Vacuum Cleaners: Suction VS Airflow

Oct 7 07:09 2010 Claude Whitacre Print This Article

You find vacuum cleaners with twelve amps of power. Is that a lot? Are Amps important? How does this affect suction? Let us find out.

This article is about vacuum cleaners,Guest Posting but it is true for any appliance what uses an electric motor.

You see vacuum cleaners advertised as having twelve amp motors. The truth is, this only means that the motor uses twelve amps of electricity. This amperage measurement does not tell you if the motor is of high quality or not. This doesn’t tell you if the motor is durable, has lots of suction, or moves a lot of air.

Your home is wired to accept a twelve amp appliance. So the most "electricity hungry" appliances use that amount of electricity. Toasters, hair dryers, and heaters all use this much electricity. Measuring amps in a vacuum cleaner is like measuring milage in a car. The milage doesn’t tell you about the quality of the car, or its performance. It only tells you how much gas the motor needs to run.

Suction is about how forcefully the motor can extract air from a space. Canister vacuum cleaners generally have more suction than upright vacuums, because the motors are designed differently. Most upright motors are designed to move air rapidly. The faster the airflow, the faster the vacuum picks up the dirt. The more suction the vacuum has, the more weight it will pull if you seal the end of the nozzle.

Have you ever seen a vacuum cleaner pick up a bowling ball? It shows great suction, but no airflow. The airflow is what picks up the dirt.

And at sea level, air pressure is fifteen pounds per square inch. Since suction is just a matter of reducing the amount of air in a space, the amount of suction a vacuum cleaner has is severely limited. No vacuum cleaner ever made could have more suction that fifteen ponds per square inch.

But the speed of the air? That can be increase based on the area the air is traveling through, and the air pressure behind it. Airflow has no real upper limit.

Fo example, a vacuum cleaner that has airflow of one hundred gallons of air per minute is going to do a fantastic job of moving the dirt off of your carpet, and into the bag or canister.

But the amount of amps? It doesn’t translate to efficient airflow. The amount of suction? It also doesn’t translate to airflow.

When shopping for a vacuum cleaner, ask about te airflow speed and volume. That will tell you whether the vacuum will clean or not.

I hope this helps.

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About Article Author

Claude Whitacre
Claude Whitacre

Vacuum cleaner reviewer Claude Whitacre owns The Sweeper Store in Wooster Ohio. He serves the Akron Ohio, Cleveland Ohio, Medina Ohio, Canton Ohio, and Holmes County areas.You can see review videos at or read reviews at

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