Thread Number: 15893
HEPA or Paper bags ?
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Post# 169441   2/13/2012 at 17:04 (2,969 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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I just got thinking, what do you guys prefer ?

HEPA (High Efficiency Particle Arrest) bags, or standard paper bags ?

I personally see no problem with paper bags. I've used them with every Vacuum Cleaner I've had and NEVER had one burst.

OK, the filtration maybe isn't the best, but most 1990+ Vacuum Cleaners have two or more Pre-Motor filters and a thick Exhaust filter anyway, so practically nothing could get through the motor and into the air.

The air flow is another thing, those HEPA bags seem to limit the air flow in my opinion.

I'm happy to hear what you think though, so, discuss! :)

Post# 169447 , Reply# 1   2/13/2012 at 18:11 (2,969 days old) by sarasvacshack ()        
I prefer...

synthetic bags, regardless of whether they are HEPA or not. They just seem so much cleaner when removing them from a canister or upright. Paper bags always seem to poof the dust out, probably due more to their stiffness. I have not noticed a significant reduction in airflow using the synthetic bags.

Post# 169451 , Reply# 2   2/13/2012 at 18:27 (2,969 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

Synthetic for sure. I have seen too many broken paper bags over the years, and bags where the gluing failed. The first synthetic bag which I was aware of were those for the Electrolux Airstream. They cost a small fortune then.

Post# 169459 , Reply# 3   2/13/2012 at 19:54 (2,969 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

Depends on the vac I use, my Sanitaires I'm not too bothered about using the paper F&G/E74 bags (though should be getting ST bags soon), and my Hoover Juniors use paper bags (not genuine or even generic Hoover ones cos they're horrible at clogging up, but ones made up from some of my Victor's bags which are superb), my Kirbys use the polypropylene bags when I have them though, otherwise they just use their shakeout bags, and the Tristar uses paper bags, cos it has excellent filtration after the bags that it isn't a problem, the miele though just gets what it's given whether it likes it or not... :P

Post# 169483 , Reply# 4   2/14/2012 at 06:32 (2,968 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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Polypropylene bags!? My Lawn Mower deck is made out of Polypropylene. How the heck can that be a type of bag ?

Post# 169485 , Reply# 5   2/14/2012 at 06:36 (2,968 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Polypropelene and other plastics can be made in "soft" forms as well as stiff and hard.For bags-as I go the Synthetic-filtrete bags-I find tthey INCREASE airflow over the paper ones.And you can pack more dirt in them.

Post# 169486 , Reply# 6   2/14/2012 at 06:50 (2,968 days old) by kirby (passadena md)        

i perfer the hepa bags. i only use geniun kirby bags in my kirby

Post# 169502 , Reply# 7   2/14/2012 at 09:10 (2,968 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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I'm going to share my experience here with you regarding HEPA and the HEAP of rubbish Hoover UK used to do when it came to HEPA filters because at one time I was a big Hoover UK fan of a lot of their products until I smelt a rat!

As you know by the time the TP3 ended production, HEPA filters were only just beginning to become optional across their cylinder vacuums and Purepower uprights.

As a fan of the early Arrianne models and Telios canisters/cylinders, I found that Hoover to be less than truthful about their HEPA cartridges. The slide in HEPA cartridge that took place of the black carbon motor filter inside the vacuum by the bag cut the suction on both the brown Hoover dust bag and the Pure Filt bags, although Hoover UK were forced to admit later, that Pure Filt bags only worked with the higher 1700 watt vacuums and not their earlier 1400 watt vacuums. I know from experience here as my Telios models did suffer from a lack of apparent power because the HEPA cartridge behind the bag cut the suction - and that was with a brand new bag fitted! So, against other brands like Electrolux who located their HEPA filters above the main exhaust, Hoover's 1990's canisters vacuums who had the HEPA filter directly behind the motor suffered from poor suction - this was rectified in the Sensory range where the filters covers over the main exhaust at the top.

Now, current vacuums with HEPA bags do not cut suction off, but rather the synthetic dust bags avoid bursting - something that Miele had to do when buyers were sourcing the cheaper brown dust bags for their 1800 watt canister vacuums and then finding that they were bursting because of the force of the suction compared to those that the brown bags were specifically made for, i.e. 1200 watts and lower. HEPA bags are designed to retain bacteria more than basic filtration dust bags - but even today, Vax round tub vacuums that come with HEPA as standard still suffer from bursting dust bags because Vax haven't made the change to synthetics yet - or you use the shake out fabric dust bag to compensate. Hoover's own Purepower uses a higher filter dust bag to compensate from the force of the 2000 and 2100 watt motors in their current PP uprights.

Post# 169513 , Reply# 8   2/14/2012 at 10:25 (2,968 days old) by Trebor ()        
Once again....

HEPA ia a standard of filtration, not a material. One must ask at what rate the air was pushed through the filter, and if the material was tested separately, or if the vacuum was tested as a unit with the filters in place at full power?

Some materials filter better than others, true, but it is the confusion of materials with efficiency that has allowed manufacturers to get away with confusing and ripping off the buying public.

Post# 169515 , Reply# 9   2/14/2012 at 12:09 (2,968 days old) by Turbo500 (West Yorkshire, UK)        

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I've only ever used the Numatic HEPAflo bags and I have to admit, they don't lose half as much suction as the old paper bags do when they start to get full. I've barely noticed any suction loss on Henry with the HEPAflo bags.

Post# 169534 , Reply# 10   2/14/2012 at 16:08 (2,968 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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When I bought my Henry I read about the paper bags bursting and not operating as well as the HEPA-Flo bags, but once I got it and used it with paper bags, I now know that is utter rubbish.

The paper bags don't burst even on Hi power, and they retain good suction throughout their life.

That wasn't a dig at you Chris, and maybe you are right, but the paper bags are good too, and for a cheapskate like me, I'll stick with them, ha ha!

Post# 169536 , Reply# 11   2/14/2012 at 16:17 (2,968 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

Jmurray, try sucking up something like a large, cylindrical dog biscuit in a Henry fitted with a new paper bag, and then you'll see what can happen. Such is the suction power, large objects move like lightening and can come straight through the dust bag. Paper bag bursting was always an issue in tub-style cleaners, especially the Vax.

Post# 169537 , Reply# 12   2/14/2012 at 16:20 (2,968 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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Maybe you're right Benny.

Under normal usage though the bag is fine.

Post# 169540 , Reply# 13   2/14/2012 at 16:26 (2,968 days old) by twocvbloke ()        
"How the heck can that be a type of bag ? "

In the same way they turn plastic bottles into fleece blankets, sugar into candy floss, and glass into insulation... :)

They turn the plastic into fibres and then squash them together into a sheet, kind of like felting fur to make hats, and thus they form a filter material, which is then cut up and heat-bonded into bags, and there you go, plastic becomes a cloth, which becomes a bag... :)

I've had bags burst on me before, but they've usually been ill-fitting generics, bit of a pain to clean up after them, but, it's just part of the experience... :P

Post# 169541 , Reply# 14   2/14/2012 at 16:27 (2,968 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

I do like the way you use the term 'maybe'. It makes me smile.

I wrote what I said from experience of cleaners I've owned and cleaners which were bought in for repair in that state. Also, sales of dustbags were my bread & butter and people were never slow in coming and telling me if they were having problems with bags, whether supplied by me or not.

Post# 169542 , Reply# 15   2/14/2012 at 16:28 (2,968 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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Well well, it seems the ingenious Jamie doesn't know it all after all!

Thanks for explaining David.

Post# 170057 , Reply# 16   2/18/2012 at 23:10 (2,964 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        

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When using synthetic bags, the only thing I think that is left for the after filter to catch is carbon dust. I think little/if any dirt escapes them. Huge difference in the amount of leakage in the bag chamber when using paper vs synthetic. The bag chamber was clean as day when I used synthetic......I can't say the same for paper. There was always fine dust on in the bag chamber area. I think if your machine does have a hepa filter or after filter, it will last much much longer if you use the synthetic bags. Paper bags clog more quickly in my opinion too. I think after I get finished with the 100 paper bags I have for my epic 6500, I'm going to try the perfect synthetic bags. Not sure how long it will take me to go through these. They seem to clog pretty quickly. I change them once every week to two weeks.

Post# 170137 , Reply# 17   2/19/2012 at 16:13 (2,963 days old) by Rolls_rapide (-)        
Polypropylene bags

After the Electrolux Airstream there was also the strange, angular, Vax 3-in-1 uprights, and a Sanyo (or was it Sharp?) upright.

These synthetic bags generate an electrostatic field as the air passes through the material and the dirt rubs against the inside, helping to hold onto the dirt.

Post# 170139 , Reply# 18   2/19/2012 at 16:29 (2,963 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

I had forgotten about the Vax upright using a synthetic bag. That was all because water could penetrate the bag area and ruin a paper bag.

Post# 170141 , Reply# 19   2/19/2012 at 16:52 (2,963 days old) by venson ()        
Hate the expense but Miele's top bags are it (for me)

I've had many cleaners with paper bags. Lewyt speed-saks scored worst for bag break potential and Electrolux best though the cleaner's design had a lot to do with that. However for motor protection (even though I do use the pre-filters included) and dust capture I think Miele's high filtration bags are remarkable. Come time to change a full bag, there's lots of dirt in the bag but the bag chamber is virtually clean as a whistle.

As I've already stated in another the post, the only match to that kind of dust containment I've seen is by way of Filter Queen.

I feel better if first-phase dust collection is on the money as, per repair people I've spoken with, problems in time may develop if dust collects on fans.

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