can vacuum cleaners clean dusty air

Why Your Vacuum Cleaner Can Clean Dust in the Air?

Will your vacuum cleaner clean dusty air? In short, yes most new vacuum cleaner models come fitted with HEPA filtration filters, which will clean and purify the air that your vacuum sucks into it.

Although your vacuum cleaner can clean dusty air, it wouldn’t be very impactful in a large space or room, you would need to have your vacuum cleaner run constantly for many hours in order to filter the air within a standard room, this would cause your vacuum cleaner motor to eventually burn out.

Reasons for not using your vacuum cleaner to clean dusty air?


Efficiency (Energy usage)

If you were using your vacuum cleaner full time in order to purify or clean your rooms air and rid dust, you would end up using much more electricity than it would be worth and highly likely cause damage to your vacuum cleaner, using an air-purifier will be much more cost effective and do a much better job.

Air purifiers can use anywhere between 40W to 250Watts of power, whereas a vacuum cleaner uses much more than this, ranging from 350w – 900watts of power, this is another reason for this to be less efficient, can vacuum cleaners clean dusty air? yes, they can but not efficiently so bare this in mind.

Real time results

Even though HEPA filters are made to purify dusty air, the HEPA filters within your vacuum cleaners are simply not large enough to handle an entire room.

Vacuum cleaners will tend to suck up dirt and debris from the floor, air will follow this route, resulting in the air being filtrated by the vacuum cleaners HEPA filter, the clean air will be exhaled from the top of the vacuum cleaner, during this process, as you move your vacuum cleaner, smaller dust particles will be uplifted from the floor, which means your vacuum cleaner will most likely not be able to suck these particles up and by the time you have finished vacuuming your room, these tiny leftover particles will take hours to eventually fall back to the ground level.

Because of this, the way vacuum cleaners work, being constantly pushed and pulled, it doesn’t provide good results when trying to clean dusty air. This is why air purifiers are normally stationary appliances, to avoid creating further dust particles.

With that being said, vacuum cleaners do a good job at cleaning dusty air that it can suck up, rather than being able to purify stagnant space.

HEPA filter size

Generally speaking, if we take a look at a HEPA filter within a vacuum cleaner the size of the filter tend to be small and the smaller the HEPA filter is, the less effective it would be, it would need to be cleaned more often to keep up with the dusty air that it is trying to purify.


How Can Vacuum Cleaners Clean Dusty Air?


Vacuum cleaners can clean dusty air however, due to the way a vacuum cleaner works, the air it cleans is generally the air that it sucks into the vacuum from the floor, which results in any dusty air that is above floor level not being purified.

If the room you are trying to clean is small enough, you could potentially remove the vacuum cleaners nozzle and leave the vacuum running for 2-3 hours, it would eventually pick up enough dust in the air in order to sufficiently clean the dust within the room.


Is vacuum dust dangerous?


The air that a vacuum cleaner releases, should not cause any adverse effects as it is filtered before it is let back out the exhaust.

The only vacuum dust that would potentially be dangerous would be the dust stored within the dustbin. When you empty any vacuum cleaner, make sure you are in a well ventilated area or outside, although we use the word ‘dangerous’, it would generally only cause concern for allergy sufferers, infants or people who already have illnesses that effect the respiratory system.


Can vacuum cleaners spread Covid-19 virus?


Because of the way a vacuum cleaner is designed, smaller particles within the air can indeed be uplifted back into the air/room and this is common, so if a bacteria or virus has been brought into your home from your clothing or feet and allowed to settle onto the ground, once you start vacuuming, there is a small chance these can become airborne once again and a person would be able to inhale these particles once again or have a higher chance of inhaling these from a higher level rather than the ground.



To summarize the question, can vacuum cleaners clean dusty air? Yes, your household vacuum cleaner can clean dusty air within your home, however, it isn’t recommended because the HEPA filter within the vacuum would be much smaller compared to a specifically made air purifier..

Besides this,

Because a vacuum cleaner tends to be moved around, it wouldn’t be very good at picking up any airborne dust within a room in order to clean so although you could use a vacuum to clean dust in the air, you would much better off using or purchasing a stand alone air purifier.