What is Good Suction Power For A Vacuum Cleaner

Suction Power

Suction power is one of the most important factors when choosing a vacuum cleaner. But what exactly is suction power, and how much do you need? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about choosing a vacuum with the right amount of suction power for your needs.

When picking up dust, a vacuum with more suction strength is preferable to one with less suction. Therefore, a vacuum with strong suction may provide high performance and aid you in cleaning.

How can Vacuum Suction be Determined?

Even though most people own a vacuum cleaner, the vast majority are still unaware of the distinctions between high and low suction. Therefore, to gain a clear image of these two kinds, it is suggested to monitor its air intake, which may be done in many ways.

Here are several methods for evaluating a vacuum’s suction capacity:

1. Use the Power in Watts of Air

The number of watts required to move one air unit via the vacuum’s nozzle is the standard by which this method is measured. The vacuum cleaner’s suction effectiveness might thus be evaluated in this manner. This is effective for those familiar with the cleaner’s water lift and CFM.

The typical method for determining an Airwatt is as follows:

  • P = 0.117354 x F x S


  • P is the output in Airwatts.
  • The flow rate is expressed in cubic feet per minute (CFM).
  • Suction capacity, denoted by “S,” is measured in inches of water.
  • Keep in mind that there may be variations in the formula between brands of vacuum cleaners.

2. Use Cubic Feet Per Minute (CFM) or Airflow

Airflow from a vacuum’s surfaces to its bags or bins per minute is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). Power consumption of the exhaust system’s bag, filter, and fan components may be calculated using this measurement.

If a particular vacuum cleaner has a higher CFM, this indicates that it has a more substantial suction power. To accurately measure the CFM, you must first separate the wands and the suction hose before using it.

3. Make Use of Amperage and Watts

The current level flowing through an electrical circuit indicates an engine’s strength. It distributes electrical energy to other equipment components, resulting in decreased dependability.

Watts are often used to measure the amount of power a motor uses but not the degree of performance of a vacuum cleaner.

4. Get a Lift with Water

You may have heard of this technique called “seal suction.” First, the procedure requires the unit to be sealed. The next step is to attach it to a tube containing water. In the event of a rise in water level, the intense suction will also increase.

However, it may only work with some models of vacuums due to variations in their systems for preventing overheating.

You may now accurately evaluate the vacuum’s sucking ability with the help of these methods. In addition, you can select the method(s) described above that best suits your needs.

Vacuum Suction Power Chart

Air Watts80 to 100 AW
Air Flow125 CFM and higher
Water Lift33.9 feet

To What Extent should a Vacuum’s Suction Power be Increased?

1. Airspeed

The airspeed is one of the most simple measurements to approximate a vac cleaner’s suction power.

Suction is the rate at which air is sucked into the hose of a vacuum cleaner. The speed may be expressed in miles per hour, kilometers per hour, or milliseconds (meters per second).

The suction power of a vacuum is enhanced by increasing the air velocity. However, a more powerful motor is needed, and hence more energy, for a more incredible velocity. Manufacturers may also equip vacuums with various cleaning attachments, which boosts their effectiveness without increasing their airflow.

2. CFM-Measured Airflow

The airflow of a vacuum is one indicator of its suction strength. The conversion factor between cubic feet per minute (ft3/m), cubic meters per minute (m3/m), and litres per second (L/s) is as follows:

  • The 28.3 litres (or one cubic foot) equals 0.0283 meters (or one cubic foot).
  • The airflow of a vacuum cleaner is the amount of air drawn into the machine in one minute (length x width x height). It indicates the strength of the air current between the floor and the trash can.

Despite airflow being one of the few reliable indicators of a vacuum’s suction strength, manufacturers seldom use it. Therefore, you should prioritize finding a vacuum with an airflow indication.

This evaluation method provides reliable suction power since it factors in both the motor’s output and the exhaust system’s resistance. A vacuum cleaner’s suction strength will be proportional to the amount of CFM; hence, a more significant CFM number will result in a more potent suction.

The airflow of most commercial vacuum cleaners falls between 50 and 100 CFM.

Remember that the airflow number shown on the vacuum cleaner’s specs may not account for any attachments, so that the real suction power may be less than the manufacturer claims.

3. Power Output in Terms of Airwatts

Air watts is another way to quantify a vacuum’s suction power. Air watts are the energy needed to move one cubic foot through the vacuum’s nozzle. Many brands widely use this unit as a standard measurement of vacuum cleaner suction.

4. Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

If you know the vacuum’s sealed suction and CFM value but not its air wattage, you can quickly figure it out using the following formula:

Inches of water vacuum pressure multiplied by cubic feet per minute of airflow yield air wattage.

If you want your canister vacuum to be effective, it needs 220 AW of power, but your upright vacuum needs 200 AW. Upright vacuum cleaners from upscale manufacturers like Dyson and Shark reach a peak performance of 270 air watts (AW).

In addition, vacuum cleaners that use HEPA filters demand a higher wattage of air since the air is pushed through smaller pores.

5. Speeds or Engine Power

A vacuum cleaner’s wattage is the most typical indicator of the strength of its electric motor.

It is a common misconception that a vacuum cleaner’s suction capability directly correlates to its watts. This is because a vacuum cleaner’s power consumption isn’t limited to only the motor. For this reason, a vacuum with a 1200-watt motor could only need 400 watts to provide suction.

A vacuum’s motor power solely refers to how much electricity it requires to run, not how well it does its job. The wattage of commercial and industrial vacuum cleaners is between 1000 and 4000, whereas the wattage of a typical household vacuum cleaner is between 1000 and 1600.

6. Amps or Current Input

Amperes, like watts, are a unit of measurement for the energy a device uses. For example, it measures a vacuum cleaner’s input current or energy consumption.

Some may mistakenly believe that the Amps of a vacuum cleaner directly correlate to its suction power, much like the watts. It’s only sometimes the case, however.

A vacuum’s Amps rating refers to its total electrical input, not simply its suction capability. Several other vacuum cleaner components also need electricity, such as the LED lights and the brush roll. Accordingly, comparing vacuum cleaners’ suction strength based on their amps alone might be deceiving.

It’s simple to convert between watts and amps if comparing two vacuum cleaners with differing power ratings. A current of one ampere equals one watt multiplied by one volt.

7. Amount of Horsepower

Horsepower is another measurement used to characterize the performance of a vacuum. It represents the amount of electricity flowing through the vacuum cleaner’s wiring in the first few moments after being turned on.

Again, because of the low temperature of the motor, the horsepower may be exaggerated, but this has nothing to do with the actual suction power.

Is There a Way to Test the Suction Power of a Vacuum?

A great vacuum, naturally, has strong suction. Filters, motors, suction, and airflow all contribute to how well your household vacuum cleans.

If you take good care of this cleaning instrument, you may expect it to perform at its highest level. You may accomplish this by rotating the brushes, replacing the bags, or cleaning the filters.

However, how can you test the suction power of your domestic vacuum cleaner? To put it simply, air watts are required here.

Using air watts, you can calculate how many watts of power are needed to move one cubic foot of air through a vacuum’s nozzle. Suction power is most accurately measured in air watts. If you know this cleaning instrument’s water lift in cubic feet per minute (CFM), you will have a far better grasp of how it functions.

What Is the Most Potent Suction You Can Get For Vacuums?

Vacuum suction strength is affected by both internal and external causes. To ensure maximum suction strength during testing, consider using the vacuum without the HEPA filter or a bag.

The effectiveness of vacuum cleaners’ suction has yet to be evaluated. Therefore, the accepted metric is AW. However, you can only take a reading once it reaches a particular critical value. Therefore, there is some uncertainty in the accuracy of the watt, amperage, and IMO readings.

The most significant measured vacuum suction power is 200 CFM. However, the vacuum head wasn’t included when it was stolen. More importantly, once you connect items to the device, the suction force reduces dramatically. Therefore, 45 CFM is the bare minimum for vacuum cleaner suction power.

What Is an Adequate Amount of Suction Power?

Your vacuum’s suction power should be adjusted accordingly. The normal range for the unit’s power requirements is between 1500 and 3000 watts.

A vacuum with 250-320 watts of suction power is enough for basic cleaning in a studio or one-bedroom apartment. However, this little area may also be cleaned using a regular canister vacuum with a reasonable amount of suction force.

However, a more robust vacuum cleaner is required for more intensive cleaning tasks, such as those performed in ample retail or industrial space.

Is the Suction Strength of a Canister Vacuum Stronger than that of an Upright?

Canister vacuums have more of an effect than upright vacuums. That’s because connecting the telescoping wand to its hose adds length, and the canisters have to be compensated for that.

In contrast, upright vacuums’ brush rolls and sweeping heads are located near the machines’ bags. There’s also a beater bar or revolving brush roll that does nothing to help the vacuum’s suction.

In addition, the plastic bins or bags on upright vacuums are often larger. Therefore, the suction power of full-size upright vacuum cleaners is less than that of their smaller counterparts.


Are 600 Watts Good for a Vacuum Cleaner?

This will be particularly helpful inside houses with a significant amount of bare floor space. In addition, the motor’s 600 watts should be sufficient for cleaning areas with heavy foot activity.

How many Watts does a Vacuum Cleaner need?

You may use a vacuum cleaner to remove dirt and dust from the flooring. There is a diverse selection of models available for use as vacuum cleaners. The electricity required to run a vacuum cleaner may vary from 450 to 2500 watts. The average household vacuum uses 1400 watts of electricity.

What is an Airwatt?

An air watt is a unit of measurement for the relationship between airflow, vacuum, and electrical power required. This value is derived in accordance with the worldwide standards set out by ASTM, and it is as follows:

  • P represents the power in air watts.
  • F represents the airflow in cubic feet per minute.
  • S represents the water lift.
  • A central vacuum’s efficiency may be gauged by looking at the air watts, representing the motor’s overall performance. It later becomes beneficial when contrasting two central vacuums.


If you want to use a vacuum to clean your house, you should choose one that can effectively remove dust and grime from the air. To determine whether a canister or upright unit suits your needs, you must first get familiar with the cleaning tasks.

Richman Aurthur

Hey, it's me, Richman Arthur - your cleaning guru with 18 years of vacuum wizardry under my belt. Let's chase away those pesky dust tumbleweeds and make cleaning fun

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