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An upright vacuum is a common household appliance used to remove dirt and dust from floor surfaces. Upright vacuum cleaners are widely considered to be best for carpets, but can also be used to clean bare floors. Many different varieties of upright vacuums exist, but most are variations of the same standard mechanisms and principles of physics.
Though there are many complex variations, the conventional vacuum cleaner consists of just a few essential components. These include an intake port and an exhaust port, a motor which drives a fan, and a bag or other receptacle to collect dirt and dust. The intake port usually has a rotating brush or other type of cleaning accessory to gather the dirt from the carpet. The fan is housed just behind the intake port, creating the suction necessary to draw the dirt in from the floor and from the rotating brush. The fan is driven by an electric motor, meaning that the vacuum must always be plugged in to function.
The fan blows the dirt through a small air duct and into the dust bag, where it is collected until the bag is cleaned or replaced. Attached to the bag will be an exhaust port, where air is blown out of the vacuum. In the exhaust port will usually be some type of filter which keeps the dirt in the bag and lets the air pass through. All of these components are contained in a housing that has wheels and stands upright when the vacuum cleaner is not in use.
The type of bag or other container and the type of filter used are just a few of the many options available when purchasing an upright vacuum. For example, today there are more and more bagless vacuum cleaners, meaning that instead of a dust bag, they employ a plastic cylinder which collects the dust and is emptied after use. When it comes to filters, there are a wide variety of choices. Some newer types of filters are able to screen out bacteria and allergens, which can be an important feature for households with pets or young children. Of course, with higher quality filtration comes a larger price tag.
An upright vacuum will usually come with at least a few on-board cleaning attachments for greater versatility. Most cleaning attachments will hook onto a flexible hose for use. These attachments make it easier to reach into corners, edges and other places that the main cleaning head cannot easily reach. Deciding on which upright vacuum to purchase can be difficult given the many options to be considered, but a good upright vacuum can last for years, if properly maintained.