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How to Compare Air Watts on Vacuum Cleaners

Updated February 21, 2017

Ensuring your home is clean is an important daily task. When you clean your home, you keep it sanitary and free of germs that can harm you and your family. You are also eliminating dust, pet dander and other allergens. This is especially important if people in your home suffer from these types of allergies. One tool that's vital to making your home as clean as it can be is a powerful vacuum cleaner. To determine the amount of suction power a vacuum has, compare the "air watts" of the models you're choosing from. Air wattage is a measure of both motor power and airflow efficiency.

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  1. Research vacuums online to determine what types of vacuum cleaners you want to compare. The amount of air watts you're looking for will depend on the type of vacuum you choose, such as an upright vacuum or a canister vacuum.

  2. Research the differences between the two common types of vacuum cleaners to help you decide which to choose. Upright and canister vacuums have different air flow systems. Upright vacuums need less air wattage to get the job done because of the way they're built. However, they can agitate your carpet more than a canister vacuum. If you have expensive or fragile carpeting, a canister vacuum would be the better choice, although you would need more air wattage than an upright for it to have comparable suction to an upright vacuum.

  3. Look at the air watts for each of the vacuums you're comparing. The air watts will be listed in the product description. They may be listed under the category "suction power." Generally, you should choose an upright vacuum with at least 100 air watts and a cylinder vacuum with at least 250 air watts.

  4. Test them out if possible. You can accomplish this by borrowing the models from friends or family members who own them. Or, find out the retailer's return policy before purchasing a vacuum. You'll likely be able to purchase a vacuum cleaner and return it if you're unsatisfied with its performance.

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About the Author

J. Johnson

J. Johnson has been completing freelance writing work since September 2009. Her work includes writing website content and small client projects. Johnson holds a degree in English from North Carolina State University.

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