Power, Suction and Energy Efficiency
Did you know that the most powerful vacuums don’t necessarily have the best suction? If you take a closer look at EU energy labels, you’ll discover lots of information; this includes the machine’s energy efficiency, which floors it’s suitable for, and how much dust can escape. All of these details are worth considering before you invest in a new vacuum cleaner.
You can compare the power of different corded vacuums by looking at the motor’s wattage.
Most are between 700 W and 1200 W, while the most powerful models are currently as high as 1600 W. A higher power level is more important in a cylinder vacuum than an upright one – the dirt has further to travel up the hose, often relying on suction alone rather than a beater brush rotating.
It’s a common assumption that a motor with higher wattage will result in better cleaning of your home. However, there is some debate as to how true this is. Some people argue that the machine can be designed for high performance on a low wattage – for example, not all of the power is used for suction, with some being lost as noise and heat.
The European Union imposed new rules in September 2014, limiting vacuum cleaner motors to 1600 W. From 2017, this is going to reduce to 900 W. It is, however, worth noting that these regulations will only apply to mains power cleaners, and not to rechargeable, robot, or handheld models.
The stronger the suction, the more dust and dirt a vacuum cleaner will pick up in a single pass.
There isn’t any debate as to how important this is, although it can be difficult to assess without trying out different models.
To help buyers compare suction, some manufacturers measure the air watts of their cleaners. These units take into account how much air is moving through the vacuum, to assess its efficiency at converting power into suction. This means that air watts give a better indication of an appliance’s performance than motor watts – you should look for 200 air watts or more.
No Loss of Suction
We’ve explained the benefits of cyclonic technology in our features section. By moving the air in a spiral motion, suction is kept at its maximum, for consistently great cleaning results, even as your machine gets older.
While we all want powerful cleaning, it’s important to balance this with energy efficiency.
You can save on running costs and do your bit for the planet by choosing an efficient model.
Like most household appliances, vacuum cleaners must now be given an EU energy rating. The label will indicate where it falls on the A to G scale, with A being the most efficient and G the least. From 2017, we’ll also see the introduction of A+++ rating for the best performing models.
The energy label also shows how efficient the appliance is on hard floor and carpet separately, and whether or not it can be used on both. There will also be a rating for how much dust is re-emitted into the air, which is worth considering for allergy sufferers. Again, battery powered rechargeable vacuums do not need to be given any of these EU ratings.
There will also be a rating for how much dust is re-emitted into the air, which is worth considering for allergy sufferers.