Suction Power Watts vs Air Watts

The difference between watts and air watts, and why they're an important indicator of suction power.

Watts are a means of measuring the amount of power that's put into the motor. However, because the output power or suction you receive at the end of the hose depends on the vacuum's design and efficiency, air watts, which measure the output power and suction, are considered a better means of comparison for vacuum cleaners. Remember however, a clogged filter will quickly impair ait watt performance.

Suction Power

If you do use watts as a means of comparison, as a general rule of thumb, the higher the wattage, the greater the power and the better the suction. It's also useful to remember that air watts (or suction power) depend on watts, and to have a high number of air watts the wattage and the energy consumption tends to be higher.

For really effective cleaning, an upright vacuum cleaner will need around 100 air watts and a cylinder vacuum cleaner will need around 220 air watts. It's important that a cylinder vacuum cleaner has a high wattage because more power is required to pull the dust up the tube. Likewise, vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters need more power because it takes a lot of suction to pull all those dust particles through the tightly woven fibres.

Be aware air watts can be dramatically reduced by a blocked filter, so it's important to clean the filter as often as recommended.

Air watts should be shown as a European test standard (IEC60312). If not, the number quoted may not be reliable.

Twice the Power, Half the Energy

The future:

A good measure of performance is one that gives an overall score for air watts and dust pick up. In the next few years, it's likely this will become a standard measure shown on all cleaners, much like the AAA ratings seen on fridges and freezers today.

Buy replacement parts and accessories, including micro and HEPA filters for your vacuum cleaner online directly from the official Hoover Spares shop.

Hoover™ PurePower Upright Vacuum Cleaner
  • 2300 watt motor power
  • Suitable for pet hair removal
Hoover Purepower GreenRay Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner
  • 5 year guarantee
  • Hoover's highest grade hepa filtration
Hoover™ Telios+ Bagged Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner
  • Integrated on board tool storage
  • Variable Power
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