Do Central Vacuums Need Bags? [Bagless Vs. Bagged Systems]

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Central vacuum systems can be a great alternative to traditional vacuum cleaners. Perhaps you have already equipped your home with one or are thinking of doing so. We have researched the question of whether or not central vacuum cleaners need bags; we also found some pros and cons of going bagless versus using a bagged system. 

There are many different options when considering the purchase of a central vacuum. While some do call for the use of a bag, not all systems need one. There are four types of systems for central vacuum cleaners; only one requires the use of a bag:

  • Paper Bag System
  • True-Cyclonic® Action With Outside Exhaust
  • Bagless With Self Cleaning Filter
  • Filtered Cyclonic Action With Fixed Filter

While three different filtration methods do not demand the use of a bag, there are many reasons why most experts believe the paper bag system is optimal when using a central vacuum system. Curious as to what the pros have to say? No worries! We’ve compiled the different advantages and disadvantages of using a bag for filtration, compared to disregarding one. 

A big gray hose attached to the central vacuum system of the house, Do Central Vacuums Need Bags? [Bagless Vs. Bagged Systems]

Bagless Vs. Bagged Systems – Advantages and Disadvantages

As we’ve already discussed, there are many options when it comes to going bagless with a central vacuum. The use of a bagless system eliminates the need to buy and replace any sort of bag to collect and dispose of the dust and debris that collect inside your home. Great, right? Sure, but the disposal of such contaminants requires the homeowner to pour the canister out into the garbage bin or dumpster. This action causes all the allergens that you just worked so hard to get out of your home, into your lungs, as well as back out into the formally fresh air.

Many bagless systems are required to be dumped as well as cleaned at least every three to six months. Some systems even call for cleaning eight times a year! It is also required to vent bagless systems outside of the home due to all the harmful toxins being released, rather than venting inside as you can do with a bagged system. 

A man collecting dust and debris collected by the central vacuum system of living room

Keeping longevity and usability in mind, the absence of a bag within a central vacuum can cause a loss of suction and clogging if not changed more often. This can also lead to the motor failing after allowing all the small dust particles to enter inside. While carefully washing the canister can often help prevent these things from happening, it is not needed with the bagged option. With some bagless options, you even need to clean the filter each time you dump the canister.

Yes, the bagged system does require the purchase of a bag. However, many experts believe this method is worth the extra spending. This option will most likely leave you with a cleaner and more hygienic home. The bagged system’s use allows the user to simply toss the entire bag and its collection out without releasing the toxins into the air or your lungs! This way also keeps the canister itself clean, negating the extra chore of cleaning the unit by hand. Those with asthma and allergies would greatly benefit from the use of a bag in a central vacuum system for these reasons. 

Purchase these Electrolux Central Vacuum bags on Amazon.

Not only that, but the bags also eliminate the possibility of mold spores, fungi, and bacteria forming. Having these unsavory pollutants in your home can cause harm to you and the ones you love! Not only those but also dust mites, roaches, pet dander, pollen, and decaying food particles all have the capability of staying within your vacuum system. That is, without the use of a handy disposable bag!

How Often Do You Change A Central Vacuum Bag?

If you decide to go for the bagged central vacuum, you will only need to change your bag once or twice annually. It only takes a moment to dispose of and replace the bag. Plus, you don’t even have to worry about cleaning the canister! 

Can You Reuse Central Vacuum Bags?

Are your in-laws coming over for dinner, and you need to clean and forgot to pick up some vacuum bags? Try this helpful tip! You can actually empty your bag without having to dispose of it. Examine the bottom of the vacuum bag, notice how the bottom is rolled and glued into place. Carefully unroll this part of the bag, being sure not to rip it in the process. Then, you can empty the dirt and dust from your bag and simply roll it back up and staple it into place. 

However, it is not recommended to use this method often. If you’re a savvy shopper, you don’t really need to anyway. You can purchase the bags you need in packs of even 18! But, we all have those times we forget to stock up on cleaning supplies. This hack can really help.

How Do You Know What Vacuum Bag To Get?

While shopping for your vacuum bags, it is important to know exactly which type you need for your specific vacuum. There are many different options; make sure you have all the important information you need before you make any purchases. Much like vehicles, central vacuums have different makes and models. Determining these, along with the type of vacuum, will tell you which bags your vacuum needs.

Finding this information isn’t too hard. Remember, make refers to the manufacturer’s name, meaning the name of the company that produces the product. When determining the model number, look to the owner’s manual, the inside of the bag cover, or the outside of the vacuum itself. Central vacuums come in different styles; when looking for the right bags, make sure to match the style of your vacuum to the bags.

If you’re still unsure of the type of bag your vacuum needs, you can call or email the company for assistance! There’s no shame in making sure you’re making the right purchase. 

Do Vacuum Bags Have Fiberglass In Them?

Quite simply, vacuum bags do not contain any fiberglass. Large fibers of fiberglass can cause irritation to many parts of the human body, including the nose and throat. This would not be an ideal material to use in vacuum bags. Instead, central vacuum bags are usually made of porous cloth or paper, which can’t cause you any harm but can help filter out all those nasty particles floating around your living space.

Can You Use A Vacuum Without A Bag?

A long gray hose of a central vacuum system plugged in to the wall

If you are specifically using a vacuum that requires a bag, you do need to use some sort of bag-like receptacle. However, it isn’t too hard to make your own. You can use some cotton fabric and your old bag as an outline. You’ll want to cut out your shape and then sew the pieces together, be sure to add a drawstring and spray the inside with some WD-40 and viola! You’re ready to go!

How To Change A Eureka Central Vacuum Bag?

Emptying debris from a Eureka central vacuum without a bag requires a few steps. Luckily, you only have to reach inside and pull out the bag when using a bagged model. Simple! Then replace the bag with a new one. The company even offers to send out e-mail reminders of when to change your bag. Some styles of Eureka’s vacuums have a filter that must be washed during this process.

Purchase these bags, compatible with 6-gallon Eureka Central Vac, on Amazon.

To Bag Or Not To Bag?

In the end, the choice is really up to you. If you’re about to purchase a central vacuum cleaning system for your home, keep these facts and tips in mind! Keeping your home and air free of dirt and debris will help you and your family to feel more comfortable in the home you’ve made for yourself. Some people would say, “A clean home, is a happy home!” And we would have to agree. 

Thinking about purchasing a new vacuum and wondering how to best keep your home tidy? Check out our related posts:

How Long Do Bissell Vacuums Last?

15 Ways On How To Prevent Dust In A Room

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