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  Top » Catalog » Vacuum Cleaners » Bagless vs Bagged Vacuum Cleaners
Bagless vs Bagged Vacuum Cleaners by The Vac Tech

Bagless Vacuum Cleaners vs. Vacuums with Bags

Written by The Vac Tech

Jacksonville, Florida

Notice: Government buildings do not†allow the use of bagless vacuum cleaners by their cleaning contractors. Bagless vacuums do not meet the Leed clean building standards.

As a vacuum repairman of 46 years I can say for certainty that there is only one reason to buy a bagless vacuum cleaner and itís not to clean better or to save money, itís so you donít have to buy bags. You wonít save money because you have all those extra filters to buy and clean. Youíll buy more vacuums because dirt always gets past those filters and accumulates in the motor, shortening the life of the vacuum. You wonít clean better because once the dirt is in the motor it is coming out the exhaust back into the air. With a bagless vacuum you store all the odors you have collected and put them back in the air every time you vacuum. Good luck with that.

Vacuum bags are more sanitary and facilitate easy disposal.This being said, the quality of the disposable bag and the use of secondary filters can greatly affect the cleaning power and the air quality of the vacuumís exhaust. The trick is for the vacuum cleaner to sustain maximum air flow for best dirt pick up while maintaining minimum exhaust particles. This can be done with a bagged system but is impossible with a bagless.

Letís use two high end vacuums, the Dyson and the Miele as examples. Each representing the best in their class.

With the bagless Dyson, my experience has shown the motor routinely accumulates dirt and dust despite the fact it has all those cyclones and a motor filter. Dirt in the motor means dirt on the HEPA exhaust filter which causes rapid filter failure. HEPA filters are designed for fine particulates and not coarse dirt that easily clogs the filter material. With the cyclones accumulating dirt (requiring tear down and cleaning), the filters clogging and dirt in the motor, the Dyson does lose air flow which reduces dirt pick up. What you save in bags you will spend on service charges and filters. Despite claims, permanent filters are not permanent. They deteriorate from washing, and from the abrasion of dirt and sand.

With the bagged Miele, my experience has shown no dirt accumulation in the motor even after†many years of use. Since new filters are included with each package of bags the vacuum is always operating with fresh filters. The result is no loss of air flow over years of use. The Miele bag is a 9 layer composite material that maintains air flow even as the bag is filling. The bag is designed to fill to maximum capacity before changing. We recently had a Miele canister in for service where the customer used a generic bag and not an original and the insides of the machine was very dirty. So bag quality is important. With the option of a HEPA or Charcoal filter you can customize the filtration for your needs. The charcoal filter controls strong odors such as pet smells.

I am not an engineer nor do I play one on TV but I work on the vacuum cleaners engineers design. I have yet to come across a bagless vacuum that does not leak dust or accumulate dirt in the motor. A bagged system built of quality materials and using a quality disposable bag will last longer and leave your air cleaner.


Randy Kelly

The Vac Tech (Since1966)

Jacksonville, Florida

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