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Title:
VACUUM CLEANER INCLUDING A REMOVABLE DIRT COLLECTION ASSEMBLY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/054538
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A vacuum cleaner (10) having a vacuum cleaner housing (15), a suction nozzle (18), a motor (42) configured to generate a suction force through the suction nozzle (18), a motor housing (74) at least partially enclosing the motor (42) and coupled to the vacuum cleaner housing (15), and a dirt collection assembly (62) removably coupled to the vacuum cleaner housing (15). The dirt collection assembly (62) includes a dirt cup (64), a handle (70) for removing the dirt collection assembly (62), and a motor shroud (75) at least partially enclosing the motor housing (74).

Inventors:
SEBASTIAN, Will (783 Rabenhill Rd, Sagamore Hills, OH, 44067, US)
FRIEND, Richard (711 New Port Lane, #211Streetsboro, OH, 44241, US)
Application Number:
US2015/053773
Publication Date:
April 07, 2016
Filing Date:
October 02, 2015
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
TECHTRONIC INDUSTRIES CO. LTD. (24/F CDW Building, 388 Castle Peak RoadTsuen Wa, New Territories Hong Kong, Territories, CN)
SEBASTIAN, Will (783 Rabenhill Rd, Sagamore Hills, OH, 44067, US)
FRIEND, Richard (711 New Port Lane, #211Streetsboro, OH, 44241, US)
International Classes:
A47L5/32; A47L9/16; A47L9/22
Domestic Patent References:
WO2008070966A12008-06-19
Foreign References:
US20120222244A12012-09-06
GB2343837A2000-05-24
US20140245562A12014-09-04
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WEITZER, Glen A. et al. (Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, 100 East Wisconsin Avenue Suite 330, Milwaukee WI, 53202-4108, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A vacuum cleaner comprising:

a vacuum cleaner housing;

a suction nozzle;

a motor configured to generate a suction force through the suction nozzle;

a motor housing at least partially enclosing the motor and coupled to the vacuum cleaner housing; and

a dirt collection assembly removably coupled to the vacuum cleaner housing, the dirt collection assembly including

a dirt cup,

a handle for removing the dirt collection assembly, and

a motor shroud at least partially enclosing the motor housing.

2. The vacuum cleaner of claim 1, wherein the motor shroud defines a cavity configured to receive the motor housing.

3. The v acuum cleaner of claim 2, wherein the ca vity of the motor shroud is generally shaped to s bstantially receive the motor housing.

4. The vacuum cleaner of clai 1 , wherein the motor is electrically coupled to a battery.

5. The vacuum cleaner of claim 4, further comprising a handle assembly, wherein the handle assembly generally defines a handle axis, and wherein the dirt cup generally defines a longitudinal axis disposed generally along the handle axis when the dirt cup assembly is connected to the vacuum cleaner housing.

6. The vacuum cleaner of claim 5, wherein the handle is disposed adjacent the motor shroud in a direction defined by the longitudinal axis.

7. The vacuum cleaner of claim 5, wherein the motor shroud is disposed adjacent the dirt cup, and wherein the longitudinal axis passes through a cavity defined by the motor shroud.

8. The vacuum cleaner of claim 1, wherein the motor shroud is disposed substantially between the dirt cup and the handle.

9. The vacuum cleaner of claim 1, further comprising a latch operatively coupled between the dirt collection assembly and the vacuum cleaner housing for selectively removing and securing the dirt collection assembly to the vacuum cleaner housing.

10. A vacuum cleaner comprising:

a base including a suction nozzle;

a handle assembly movably coupled to the base for movement between an upright storage position and an inclined operating position;

a motor configured to generate a suction force through the suction nozzle;

a motor housing at least partially enclosing the motor and coupled to the handle assembly; and

a dirt collection assembly removably coupled to at least one of the handle assembly and the base, the dirt collection assembly including

a dirt cup,

a handle for removing the dirt collection assembly, and

a motor shroud at least partially enclosing the motor housing,

1 1. The vacuum cleaner of claim 10, wherein the motor shroud defines a cavity configured to receive the motor.

12. The vacuum cleaner of claim 1 1, wherein the cavity of the motor shroud is generally shaped to receive at least a portion of the motor housing.

13. The vacuum cleaner of clai 10, wherein the motor is electrically coupled to a battery disposed on the vacuum cleaner.

14. The vacuum cleaner of claim 13, wherein the handle assembly generally defines a handle axis, and wherem the dirt cup generally defines a longitudinal axis disposed generally along the handle axis when the dirt cup assembly is connected to the handle assembly.

15. The vacuum cleaner of claim 14, wherein the handle is disposed adjacent the motor shroud in a direction defined by the longitudinal axis.

16. The vacuum cleaner of claim 14, wherein the motor shroud is disposed adjacent the dirt cup, and wherein the longitudinal axis passes through a cavity defined by the motor shroud.

17. The vacuum cleaner of claim 10, wherem the motor shroud is disposed substantially between the dirt cup and the handle,

18. The vacuum cleaner of claim 10, further comprising a latch operatively coupled between the dirt collection assembly and at least one of the ba se or the handle a ssembly for selectively removing and securing the dirt collection assembly to the at least one of the base or the handle assembly.

19. A vacuum cleaner comprising:

a vacuum cleaner housing;

a suction nozzle;

a motor configured to generate a suction force through the suction nozzle;

a motor housing at least partially enclosing the motor and coupled to the vacuum cleaner housing; and

a dirt collection assembly removably coupled to the vacuum cleaner housing, the dirt collection assembly including

a dirt cup,

a handle for removing the dirt collection assembly, and

a cavity for at least partially receiving the motor housing.

20. The vacuum cleaner of claim 19, wherein the cavity is disposed substantially between the dirt cup and the handle.

21. The vacuum cleaner of claim 19, wherein the dirt collection assembly further comprises a motor shroud defining the cavity, wherem the motor shroud is generally shaped to substantially receive the motor housing.

22. The vacuum cleaner of claim 19, wherem the motor is electrically coupled to a battery.

23. The vacuum cleaner of claim 19, further comprising a latch operatively coupled between the dirt collection assembly and the vacuum cleaner housing.

Description:
VACUUM CLEANER INCLUDING A REMOVABLE DIRT COLLECTION

ASSEMBLY

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

10001] This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No.

62/059,246, filed October 3, 2014, the entire contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference herein.

BACKGROUND

[0002] The present invention relates to vacuum cleaners and, more particularly, upright vacuum cleaners.

[0003] Vacuum cleaners are typically used to clean floor surfaces, such as carpeting, by generating suction to draw air and dirt through a suction nozzle. The dirt is separated from the air inside the vacuum cleaner and clean air is discharged from the vacuum cieaner. The dirt is collected inside the vacuum cieaner and can be emptied or removed.

SUMMARY

[0004] In one aspect, the invention provides a vacuum cleaner having a vacuum cleaner housing, a suction nozzle, a motor configured to generate a suction force through the suction nozzle, a motor housing at feast partially enclosing the motor and coupled to the vacuum cleaner housing, and a dirt collection assembly removably coupled to the vacuum cleaner housing. The dirt collection assembly includes a dirt cup, a handle for removing the dirt collection assembly, and a motor shroud at least partially enclosing the motor housing.

10005] In another aspect, the invention provides a vacuum cieaner having a base including a suction nozzle, a handle assembly movably coupled to the base for movement between an upright storage position and an inclined operating position, a motor configured to generate a suction force through (he suction nozzle, and a motor housing at least partially enclosing the motor and coupled to the handle assembly. The vacuum cleaner also includes a dirt collection assembly removably coupled to at least one of the handle assembly and the base. The dirt collection assembly includes a dirt cup, a handle for removing the dirt collection assembly, and a motor shroud at least partially enclosing the motor housing. [0006] In yet another aspect, the invention provides vacuum cleaner having a vacuum cleaner housing, a suction nozzle, a motor configured to generate a suction force through the suction nozzle, a motor housing at least partially enclosing the motor and coupled to the vacuum cleaner housing, and a dirt collection assembly removably coupled to the vacuum cleaner housing. The dirt collection assembly includes a dirt cup, a handle for removing the dirt collection assembly, and a cavity for at least partially receiving the motor housing,

[0007] Other aspects of the invention will become apparent by consideration of the detailed description and accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] Fig. 1 is a front perspective view of a vacuum cleaner having a support assembly and a. dirt collection assembly according to one construction of the invention.

[0009] Fig. 2. is a side view of the vacuum cleaner of Fig, 1.

[0010] Fig. 3 is a rear view of the vacuum cleaner of Fig. 1.

[0011] Fig, 4 is a cross-sectional side view of the vacuum cleaner of Fig. 1.

[0012] Fig. 5 is a partial cross-sectional view of the vacuum cleaner of Fig. 1.

[0013] Fig. 6 is an enlarged partial cross-sectional view of the vacuum cleaner of Fig. 1.

[0014] Fig. 7 is a partial front perspective view of the vacuum cleaner of Fig. 1 having the dirt collection assembly removed from the support assembly,

10015] Fig. 8 is a partial, semi-transparent side view of the vacuum cleaner of Fig. .

[0016] Fig. 9 is a partial rear perspective exploded view of the v acuum cleaner of Fig. 1. detailed description

[0017] Before any constructions of the invention are explained in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its appiication to the details of construction and the arrangement of components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the following drawings. The invention is capable of other constructions and of being practiced or of being carried out in various ways. [0018] Figs. 1 -4 illustrate a vacuum cleaner 10. The illustrated vacuum cleaner 10 is an upright vacuum cleaner having a vacuum cleaner housing 15, a handle assembly 12, and a base 14. The base 14 is movable along a surface to be cleaned 16, such as a carpeted or hard- surface floor. The handle assembly 12 extends from the base 14, The handle assembly 12 allows a user to move and manipulate the base 14 along the surface to be cleaned 16. The handle assembly 12. is mo v ably coupled to the base 14 such that the handle assembly 12 is movable relative to the base 14 between an upright storage position (Fig. 1) and an inclined operating position (not shown). For example, the handle assembly 12 may be pivotable, rotatable, both pivotable and rotatable (e.g., by way of a ball and socket joint), etc. with respect to the base 14. In the illustrated construction, the vacuum cleaner housing 15 includes the handle assembly 12. and the base 14. In other constnictions, the vacuum cleaner 10 may include other types of vacuum cleaners, such as stick vacuum cleaners, canister v acuum cleaners, hand- held vacuum cleaners, carpet cleaners, etc. In any of these constnictions, the vacuum cleaner 10 includes a vacuum cleaner housing 15 generally corresponding to the respective type of vacuum cleaner.

[0019] As illustrated in Fig. 4, the base 14 includes a floor nozzle 18 (or suction nozzle) providing an inlet for receiving an airflow 13 into the vacuum cleaner 10 and a bntshroU 20 disposed proximate the floor nozzle 18 for agitating dirt on the surface to be cleaned 16. The bmshroll 20 is powered for rotation by a bmshroll motor (not shown) (e.g., powered by the power source). In other constructions, the brushroll 20 may be powered by a turbine disposed in the airflow passageway powered by the flow of air or by a suction motor, which will be described in greater detail below. Power to the brushroll motor can be selectively controlled by an "on/off switch disposed on the handle assembly or elsewhere on the vacuum cleaner. The illustrated floor nozzle 18 mcludes an opening formed in a bottom surface 22 of the base 14 adjacent a forward end 24 (Fig. 2) of the base 14. The base 14 includes an airflow passageway 26 and a first hose connector 28 disposed at a distal end of the airflow passageway 26, The airflow passageway 26 extends from the floor nozzle 18 to the first hose connector 28. A first end 30 of a hose 32 (e.g., a flexible hose) is mechanically coupled to the first hose connector 28 and is thus fluidly coupled to the airflow passageway 26 (Figs. 2 and 3). A second end 34 of the hose 32. is coupled to an anchor 33 on the handle assembly 12, [0028] A pair of wheels 36 are coupled to the base 14 adjacent a rearward end 38 of the base 14, The wheels 36 facilitate moving the base 14 along the surface to be cleaned 16. In the illustrated construction, the base 14 includes two wheels positioned on opposing sides of the base. In other constructions, the base 14 may include fewer or more wheels. The wheels 36 may be idle wheels or driven wheels.

[0021] The handle assembly 12 generally defines a longitudinal axis A, or handle axis. The handle assembly 12 includes a power source 40 for powering a motor 42 (e.g., a suction motor). In the illustrated construction, the power source 40 includes a battery pack having battery cells 44. In other constructions, other power sources may be used, such as a fuel cell, or a cord and a plug for plugging into a source of utility power, etc.

[0022] The handle assembly 12 also includes a maneuvering handle 46 having a grip 48 for a user to grasp and maneuver the vacuum cleaner 10. The handle assembly 12 also includes an upright handle portion 50 and a spine 52 extending from the base 14 towards ihe maneuvering handle 46. In the illustrated embodiment, the handle assembly 12 includes a switch 54 for activating the motor 42. In other constructions, the switch 54 may be disposed in any desired location on the vacuum cleaner.

[0023] In the illustrated embodiment, the spine 52 includes an elongated tubular receptacle 56 for receiving the upright handle portion 50, the spine 52. extending generally along, and may be offset from, the longitudinal axis A. The upright handle portion 50 is coupled to the maneuvering handle 46. In the illustrated embodiment, the maneuvering handle 46 and the upright handle poriion 50 are removable from ihe spine for use as a wand. When coupled with the receptacle 56, the wand 50 extends along the longitudinal axis A. In the illustrated embodiment, a second hose connector 58 is disposed at a first distal end 51 of the wand 50 proximate the maneuvering handle 46 for receiving the hose 32 to fluidly connect the wand 50 to a suction force generated by the motor 42. The w nd 50 may be used to clean above-floor surfaces, e.g., stairs, drapes, corners, furniture, etc. An accessory tool 60 (e.g., a crevice tool, an upholstery tool, a pet tool, etc.) is detachably coupled to the handle assembly 12 for storage and may be coupled to a second distal end 53 of the wand 50 for specialized cleaning of non-floor surfaces. Other handle assembly configurations may be provided as desired. [0024] The handle assembly 12 also includes the motor 42 and a motor housing 74 that, in the illustrated construction, at least partially encloses the motor 42. As best illustrated in Fig. 7, the motor housing 74 is coupled to the spine 52. of the handle assembly 12. and cooperates with the spine 52 to substantially enclose the motor 42. In other constructions, the motor housing 74 may be positioned in other areas of the handle assembly 12. In other constructions, the motor housing 74 may partially enclose or fully enclose the motor 42. The motor housing 74 may also at least partially enclose a diffuser 68 and an impeller 1 16, which will be described in greater detail below, in order to allow the motor 42 to create suction for drawing air through the vacuum cleaner 10, the motor housing 74 may include an opening 73 (Fig. 5) through which cleaned air may pass. The motor housing 74 may also include vents (not shown) for allowing the cleaned air to be expelled from the motor housing 74.

[0025] The vacuum cleaner 10 includes a dirt collection assembly 62 supported by the handle assembly 12 and removably coupled to the handle assembly 12. The dirt collection assembly 62 generally defines a longitudinal axis B, or assembly axis, which in some embodiments may extend substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis A of the handle assembly 12 when the dirt collection assembly 62 is coupled to the handle assembly 12. The dirt collection assembly 62 includes a dirt cup 64, a dirt separator 66, a motor shroud 75, and a dirt collection handle 70 defining a hand grip 72 (Fig. 6). In the illustrated embodiment, the dirt cup 64 is substantially cylindrical, and the longitudinal axis B may be defined approximately centrally with respect to the cylindrical dirt cup 64. The dirt separator 66 may be a cyclonic separator, a filter bag, or other separator as known in the art as desired for the application. In the illustrated construction, the longitudinal axis B is defined by both the dirt cup 64 and the dirt separator 66, In other constructions, the longitudinal axis B may be defined by only one of the dirt cup 64 or the dirt separator 66, or by the overall elongation of the dirt collection assembly 62.

[0026] The motor shroud 75 is disposed generally on top of the dirt cup 64 and the dirt separator 66, e.g., in a direction defined generally from the base 14 towards the maneuvering handle 46, at least partially enclosing the motor housing when the dirt collection assembly 62 is supported by the handle assembly 12. In the illustrated embodiment, the motor shroud 75 is disposed substantially between the dirt separator 66 (or dirt cup 64) and the dirt collection handle 70 (or hand grip 72) with respect to the longitudinal axis B. In this example, the motor shroud 75 functions as a fixed linkage between the handle 70 and the dirt cup 64 and includes a cavity 77 for receiving the motor 42 and the motor housing 74 when the dirt collection assembly 62 is coupled to the handle assembly 12. In the illustrated construction, the dirt collection handle 70 is disposed on the motor shroud 75. In other constructions, the dirt collection handle 70 may be disposed elsewhere on the dirt collection assembly 62, such as on the dirt cup 64. In yet other constructions, it is possible for the dirt collection assembly 62 to include more than one handle 70, The handle 70 and the motor shroud 75 may be arranged relative to the dirt separator 66 as desired for the application. In the illustrated construction, the longitudinal axis B substantially passes through the cavity 77 and the handle 70.

[0027] The motor shroud 75 includes the cavity 77 (Fig. 8), which is defined by the inner casing of the motor shroud 75. The cavity 77 is sized and shaped to receive at least a portion of the motor housing 74. In one embodiment, the cavity of the motor shroud is generally shaped to substantially receive the motor housing. The motor housing 74 provides a protective casing for the motor 42 when the dirt collection assembly 62 has been removed (Fig. 7). When the dirt collection assembly 62 is removed, the motor 42 remains in contact with the handle assembly 12, through which the motor 42 is electrically coupled to the power source 40.

[0028] The motor 42 drives the impeller 1 16 and generates a vacuum or suction force in the vacuum cleaner 10. The suction force draws air and dirt into the vacuum cleaner 10 through the floor nozzle 18, through the airflow passageway 26, through the hose 32, through the anchor 33, and into the dirt collection assembly 62 by way of an inlet 76 (Fig. 2) in the dirt collection assembly 62. The inlet 76 is mechanically coupled to the anchor 33, thereby fluidly coupling the dirt collection assembly 62 to the second end 34 of the hose 32. Thus, the dirt collection assembly 62 is fluidly coupled to the hose 32. and to the airflow

passageway 26 in the base 14. If the first end 30 of the hose 32 is connected to the second hose connector 58 in the wand 50, then the suction force draws air and dirt into the vacuum cleaner 10 through the wand 50, through the hose 32, and into the dirt collection assembly 62.

[0029] The dirt separator 66 removes dirt from the airflow 13 drawn into the vacuum cleaner 10 by the suction force, and the dirt cup 64 collects the dirt separated by the dirt separator 66. In the illustrated construction, the dirt separator 66 includes a cyclonic separator, which is best illustrated in Fig. 5. The cyclonic separator includes a first cyclone 78 and a second cyclone 80 arranged substantially concentrically with the first cyclone 78. In the illustrated construction, the dirt separator 66 also includes a filter 82 (Fig. 5) disposed downstream of the dirt separator 66 for trapping additional particles remaining in the air stream after the separator. In other constructions, the dirt separator 66 may include other types of dirt separators, such as fabric filters, filter bags, static filters, electrostatic precipitators (ESP), wet scrubbers, other inertial separators, etc. The diffuser 68 is disposed downstream of the impeller 116 and slows down the flow of clean air (air from which at least a portion of the dirt has been separated) passing through the filter 82, through the opening 73 and into the motor housing 74, The diffuser 68 reduces noise before the clean air is discharged from the dirt collection assembly 62 by way of openings (not shown) in the motor housing 74 and, ultimately, from openings 84 in the motor shroud 75.

[0030] The dirt collection assembly 62 is removably coupled to the handle assembly 12 such that the dirt collection assembly 62 is moveable between a connected position (Figs. 1- 6) in which the dirt separator 66 is in fluid communication with the floor nozzle 18 for collecting the dirt particles and a disconnected position (Fig. 7) for emptying the dirt particles from the dirt separator 66 in which the dirt separator 66 is not in fluid communication with the floor nozzle 18. The dirt collection assembly 62 includes a latch 86 for removably coupling the dirt collection assembly 62 to the handle assembly 12. The latch 86 is coupled to, and actuatable by, an actuator 88. In the illustrated construction, the actuator 88 is disposed proximate the dirt collection handle 70, and may be on or near the hand grip 72. In other constructions, the actuator 88 may be located on the handle assembly 12 (e.g., on or near the spine 52), on the base 14, or elsewhere on the vacuum cleaner 10. In the illustrated construction, the actuator 88 includes a button depressible to move the latch 86 from an engaged position in which the dirt collection assembly 62 is coupled to the handle assembly 12 (i.e., the connected position) to a released position in which the dirt collection assembly 62 is de-coupled (and may be removed) from the handle assembly 12 (i.e., the disconnected position). The handle assembly includes a latch receptacle 90 (Figs, 5 and 6) for receiving the latch 86 and a catch 92 for engaging the latch 86 to secure the dirt collection assembly 62 to the handle assembly 12. The actuator 88 is biased to the engaged position by a biasing member 94 (Fig. 6), such as a coil spring. In other constructions, the actuator 88 may include other types of buttons actuatable in different ways, levers, rotatable knobs, magnets, etc., and may include other types of biasing members such as leaf springs, cup springs, elastic members, magnets, etc. In yet other constructions, the dirt collection assembly 62 may be removably coupled to the base 14, or to another portion of the vacuum cleaner 10. In other non-upright vacuum cleaner configurations, the motor and motor housing can he coupled to the vacuum cieaner housing instead of the handle. In these configurations, such as a canister vacuum cleaner, the dirt collection assembly is removably mounted to the vacuum cieaner housing.

[0031] As best illustrated in Fig. 9, the dirt collection assembly 62 includes a door 102. and a dirt cup latch 104 for opening the door 102 (see also Fig. 4). In the illustrated embodiment, the door 102 is disposed on the bottom of the dirt cup 64 (e.g., in a direction extending generally from the maneuvering handle 46 towards the base 14 generally along the longitudinal axis A) generally opposite the dirt collection handle 70. The door 102 is pivotably coupled to the dirt cup 64 and moveable between a closed position (Fig. 5) in which the dirt is collected in the dirt cup 64 and an open position (not shown) in which the dirt is released from the dirt cup 64. The dirt cup latch 104 is disposed proximate the handle assembly 12 when the dirt collection assembly 62 is in the connected position (Fig, 5). In the illustrated construction, the dirt cup latch 104 includes a lever pivotable about a pivot axis P (Fig. 9), the le v er 104 including a first portion 106 on one side of the pivot axis P and a second portion 108 on an opposite side of the pivot axis P. The second portion 108 includes a latch portion 1 10 that engages with a door catch 1 12 (Fig. 5) to hold the door 102 in the closed position. The first portion 106 is depressible io release the latch portion 1 10 from the door catch 1 12 when the dirt collection assembly 62 is in the disconnected position to allow the door 102 to move to the open position. The dirt cup latch 104 can be actuated when the dirt collection assembly 62 is in the disconnected position. In the connected position, the dirt collection assembly 62 is supported on a support surface 1 14 of the handle assembly 12, which prevents the door 102 from being able to open; and, the dirt cup latch 104 is inaccessible because it is disposed proximate the spine 52 of the handle assembly 12. In other constructions, other types of dirt cup latches may be employed, such as other configurations of levers, buttons, magnets, rotatable knobs, etc.

[0032] In operation, when the motor 42 is energized, the airflow 13 is drawn by the motor 42. into the vacuum cleaner 10 through the floor nozzle 18 in the base 14. The base 14 directs the airflow 13 into the airflow passageway 26, which directs the airflow 13 into the hose 32 (Fig. 4). The hose 32 directs the airflo 13 into the dirt separator 66 of the dirt collection assembly 62. The airflow 13 then circulates sequentially within the first and second cyclones 78, 80 to remove relatively large dirt and particles from the airflow 13. The airflow 13 also passes through the filter 82 of the dirt collection assembly 62 to remove relatively small dirt and particles from the airflow 13. After passing through the filter 82, the airflow 13 passes through the opening 73 to the impeller 1 16, is directed through the diffuser 68, and toward the motor 42. The cleaned airflow 13 is then exhausted out of the dirt collection assembly 62 through the vents (not shown) in the motor housing 74 and the openings 84 formed in the motor shroud 75,

[0033] The dirt collection assembly 62 is manufactured and assembled together as a subassembly of the vacuum cleaner 10 that is removable from the vacuum cleaner 10 as one unit. That is the motor shroud 75, the dirt separator 66, and the dirt cup 64 are removable together as one unit. The user grasps the dirt collection handle 70, actuates the latch 86 to release the dirt collection assembly 62 to the disconnected position, and lifts the dirt collection assembly 62 from the handle assembly 12 (or from the base 14 or other portion of the vacuum cleaner 10 in other constructions). Then, the user actuates the dirt cup latch 104 to release the door 102 to the open position for emptying dirt from the dirt cup 64. In the disconnected position, the filter 82 can be accessed through the cavity 77 for being changed or cleaned as the cavity 77 no longer receives the motor housing 74. When the dirt collection assembly 62 is in the disconnected position, the dirt separator 66 is no longer fluidly coupled do the suction nozzle 18 and the motor 42.

[0034] Thus, the invention provides, among other things, a vacuum cleaner having a dirt collection assembly that is removable to a disconnected position while keeping the motor electrically coupled with the power source. Various features and advantages of the invention are set forth in the following claims.