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