How do I know if my vacuum is powerful?

Answered by Jarrod Smith

When it comes to determining the power of a vacuum, there are two main indicators that can help you assess its performance: water lift and airflow. These two factors work together to provide an overall measure of the vacuum’s suction capabilities.

Firstly, let’s talk about water lift. This refers to the maximum height in millimeters of a column of water that the vacuum can lift. It is also sometimes measured in units such as mbar (millibar) or kPa (kilopascal). Essentially, water lift indicates the strength of the suction force produced by the vacuum. The higher the water lift value, the more powerful the vacuum is in terms of lifting heavy materials and liquids.

To give you a better understanding, imagine you need to vacuum up a spilled liquid or clean a wet surface. A vacuum with a higher water lift will be more effective at picking up the liquid, as it can create a stronger suction force to lift it into the vacuum’s collection tank. So, if you often deal with spills or need to vacuum up liquids, a vacuum with a higher water lift value would be more suitable for your needs.

On the other hand, airflow is another important indicator of a vacuum’s power. It measures the volume of air that the vacuum can move in a given amount of time. Airflow is typically measured in cubic meters per hour (m3/h) or liters per second (l/s). A higher airflow value signifies that the vacuum has the ability to move a larger volume of air, which can contribute to more efficient cleaning.

Think of it this way: when you vacuum, the airflow is responsible for carrying dirt and debris into the vacuum’s suction inlet and through the filtration system. A higher airflow means that more air is being pulled into the vacuum, allowing for better pickup of dirt and particles. So, if you often deal with large amounts of debris or have to clean extensively, a vacuum with a higher airflow value would be beneficial.

It’s important to note that water lift and airflow are not independent of each other. In fact, they work together to determine the overall suction performance of a vacuum. A vacuum with high water lift but low airflow may be effective at lifting heavy materials but struggle with efficiently moving air and picking up lighter debris. Similarly, a vacuum with high airflow but low water lift may excel at picking up light debris but struggle with heavy-duty tasks.

When assessing the power of a vacuum, consider both the water lift and airflow values. A higher water lift indicates stronger suction force for lifting heavy materials and liquids, while a higher airflow signifies better overall cleaning efficiency. Finding the right balance between these two factors is key to choosing a vacuum that suits your specific cleaning needs.