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How Much Watts Is Good For My Vacuum

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It is quite important to understand watts specifications of appliances before shopping to ensure you get the right product and avoid tripping the circuit breaker or skyrocketing your electricity bills. To understand how many watts is needed for a vacuum cleaner, you need to consider a lot of factors.

How Much Watts Is Good For My Vacuum cleaner

Manufacturers indicate electrical motor watts on the products and most vacuum cleaners run at 1000 watts, but it really depends on your purpose for getting one. Industrial and commercial vacuum cleaners range between 1000- 4000W, while vacuum cleaners for smaller spaces are between 1000 – 1500W. For daily cleaning of a small apartment 250 – 350W is just good enough. However, if you will be spending a long time cleaning, perhaps for an organization or a larger house, you can get a vacuum cleaner with a higher wattage. Cordless vacuum range between 20- 200 watts and corded vacuum cleaners are about 1000 – 2000 watts.

You should note that Watts say little about the performance of a vacuum cleaner and you have to keep in mind your type of floor, apartment size, presence or absence of pets and lot more.

Is More Watts the Best?

You are probably thinking “Isn’t a lower wattage less effective?” Shocking but NO. Most vacuum suppliers have constantly sold watts as the major factor that determines effectiveness. When you think about it deeply, you realize the suction power (Air Watts) is what determines the rate of the cleaning performance.

The electrical motor power (Watts) is used to measure energy which means it is only an indication of how much electrical power is needed to run the machine. In the case of a vacuum cleaner it is the consumption measurement and not a power output measurement. A 1500 Watts vacuum cleaner is simply saying it can use 1500W of electricity in an hour.

When thinking about Watts, you should consider how many hours it takes you to clean rather than its cleaning performance.

What Exactly is Suction Power (Air Watts)?

The major function of a vacuum cleaner is to suck up dirt into the fixed bag or chamber. For that the motor requires power to create a perfect pressure inside out and it is called suction power. In simple terms, the suction power determines how well the vacuum cleans which is a priority.

Now that you know air watts is more important, how then do you measure and know the right amount of air watts needed for a perfect cleaning. You also need a low suction power for dirt that are easy to remove and a high suction power for dirt that are not easy to remove. So when choosing a vacuum, you have to consider the places you’d be cleaning.

How Is Suction Power Measured?

Suction power can be measured in various unit ; Air flow or cubic feet per minute (CPM), Water lift (sealed suction) Air watts.

Measuring with Air flow or cubic feet per minute (CPM).

This is usually not listed on the product’s features but it is important. Cubic feet per minute measures the flow of air from the surface to the bag or chamber.

The suction hose, wands and other attachments must be disconnected to get the actual measurement. A great suction power is shown by high cubic feet per minute.

Most vacuum cleaners are about 50 – 100 CPM. Note : The CPM decreases as you add the hose, filter and other accessories. It is estimated that a quality filter can decrease the CPM by 30%.

Measuring with Water lift.

Water lift which is also called sealed suction is how many inches the motor will lift a 1” column of water. The unit is sealed and connected to a tube in water, if the water rises then the suction power is high. Though this might not work for all vacuum cleaners as some have tendencies of overheating. Typical domestic vacuum cleaners suction around 20 kilo pascal (kPa) the unit in which it is measured.

How Is Suction Power Measured

Measuring with Air Watts.

This is measured by the amount of watts used by the motor to carry a unit of air through the vacuum’s nozzle. This is a more accurate measurement compared to water lift and cubic feet per minute. It is also easier to calculate for people who have done cubic feet per minute (CPM). To get the air watts, you can calculate 0.117254 multiplied by the CPM and water lift.

How Much Air Watts Is Best For A Vacuum Cleaner?

Smaller vacuum have less suction power compared to bigger ones so if you are looking for a vacuum for a small home or office, a moderate level of 100 air watt is good enough. For a large house or store or an industrial area, you will need a more higher unit and about 180 – 200 air watt is great.

You should know most manufacturers do not state this publicly and you might have to do the test yourself. You should consider your floor too. A wool carpet will need more air watts compared to a tiled floor and what will excellently clean a titled floor is certainly different for a wood floor.

A higher level of air watts is more important in a cylinder vacuum cleaner compared to an upright one as particles will be traveling more distance to the bag. An upright vacuum should be around 100 air watts and a cylinder vacuum uses about 200 watts.


A vacuum with a high air watt comes with pros as well as cons. They can be loud which leads to noise pollution. An extensive JHMe use also results to high energy consumption. Furthermore, there are tendencies of over heating which wears out the vacuum in a short while. ss

Here are top 4 vacuum cleaners with good suction power to consider when shopping.



Dyson v11 outsize vacuum cleaner 185AW

Shark apex duoclean 270AW

Dyson ball animal 2 270AW

Kenmore elite 31150 280AW

Miele complete c3 350 AW

How To Improve The Suction Power (Air watts) Of A Vacuum Cleaner.

Regardless of brand and electrical motor watts, there are tips you can and should take to manage and utilize your vacuum’s suction power.

Step 1 : Always confirm you are having the right settings before use.

Step 2: Replace the bag and filter periodically.

Step 3 : Detach the hose and clean it properly.

Step 4 : Always make sure it is air tight.

Step 5: Change the belt when it worns out.

Step 6: Remove obstacles.


With all said, you should have a better understanding on how much watt is good for a vacuum cleaner, and the differences and importance between electrical motor watt and suction power (air watt).

A high suction power is needed to excellently clean but you should always find a vacuum with balanced specifications such as noise level, easy maneuvering, weight and shape.

Paying attention to the instruction manual will help you better utilize the machine. To save electricity, you can also opt for standard Energy efficient vacuum cleaner. Good luck with your vacuum cleaner.