What Is the Best Suction Power for a Vacuum Cleaner?

What Is the Best Suction Power for a Vacuum Cleaner

The vacuum’s suction strength is one of the most reliable ways to determine its efficiency and capacity to take out dirt and dust and mold, and other toxins from your home. A high suction capacity is crucial for cleaning dirt and dust from carpets, sofas, and under your mattress. A vacuum cleaner that has lower suction power will be able to clean the dust on top but struggle to remove dirt from deeper. Let’s look at a few of the measurements of suction power in vacuum cleaners.


One of the most basic methods to measure the suction capacity of an air cleaner is by measuring the airspeed. Simply put, it’s the speed at which air is pulled through the suction hoses of the cleaner. It is determined in the form of units of (miles per hour) or the kmph (kilometers per hour) as well as MPs (meters per second). The higher the airspeed, it leads to a vacuum cleaner with greater suction power. But, a faster airspeed demands a larger motor, which demands more energy. Manufacturers may add various attachments for cleaning that improve the efficiency of a vacuum but do not increase its speed.

Airflow is measured in CFM.

One way to determine the suction strength of an air-based vacuum cleaner is by measuring airflow. It is typically expressed in terms of Ft3/m (cubic feet of air per minute) as well as the m3/m (cubic meters/minute) as well as the L/s (liters per second), and the relationship between the three units is as follows:

One cubic foot is 0.0283 cubic meters or 28.3 cubic Liters.

Airflow refers to the amount (length, length x breadth x high) of air that is absorbed through the vacuum within one minute. It is the airflow power from the area that the vacuum cleaner operates upon to the container. Although airflow is one of the most reliable methods to gauge the suction power of a vacuum typically, manufacturers do not use this indicator. If you are looking for a new vacuum cleaner, it’s ideal to discover one with an indicator for airflow. The measurement takes the motor’s power as well as the resistance of the exhaust system into account and provides special suction power. The greater the value of CFM is, the greater the suction capacity of the vacuum cleaner. Most commercial vacuum cleaners feature airflow that ranges from 50-to 100 CFM. One important thing to keep in mind regarding airflow is that the quantity mentioned in the specifications for the vacuum cleaner is usually without considering any other accessories, meaning that the actual suction capacity could be lower than the one stated by the manufacturer.

Air Watts of Output Power

Another measurement method of suction power in the vacuum cleaner is airpower. Air wattage measures the amount that the vacuum cleaner needs per airflow unit through the nozzle. Many manufacturers utilize this measurement to define the suction power of their vacuum cleaners. If you aren’t aware of the air wattage for a vacuum cleaner but do possess the suction sealed as well as CFM value, it’s simple to determine the air wattage with the following formula:

Air Wattage = Sealed Suction (inches of H2O) (CFM) x Airflow (CFM) + 0.117254

A canister-type vacuum needs to have 220 AW, and upright vacuum cleaners must be 200 AW to ensure effectiveness. The top brands like Dyson and Shark offer upright vacuums that can produce the equivalent of 270 AW, which is at the highest air Watts range. In addition, vacuum cleaners equipped with HEPA filters require more air watts as the air has to be squeezed through tiny holes, which demands greater power.

Sealed Suction or Water Lift

The water lift, also known as the sealed suction test, is used to measure the vacuum cleaner’s suction power. It is measured using an inch of H2O. It’s a tube filled with water and then placed in a sealed container. In this experiment, the suction power of a vacuum cleaner corresponds directly to the amount of water inside the tube. After the vacuum has been hooked up to the tube and switched on, it will begin sucking up water—the more water increases, the more suction power a vacuum can provide. But vacuum cleaners aren’t intended for this kind of circumstance. They also have an option to cut off the power in this situation to prevent overheating of the motor.

Watts or Motor Power

Wattage is the primary method manufacturers use to determine electricity to the motor for the vacuum cleaner. It is a commonplace to associate an increased wattage in a vacuum cleaner with more suction power, but this is not the case generally. Other parts of a vacuum cleaner require energy. Therefore, a 1200-watt vacuum cleaner could only require 400 watts of power for suction. The motor indicates how much electricity the vacuum will require to operate. It is not the actual performance of the vacuum. Commercial and industrial vacuum cleaners are rated at watts of 1000-4000. At the same time, the domestic vacuum cleaner is 1000-1600 watts.

Amps or Input Current

Another way to measure the energy that is similar to the watts needed for the operation of a vacuum cleaner is called Amperes or Amps. It’s used to define the current of the vacuum cleaner’s input and energy use. Similar to power, some people have thought that the more the Amps are, the greater the vacuum’s suction power. However, that’s not always the reality. It is important to note that the Amps amount of vacuums is the current used to power all vacuums, not only that of suction. Other systems within the vacuum cleaner make use of electricity, such as the LED light or brush roll. Therefore, using amps to determine the highest suction power for a vacuum can be incorrect. If you want to test two different vacuum cleaners, one has the power rating in watts and the other in Amperes. The conversion is straightforward.

In the United States, volts are equivalent to 120 volts.

Watts/Volts = Amps.

Horse Power

Another term used to describe the effectiveness of the vacuum cleaner is horsepower. It refers to the current during the initial few milliseconds of operating the vacuum cleaner. The power could be increased due to the fact that the temperature of the motor is lower, but it is nothing to do with suction power.

Suction Power Depending Upon Flooring Type

If you have hardwood flooring, a vacuum cleaner with a low suction capacity is sufficient. However, if you’ve got carpeted flooring, you will require a higher suction strength to remove dirt and dust out of the lower layers of carpet. An upright vacuum cleaner with a 180-200 AW suction power is adequate. 200-300+ AW is perfect for a canister cleaner as well as the cordless vacuum cleaner. Anywhere between 80-100 AW is acceptable. However, the Dyson Outsize vacuum can still produce an impressive 220 AW out of its battery!

Suction Power Depending Upon Budget

A low-cost vacuum cleaner will be equipped with a lower sealed suction pressure of 50-60 inches, which could have difficulty lifting large pieces of debris or taking dust off of deeper surfaces. The most expensive vacuum cleaners will have a suction pressure which is around 80inches or more, which improves the efficiency.

Final Thoughts     

It is vital to measure the suction power of a vacuum to gauge its effectiveness. One of the most efficient methods to gauge how powerful a vacuum’s suction is is the airflow and wattage of air. Other measurements like amps or watts will not accurately reflect the efficiency of a vacuum cleaner.

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