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 a wealth of information. They include the machine’s energy efficiency, which floors it’s suitable for, and how much dust can escape into the air. 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 900 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, some people argue that machines 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.
Steam cleaners, wet and dry vacuums and carpet washers also use power in watts, but this is generally higher than in corded vacuums.
Any model with a rechargeable battery – including cordless vacuum cleaners and floor sweepers – has its power measured in voltage.
Steam cleaners have an additional pressure rating, which usually comes between 1.5 and 4.5 bars.
A higher power level is more important in a cylinder vacuum than an upright one.
The European Union imposed new rules in September 2017, limiting new vacuum cleaners to 900 W of power and 80 dB of noise. It’s worth noting that these regulations only apply to corded cleaners, and not to rechargeable, robot, handheld, steam or carpet washer models.
The stronger the suction, the more dust and dirt a vacuum cleaner will pick up in a single pass. This can be difficult to assess without trying out different models for yourself.
The stronger the suction, the more dust and dirt a vacuum cleaner will pick up in a single pass.
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.
NO LOSS OF SUCTION
We explain 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 ages.
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 D scale, with A+++ being the most efficient and D the least.
You can also find the noise level on the energy efficiency label. If you want a quieter cleaner, a lower number of decibels is key.
The energy label also shows how efficient the appliance is on hard floors and carpets
separately, whether or not it can be used on both, and how much energy it uses per year. There will also be a rating for how much dust is re-emitted into the air, which is worth considering for allergy sufferers. Rechargeable vacuum cleaners 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.