Vacuum Cleaner

Does wattage matter in vacuum cleaners?

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For most people, vacuum cleaner wattage is considered while picking the best model to buy. Various people in this group think the wattage is a determinant of the vacuum cleaner’s performance. But does wattage matter in vacuum cleaners? Can you use the wattage to determine the performance of a vacuum cleaner? Is the vacuum suction and airflow affected by the vacuum cleaner wattage? These questions give vacuum cleaner buyer’s headaches. By the look of things, you’re here too to know more about this. Right? Well, you’re in the right place. This post is here to answer this question to the fullest.

Read along!

What is Vacuum Cleaner Wattage?

What exactly is wattage? Watts is the SI unit of power, and from the layman’s definition, wattage is the power rating of an electrical device. If you transfer this to vacuum cleaners, it means the vacuum motor’s input power, labeled in watts. Even though wattage specification doesn’t affect the motor efficiency, the number of fans, or the vacuum cleaner’s overall design, the motor wattage is a factor in evaluating and comparing the power motor.

The wattage rating of a vacuum cleaner also tells you the power the generator consumes every time you operate it. Most of the time, manufacturers won’t list this specification but will give you the amperage of the vacuum cleaner motor and the voltage rating. That way, you’re supposed to calculate the wattage using the two specs. Here is the formula:

Wattage = Voltage x Amperage

Example: If your vacuum cleaner motor is rated 11.5 amps, 120-volt, then its power rating should be;
11.5 amps x 120 volts = 1380 watts

It’s that simple! So, what you’ve got here is the amount of power the vacuum cleaner requires to operate correctly. And to clarify this, this is the amount of electricity the motor consumes from a power source, not the entire vacuum cleaner. If your model has lights, steamer, or other features consuming electricity, they will have their wattage rating.

To answer the question does wattage matters in vacuum cleaners, the answer is yes if you want to know the amount of power the whole vacuum cleaner consumes. And if you’re going to see the power consumption in an hour, you have to calculate the wattage of all electrical parts of the vacuum cleaner and add them up. You will then multiply the answer with 1-hour to get watt-hours.

For instance: in our previous example, the vacuum cleaner motor was rated 1380 watts, and let’s assume it has a light system rated 5-watts; the total is 1385 watts. If you multiple this with 1-hour, you get 1385 watt-hour. You can convert this to kWh by dividing it by 1000, which would be 1.385 kWh.

In short, the wattage of a vacuum cleaner explains the vacuum cleaner’s power consumption. You must understand this when you want to use the same concept while picking a vacuum cleaner.

Does wattage matter in vacuum cleaner suction?

For most people, the answer is automatic, yes. But as aforementioned, the wattage is only a measure of how much electricity or power the vacuum cleaner consumes. That is the consumption measurement instead of the power output measurement or rather a performance. It says nothing about the vacuum cleaner suction. So, the answer is NO. Wattage doesn’t matter in the vacuum cleaner suction. A higher wattage vacuum cleaner won’t necessarily mean it has more robust suction. It might even be vice versa. The higher wattage model would mean more power bills for you. The rate of a vacuum cleaner’s performance can only be determined by the airflow and suction, not wattage.

Vacuum Cleaner Suction

Vacuum suction or pull is the water lift or vacuum. Ultimately, this is a thing that gives air extra speed or velocity, delivered by a vacuum motor. The more suction your vacuum cleaner, the quicker the air volume is moved to the airflow. The pulling of the vacuum head is determined by the motor’s overall suction and the motor’s airflow.

Suckometer Gauge measures vacuum cleaner suction, and it gives the amount of suction in water lift in inches. The measurement shows how high in inches the suction can lift in a column of water. The suction or vacuum figure measured here and represented as water lift is an excellent rating to use if you want to evaluate the vacuum cleaner’s performance. All the vacuum cleaner manufacturer has the measurements readily available.

Vacuum Airflow

Vacuum cleaner airflow is also referred to as CFM, a measure of air volume displaced in a vacuum system in cubic feet per minute. It’s also at times measure in liters per second. You can also state it as what moves the dirt along the suction that picked it up. Same way wind carries away dust particles.

As you can see, the two, suction and airflow, need to exist for a vacuum cleaner to pick up dirt. It’s both elements that give you a clear picture of your vacuum cleaner performance. Apart from the suction, the other thing that affects airflow is the resistance present in the vacuum cleaner hose, filtration system, attachment, and accessories. That’s why the vacuum cleaner design and its accessories matter, not just its specifications.

Relationship between Vacuum Cleaner Suction, Airflow, and Wattage

The three are interconnected via the vacuum motor responsible for creating the suction and airflow. Wattage might not matter when it comes to determining a vacuum cleaner’s performance, but it will determine the amount of power the motor takes in from the power source. As explained in this post, wattage doesn’t matter much. However, to understand the amount of energy the unit consumes when the suction and airflow picks up the dirt and debris, you will need the motor rating.

Final thoughts!

Does wattage matter in vacuum cleaners? No, unless you want to know the vacuum cleaner’s power consumption, which isn’t that important in the current market. Many manufacturers are trying hard to produce energy-saving vacuum cleaners. For this reason, most vacuum cleaners have almost the same wattage, both big and small.

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About the author

Shamim Hasan

I am the author of TheHomeGears, 28 years old. After completing my master's degree, I am now a full-time blogger. I love collecting useful gadgets for my home to make it more convenient.

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