Understanding Vacuum Cleaner Specifications

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Understanding a massive variety of perplexing specs is one of the most tough factors of choosing a new vacuum purifier. First and foremost, consumers want vacuum cleaners that offer the best cleaning capacity. And most customers normally equate cleansing capability with “strength” or “suction”.

Cleaning ability is not pretty much strength and suction, even though these attributes are essential elements of commercial upright vacuum cleaner purifier performance. With a little information and education, you will be capable of sift through the numbers and higher understand what the specifications imply and which ones are important to you.

Unfortunately, there is no single score that shows cleansing potential. However, there are some of number one specifications, that once absolutely understood, permit clients to make educated selections concerning which vacuum cleanser could have the quality cleansing ability.

These primary specifications encompass watts, amps, volts, water lift (or sealed suction), horsepower, air watts, and airflow.

There also are some of different, secondary specs that affect cleansing potential that we’ll additionally observe. These encompass filtration, cleaning equipment (agitation), capacity, great, noise, features and cost.

In order to make feel of all this we first need to apprehend the basics of how a vacuum cleaner works.

All vacuum cleaners perform based on air flowing from the opening on the cleaning head or tool, via the vacuum cleaner and the bag and/or clear out gadget after which out the exhaust port. This airflow is created via the vacuum motor, which additionally may be called the suction motor.

The vacuum motor consists of electric additives connected to a fan or more than one lovers. When the fans spin, a partial vacuum is created and the stress in the vacuum cleanser drops beneath the ambient (or existing) air stress inside the room. Because air stress is better outside the vacuum purifier than inner, air rushes via the vacuum cleaner.

So, it is straightforward to look that the vacuum motor is the heart of a vacuum cleaner. After all, the more effective the motor, the extra the pressure differential and therefore the extra suction and airflow, right? And it is for this reason that maximum of the specs you spot regarding cleaning capability relate both at once or indirectly to the motor.

But right here’s in which it gets elaborate. Specifications for additives including the motor do now not always relate to the overall performance of the entire vacuum cleaner, and therefore are only a part of the tale.

Let’s check the primary specs one after the other:


The enter electricity of the vacuum motor is measured in watts. Although this specification would not remember the efficiency of the motor, the range of lovers or the overall vacuum cleanser layout, motor wattage is a legitimate manner to assess and examine the electricity of the motor.

While the correct comparison is motor input power in watts of Product A compared to motor enter energy in watts of Product B, some producers do now not provide motor enter energy specifications within the form of watts but rather fee the whole vacuum cleanser in amps. This can make it hard to evaluate throughout manufacturers.

However, you can convert amps to watts by the system, amps x a hundred and twenty (volts) = watts. Or conversely, you may convert watts to amps by means of the formulation, watts/volts (continually 120) = amps. For instance, a 1400-watt motor converts to 11.67 amps (1400/a hundred and twenty=11.Sixty seven).

Comparing machines rated in amps with those rated in watts is not an actual evaluation because manufacturers which are the use of watt rankings typically price the motor best at the same time as amperage scores use the overall electrical consumption of the vacuum cleanser consisting of the motor within the power nozzle (the motorized revolving brush cleaning head), light bulb, and many others.

This method that a Power Team (a canister vacuum purifier with a electricity nozzle) with a specification of 12 amps is probably pretty akin to another Power Team with a 1200-watt motor that converts to most effective 10 amps.

This is because the power nozzle motor consumes 1.5 amps, the bulb makes use of extra amperage and so forth. So, if we subtract the amperage used by the electricity nozzle motor from our 12 amp device, we give you 10.Five amps for the motor and light bulb. In this example, the two automobiles both have ratings of very near 10 amps, and consequently, equal motor input electricity.

Therefore, it’s far great to both examine motor enter energy in watts of each machines or if you have to evaluate a device rated in watts with one rated in amps, try to get the amperage rating of the motor most effective as opposed to the complete vacuum cleaner. You can then convert this to watts and have a significant comparison.


A very commonplace vacuum purifier specification is amps. The amperage score designates the most amount of electrical modern utilized by all the vacuum cleaner’s electric components whilst operating. The biggest customer of electrical cutting-edge can be the vacuum motor, however the amperage rating consists of all the electric components, inclusive of the vacuum motor, the electricity nozzle motor, the mild bulb, and so forth.

The maximum amp “draw,” (the quantity of amps the vacuum cleaner makes use of whilst going for walks) allowed for any equipment that plugs right into a popular household outlet is 12. Therefore, if you see amperage scores above 12, study the great print, as they are not real amperage specs however a few other manufacturer developed “performance score” designed to create the impact of a more powerful vacuum purifier.

Although amperage refers to strength consumption and now not energy or cleaning potential per se, it can be used to compare the enter electricity of one vacuum cleaner to every other. This is due to the fact at the same time as input energy is measured in watts, amps are transformed into watts via multiplying by volts. Since volts are regular at 120, amps constitute a valid assessment of motor enter power.

Again, as cited above, when making this assessment, try and get the amp score of the motor most effective in place of the complete device.

Therefore, amp ratings provide us a method of evaluating the enter power of a vacuum motor and the vacuum cleanser as a whole and are a meaningful specification for comparison purposes. But once more, they’re best a part of the tale. After all, simply due to the fact a motor or vacuum cleanser consumes extra energy, this doesn’t make it a better cleanser.

The amps specification also does not recollect how green the motor is, in addition to different layout elements, together with whether the motor has one or two fans (two isn’t always higher than one) and the overall efficiency of the vacuum cleaner layout.


In the United States, standard household present day operates at a hundred and twenty volts on the meter. Voltage within a home is every so often known as “one hundred ten” and that is due to the fact there can be voltage drops thru the residence wiring. But not to fear, appliances are designed to operate within a number voltages from one hundred ten to one hundred twenty.

For the purposes of understanding vacuum cleanser specifications the only issue approximately voltage we really need to understand is the formula, amps x volts = watts and conversely, watts/volts = amps. When doing these calculations use one hundred twenty volts for U.S. Appliances.

Water Lift (Sealed Suction)

The sealed suction of a vacuum purifier is measured in inches of water elevate. This rating is taken while the motor is totally sealed, and the term refers to how many inches the motor will vertically raise a 1″ column of water.

Water raise is what offers a vacuum cleanser the strength to select up or “lift” particles from the ground floor, while airflow then eliminates it to the dirt bag. Vacuum cleaners with more inches of water lift could have an easier time choosing up sand and different heavier soils from carpet and flooring.

Water raise is also a measure of a vacuum cleanser’s capability to address resistance in the vacuum purifier. This is mainly important in HEPA or excessive filtration vacuum cleaners which have extra resistance because of the extra filters that the air has to pass via.

A true water elevate score additionally indicates that a vacuum purifier will hold performing at high tiers as the dust bag or container fills and the filters “load” or regularly fill with fine particulate and come to be more and more resistant to air passing thru.

The water carry of a vacuum cleanser is any other useful indicator of performance in that it’s far a way of comparing the suction of 1 motor to some other and, usually speakme, the greater water raise the better.


This is a rating that was used by and large for marketing functions and had little or no relation to hoover purifier overall performance inside the actual international. Thankfully, it’s been largely finished away with as a vacuum purifier specification.

Often referred to as “Peak Horsepower” those scores have been acquired with the aid of casting off the fanatics from the vacuum motor and subjecting it to the most load possible earlier than the motor burned out. Then, a complicated method turned into applied to give you a Peak Horsepower score. Again, this specification is meaningless in phrases of evaluating the cleansing capacity of a vacuum purifier.

Air Watts

As we have mentioned, common vacuum electricity specs such as watts and amps measure the vacuum cleanser’s input energy. Central vacuum makers, as well as a few other vacuum cleanser producers, had been using the air watts specification to try and price the vacuum cleanser’s output in place of enter energy. Air watts are calculated using the formula, (Air Flow (in CFM) x Vacuum (in inches of water carry))/8.5 = Air Watts.

Once once more, there is some query as to whether that is a beneficial specification or only a new score to in addition confuse purchasers and make comparisons difficult. After all, whilst you do the calculations, an air watt comes to zero.9983 watt or just about the same as an everyday watt.

It is important no longer to confuse air watts with airflow, the most crucial specification of all.


Airflow is by means of a long way the most critical specification in phrases of figuring out the cleansing ability of a vacuum purifier. Measured in cubic toes consistent with minute (CFM), it’s miles the force of this airflow across a floor that picks up the dirt and movements it to the dirt bag or box. Therefore, the extra airflow, the better the cleaning capability of the vacuum cleanser.

Airflow is an great specification as it takes into consideration each the power of the vacuum motor, which creates suction, as well as the resistance of the bag and clear out device that this air must pass through.

Airflow is typically measured thru the vacuum cleaner without hose or attachments linked. Because of this, there are numerous factors that could affect actual airflow, together with turbulence inside the hose and wands, restrictions on airflow wherein the cleansing tool meets the floor or other surface, improved resistance due to the bag filling with dust, in addition to filter loading.

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