Maintaining a vacuum by cleaning and replacing filters can be a hassle. You may be wondering if you can avoid all this trouble by running your vacuum without a filter. Given a vacuum filter’s critical function, you should perish the thought.
You should not vacuum without a filter. When cleaning, a vacuum sucks in air, dirt, pollen, microbes, and other particles. The filter traps these solid particles inside the vacuum so that the air released back into the environment is clean.
Without a filter, you would simply be dispersing the dirt around your home, thereby defeating the whole purpose of cleaning. In the rest of the article, I will explain why it isn’t a good idea to vacuum without a filter.
Can You Vacuum Without a Filter?
If you think you can remove the filter from your vacuum, there are a few things to bear in mind. However, generally, it’s not advisable to vacuum without a filter!
The function of a filter in a vacuum cleaner is to trap tiny airborne particles and prevent them from blowing out into the air. While your vacuum can run without an air filter, using it this way will significantly reduce its effectiveness.
You can easily find a replacement online or at your local store if you have a faulty filter, but try not to use your vacuum if the filter isn’t doing its job!
Why Does My Vacuum Need a Filter?
You may think that your vacuum simply sucks in debris and that’s the end of it. However, it’s slightly more complex than that, and a filter is an essential component that helps the vacuum do its job correctly.
Your vacuum needs a filter because the vacuum sucks in air and various kinds of debris. The filter has tiny holes that only allow clean air to pass through while retaining dirt and other particles inside the vacuum.
A vacuum cleaner has an electric motor that spins a fan to create negative pressure that facilitates suction. It sucks air and dirt into the bag or canister. For continuous suction, the vacuum vents out air to maintain the negative air pressure inside.
In the absence of some barrier in the bag/canister, the air blowing out on the other side carries the debris vacuumed with it. For this reason, the vacuum needs a filter. A filter has tiny holes that allow air to exit but block most solid particles from getting out.
Aside from ensuring a clean home, a filter also protects your health during the cleaning exercise. A vacuum cleaner will usually suck in tiny particles that have settled on your floor and carpet over several days. Most of these particles are invisible to the naked eye. If the air from the vacuum cleaner carries the particles and you breathe them in, it would pose a serious risk to your health.
Can I Use My Dyson Vacuum Without a Filter?
You can use your Dyson vacuum without a filter if it is the Cinetic Big Ball vacuum cleaner. The Cinetic Big Ball is the only Dyson vacuum cleaner without filters. If your Dyson comes with a filter, you shouldn’t use it without a filter.
You must follow the instructions given by Dyson in the manual when running your vacuum cleaner. The majority of Dyson vacuums come with filters. When used without the filter, the dust sucked from your floor and carpets will recirculate in your home and settle on various surfaces.
When you use a filtered Dyson without a filter, you will run into the following problems:
- High energy consumption: you will have to vacuum several times because the machine does a poor cleaning job.
- Poor air quality: particulates are released into the air, thus harming indoor air quality.
- Dirt on surfaces: the unfiltered air ejects with vacuumed dust which then settles on surfaces, including furniture.
- Poor health outcomes: poor air quality can lead to respiratory and heart diseases. Allergens floating around the home may also worsen allergies over time.
Given the disadvantages of using a filtered Dyson without its filter, there’s no valid reason why you should use your Dyson without a filter. The only instance where you can use a Dyson without a filter is when the manufacturer expressly allows it, as is the case with the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball.
What Happens if You Vacuum With Wet Filter?
When you vacuum with a wet filter, the dirt sucked into the vacuum sticks on the wet filter, builds up, and clogs the vacuum, thus reducing suction. The vacuum will stop working if the moist dirt dries on the filter and blocks airflow.
Let a vacuum filter dry for 24 hours after washing it before using it again. You can let the filter dry out in the sun or open air before reinstalling it. Doing this is an essential part of maintaining your vacuum. Constantly using wet filters will reduce the lifespan of the machine.
It would help if you considered getting a wet/dry shop vacuum where you must vacuum wet floors. This vacuum is ideal for use in both commercial and residential settings. They can clean everyday dirt, water, sawdust, scraps from DIY projects, and other debris that an ordinary residential vac may have trouble sucking up.
How Long Do Vacuum Filters Last?
Vacuum filters last up to three years under normal usage in residential settings. In commercial settings, six months of utility is standard. The frequency of use and the quality of maintenance determine how long vacuum filters last.
While vacuum filters can last a long time, it is prudent to replace them as soon as they show significant wear and tear.
You are likely using either a reusable or HEPA filter at home. If your reusable filter is cleaned frequently and maintained, you can use it for over two years if it is of good quality. For HEPA filters, consider doing replacements every six months or so.
To ensure your vacuum filter serves you well over a long time, you should:
- Avoid vacuuming wet surfaces unless you are using a wet/dry vacuum.
- Clean reusable filters regularly.
- Let the filter dry out completely after a wash before reinstalling it.
- Monitor the state of the filter and take the necessary corrective actions.
- Follow the maintenance guidelines the manufacturer has detailed in the user manual.
What the average consumer considers optimal performance may not apply to you. If people in your household have severe sensitivities, you should be mindful of your family’s allergy care standards and replace filters more frequently.
It would be best if you never vacuumed without a filter when using a filtered vacuum. Without a filter, the air sucked into the vacuum cleaner escapes with the sucked debris. The unfiltered vac disperses the dirt around the house, ruins air quality, and may lead to adverse health outcomes because of the allergens floating around the house.