Understanding Vacuum Cleaner Specifications

Understanding vacuum cleaner specifications is one of the most challenging aspects of selecting a new vacuum cleaner. Without a doubt, consumers want vacuum cleaners that provide the best cleaning ability. Typically, most consumers equate cleaning ability with "power" or "suction." The primary vacuum cleaner specifications that show the power of a vacuum cleaner include watts, amps, volts, water lift (or sealed suction), horsepower, air watts, and airflow. Here is a brief explanation of each of the terms.

Understanding vacuum cleaner specifications is key when obtaining the best vacuum cleaner

Understanding vacuum cleaner specifications


The inputpower of the vacuum cleaner motor is measured in watts. Even though this specification does not take into account the efficiency of the motor, the number of fans, or the overall vacuum cleaner design, motor wattage is a valid way to evaluate and compare the motor's power.


One of the most common vacuum cleaner specifications is amps. The amperage rating designates the maximum amount of electrical current used by all of the electrical components in a vacuum cleaner when they are operating. The biggest consumer of electrical current will be the vacuum motor. Therefore, the amperage rating includes all electrical components, including the vacuum motor, the power nozzle motor, and the light bulb. The maximum amp "draw," which is the number of amps the vacuum cleaner uses when running allowed for any appliance that plugs into a standard household outlet is 12. 


In the United States, standard household current operates at 120 volts at the meter. Voltage within a home is sometimes called "110" because there may be voltage drops through the house wiring. However, there is no need to worry. Appliances are designed to operate within a range of 110 to 120 voltages.

Water Lift (Sealed Suction)

A water lift gives a vacuum cleaner the power to pick up or "lift" debris from the floor surface. The airflow then removes it from the dust bag. Vacuum cleaners with more inches of water lift will have an easier time picking up sand and other heavier soils from carpet and flooring. Water lift is also a measure of a vacuum cleaner's ability to deal with resistance within the vacuum cleaner.

When shopping, you should always look into the cleaning ability of a vacuum cleaner

Cleaning ability of a vacuum cleaner


Vacuum airflow is by far the most crucial specification in determining the cleaning ability of a vacuum cleaner. It is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). Airflow is the force of this airflow across a surface that picks up the dirt and transfers it to the dust bag or container. The more airflow, the better the cleaning ability of the vacuum cleaner.

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