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
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% of less in the fourth week.
The short cycle will insure 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
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 filt 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.