bagless system.
To keep your bagless vacuum cleaner operating at peak levels, you’ll need to empty the dirt container when it is full and perform regular maintenance on the filter. The type of filter the vacuum uses will determine just how much service will be required, although most use a pleated HEPA filter.
Even though the claim of better airflow performance with bagless vacuums is true in a sense, over the life of the vacuum you’ll get the same, or maybe even better performance from a bagged vacuum cleaner system.
With bagged vacuum cleaners, the performance will start at 100% with each new bag then slowly drop as the bag starts to fill. Just how quickly the performance drops depends on how well the bag is constructed. With the average vacuum and the average bag, you may replace the bag every 3 – 4 weeks with 90% of performance the first week, 70% in weeks 2 and 3, then 50% or less in the fourth week.
The short cycle will ensure that you get a 100% peak cleaning every 3 or 4 weeks from the vacuum cleaner. The filtered cyclonic machines have filters that are designed to last 6 months, 12 months, and even up to 18 months before they need to be replaced.
If you have dogs or cats, whether you see it or not, almost all domestic animals shed their fur on a regular basis throughout their lives. Pet owners often wonder as well, which vacuum is the best to remove pet hair.
For pretty much the same reasons that fur sticks to the carpet, it will also stick to your bagless vacuum’s pleated filter cartridge. The fur will reduce the performance of airflow, and is also a
pain in the neck to clean off the filter.
Over time, the fiber that makes up the filter can retain odor from pets, even if you clean the filter well. If your filter requires replacing only once a year, you could end up with a vacuum that spits odors that will stink up your house pretty bad.
Those vacuums that use bags will often provide for neat disposal of a full bag. There are some brands such as BOSCH that actually engineer bag disposal into the system. With BOSCH canister vacuums, the replacement of bags is a single dust-free step. The new mega file bags have a built-in closure system that upon removal, will slide shut and trap the dirt and debris inside of the bag, making removal quick and easy.
Still, there are many people out there who love bagless machines. Bagless vacuums will continue at a slow place to gain market share, and people will continue to buy them. For many, a bagless vacuum can be the right vacuum to have.
Bags are the technology of the past, while bagless is the technology of the future. There are many reasons as to why you should go bagless. For the vacuums of tomorrow, cylinder and bagless is the key.