Suction Power & Air Purification: Vacuum 101

Do you know that the air inside your home can be up to five times dirtier than the air outside? Is not that shocking? But do not worry, HEPA filters can help solve this problem.

You need to know about HEPA filters if you own a vacuum cleaner or are looking to buy one.

These filters are like the superheroes of cleaning the air in your home.

They can catch even the smallest particles and keep the air clean and healthy.

In this article, I will go into detail about HEPA filters, talking about their benefits, how they work, and why anyone who cares about the air quality in their home needs to have one.

So fasten your seatbelts and get ready to relax!

Understanding Suction Power in Vacuum Cleaners

  • Air Purification: Understanding Suction Power in Vacuum Cleaners

When buying a vacuum cleaner, suction power is one of the most important things to think about.

It means a vacuum cleaner's ability to create negative pressure (lift) when the motor is running.

The vacuum cleaner's suction capacity shows how strong it is, and the air volume shows how much air it can move.

The suction power is the sum of the vacuum cleaner's ability to pull in air and how much air it can pull in.

It shows how powerful the vacuum cleaner is.

Units of Measurement for Suction Power

Several units of measurement are used to figure out how strong a suction is.

Some of these are cubic feet per minute (CFM), air watts (AW), inches of water lift, amps, and horsepower.

Amps are a way to measure how much electricity is flowing through your machine.

Watts are found by multiplying the voltage of the power drawn by the number of amps.

Even though horsepower is often used in ads, it is not a good way to measure how well a vacuum cleaner can pull in air.

Sealed Suction or Water Lift Test

The suction power of a vacuum cleaner is measured by the sealed suction or water lift test.

In this test, a tube with water in it is put in a sealed container.

In this test, the water lift, which is measured in inches of H2O, is directly related to the vacuum cleaner's suction power.

With HEPA filters, more air wattage is needed because it takes more power to pull air through tiny holes.

Other Specifications to Consider

When looking for a vacuum with good suction power, it is important to think about other features, like whether or not it has an extra filter bag or a dust collector type.

A newer vacuum may have half the wattage of an older one but still have the same suction power.

This is because technology has improved, making them more energy-efficient without affecting their performance.

Suction Power in Air Purification

Power of suction is an important part of the process of cleaning the air.

Both vacuum cleaners and air purifiers work by sucking in air particles and then filtering them out.

The air volume of a vacuum cleaner shows how much air it can move, while the suction capacity shows how strong it is.

The amount of suction is measured in mm water column or Pascal (Pa), where 1 mm water column is equal to 10 Pa.

The more suction power a vacuum cleaner has, the more negative pressure (lift) it can make when its motor is running.

Electric Air Filters

Electric air filters, like vacuum cleaners, use suction to get rid of dust and other particles in the air.

These filters are used in places like nuclear power plants, but before they can be used, feasibility studies and mathematical models must be done.

The Principle Behind Suction Power

The idea behind suction power is that when air particles are pushed forward, the number of particles in front of the fan goes up while the number of particles behind the fan goes down.

This drop in pressure behind the fan makes a partial vacuum inside the vacuum cleaner or air purifier.

The outside air then pushes itself into the device through an intake port because the pressure inside is lower than outside.

As long as the fan is running and there is a way for air to flow through, there will be a steady flow of air through the intake port and out the exhaust port.

Friction in the Air Purification Process

Dirt and debris can not be pulled out of carpets or filtered out of the air just by suction power.

Friction is a very important part of this process.

When air moves over surfaces like carpets or filters, friction causes particles to stick to them.

This makes it possible for vacuums and filters to remove dirt, dust, and other indoor pollutants effectively.

Factors Affecting Suction Power

Several things affect how well a vacuum cleaner can pull in air.

Airflow (CFM), air watts (AW), water lift (inches of H20), amps, and horsepower are the main ways to measure suction power.

Airflow is the force of the air moving across a surface that picks up dirt and moves it to a dust bag or other container.

The formula for figuring out air watts is (Air Flow x Vacuum)/8.5 = Air Watts.

A vacuum cleaner's suction power is measured in inches of H2O by a test called "water lift" or "sealed suction."

The suction power of a vacuum cleaner can also be affected by the type and size of the dust collector or vacuum cleaner bag.

When a vacuum bag has an extra filter, the suction power of the vacuum needs to be higher so that air can flow through all of the filters.

Choosing the Right Vacuum Cleaner

Measuring Suction Power

Suction power can be measured in a number of ways, such as by water lift, airflow, motor input power, and vacuum/suction capacity.

The suction force is shown by the water lift, which is measured in mmH2O, mbar, or kPa, while airflow is measured in m3/h or l/s.

To figure out a model's rating, manufacturers put it through a series of tests that use these units of measurement.

Watts or amps are used to measure how much power a motor gets.

Watts measure how much power the machine uses, while amps measure how much power it uses.

But instead of comparing a machine rated in watts to one rated in amps, it is best to compare the motor input power in watts or get the amperage rating of the motor only.

People think that airflow is the most important factor in how well a vacuum cleaner cleans.

It shows how much air moves from the surface to the bag and takes into account the power of the motor and the resistance of the exhaust system (fans, filters, and bags).

The vacuum/suction capacity of a vacuum cleaner tells how much negative pressure (lift) it can make when its motor is on.

It will be measured in mm water column or in Pascal (Pa).

Determining Suction Power

Before you buy a vacuum cleaner, you should look at its water lift and airflow measurements to find out how well it suctions.

You can also compare its motor input power, measured in watts or amps, to that of other models.

You can also look at how much vacuum or suction it can create, which is measured in mm water column or Pascal (Pa).

High Suction Power Vacuums

High suction power vacuum cleaners are better at cleaning floors, carpets, and getting rid of dust, debris, and dirt that is hard to move.

The suction power of a vacuum cleaner is measured in kilopascals (kPa), which is the difference between the normal air pressure and the pressure in the vacuum cleaner hose.

A higher number for kPa means that the suction pressure is higher.

But the kPa value alone is not a good way to measure the suction power of a vacuum cleaner.

Other units or specifications, like airflow (CFM) and air watts (AW), show how well a sweeper can pick up dust and dirt.


Airflow is the most important factor in figuring out how well a vacuum cleaner can clean.

It means how much air moves through the vacuum cleaner in a given amount of time.

The better a vacuum can clean, the more airflow it has.

Cubic feet per minute are used to measure airflow (CFM).

High suction power vacuums also need to be able to lift water or have sealed suction.

Water lift is the amount of water that a vacuum can pull up through its hose.

The more water it can lift, the better it can pull water in.

HEPA Filters

When a vacuum cleaner has a HEPA filter, it needs more air wattage because it needs to pull air through tiny holes, which takes more power.

Wattage is another way that vacuum cleaner makers give the electric motor power.

Since a vacuum cleaner has other parts that use power, a higher wattage does not always mean that it has more suction power.

Kirby vacuums use direct air motor systems, which is why people with carpets like them better than other kinds of vacuums.

Energy Consumption

Low-wattage vacuum cleaners can do just as good a job as high-wattage ones.

To find out how much energy your vacuum cleaner uses, look at the label for the wattage.

Then figure out how long it takes you to vacuum each day, week, or month.

To find the kilowatt hours you are using, multiply the time by the wattage and divide by 1,000.

Even though suction power is important for picking up dirt from floors, it is not the most important thing to look at when judging how well a vacuum cleaner cleans.

How well a vacuum cleaner can pick up dirt and move it to the dust bag or container depends more on how well it moves air.

Low-wattage vacuum cleaners can work just as well as high-wattage ones if the motor and filtration system are well made.

HEPA Technology: The Key to Effective Air Purification with Vacuum Cleaners

HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) technology is a crucial aspect of air purification with vacuum cleaners.

HEPA filters are designed to capture tiny particles, including dust, pollen, pet dander, and other allergens, that can trigger respiratory problems and allergies.

These filters are made of dense layers of fine mesh that trap particles as small as 0.3 microns, ensuring that the air released from the vacuum cleaner is clean and healthy.

HEPA technology is particularly important for people with asthma, allergies, or other respiratory conditions, as it can significantly reduce their exposure to airborne irritants.

When shopping for a vacuum cleaner, look for models that feature HEPA filters and ensure that they are properly maintained and replaced regularly to ensure optimal air purification.

For more information:

HEPA Tech: Clean Air, Strong SuctionHEPA Tech: Clean Air, Strong Suction

Maintaining Suction Power in Vacuum Cleaners

To make sure your vacuum cleaner works as well as it can, you should clean or replace the filters often.

The type of filter and how often the vacuum cleaner is used affect how often the filters need to be cleaned or replaced.

Washable Filters

Filters that can be washed, like the ones in Dyson cordless vacuums, should be washed at least once a month to keep the suction power up.

Reusable Foam Filters

Foam filters that can be used more than once should be cleaned when the vacuum shows signs of losing suction power and should be left to dry completely before being put back in.

HEPA Filters

HEPA filters can catch particles as small as 0.3 microns and keep them from being released back into the air by your vacuum cleaner's exhaust.

Every six months is a good time to change them.

But if your home has a lot of people coming in and out and you use your vacuum a lot, you may need to clean or replace the filter more often.

Manufacturer Recommendations

For the best cleaning results, Hoover says to take out and dust their filters once a week and wash them once a month.

All Kleen Carpets recommends cleaning your vacuum filter every three months, or more often if you have a lot of people in your home and use your vacuum a lot.

Dreametech suggests checking commercial HEPA filters twice a week to see if there are any problems.

For home vacuums, they suggest setting a reminder to change the filters every so often.

Adjusting Suction Power

Yes, a vacuum cleaner can be changed so that it has more or less suction.

The suction power of a vacuum cleaner is set by the suction motor, which turns the power of electricity into suction power.

The vacuum cleaner's suction capacity shows how much negative pressure (lift) it can create when the motor is on.

It is measured in mm water column or in Pascal (Pa).

To change the suction power of a vacuum cleaner, look for controls that let you change the airflow or change how much air comes in through the hose.

One example is the LG A9 CordZero Stick Vacuum, which has a button that lets you change how much suction it has.

Some vacuums have settings for carpets, hardwood floors, and other surfaces.

It is important to remember that changing the suction power does not always mean that the vacuum will clean better.

Too much suction can hurt things like curtains and upholstery, while not enough suction might not pick up dirt well.

So, it is best to use the setting that the manufacturer suggests for each type of surface and make changes based on how you want to clean.

Safety Concerns

When a vacuum cleaner has a lot of suction power, it could be dangerous.

When dealing with a lot of dust, there is a chance that the filter will get clogged up and the suction power will drop by a lot.

So, some safety vacuum cleaners have systems for cleaning the filters so that this does not happen.

Wattage versus Suction Power

It is important to remember that more watts does not mean more suction power.

The dirt is pulled in by suction, which also speeds up the airflow.

The airflow then moves the dirt away.

By far, the most important thing about a vacuum cleaner that affects how well it cleans is how much air it can move.

The force of this airflow across a surface, which is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM), is what picks up the dirt and moves it to the dust bag or container.

Actions to Avoid

There are also things you should not do if you want your vacuum cleaner to work well and last for a long time.

For example, hard things should not be vacuumed up because they can damage an expensive vacuum cleaner.

Normal vacuum cleaners are not made to pick up water and other liquids.

If you try to do this, you could get electrocuted or do a lot of damage to the machine.

Lastly, running a vacuum that is too full can damage both the machine and the area around it, so it is important not to fill it more than recommended.

Myths and Misconceptions about Suction Power in Vacuum Cleaners

Misconception 1: Amp Rating Determines Suction Power

One of the most common vacuum cleaner myths is that the more amps a vacuum cleaner has, the better it will suction.

But this is not the case.

The amp rating only shows how much power the vacuum uses when it is on.

It has nothing to do with how well it can pick up dirt.

Instead, one should pay attention to how a vacuum moves air and how well its rotating brush hits the top of the carpet.

  • Misconception 2: Size and Weight Determine Vacuum Cleaner Performance

Another mistaken belief is that vacuums with more suction power are better.

But this is not true, because the weight and size of a vacuum cleaner do not have much to do with how well it works.

In fact, the accessories that come with bigger or heavier vacuum cleaners are not better.

Amps show how powerful a vacuum cleaner is, but many customers have been told that the higher the amp number on a vacuum part, the more powerful it is.

Amps and the power of a vacuum cleaner have nothing to do with each other.

  • Misconception 3: HEPA Filters Remove All Pollutants from Indoor Air

A common myth about cleaning the air is that HEPA filters get rid of all pollutants from the air inside.

This is not true, though, because HEPA filters can only catch particles that are 0.3 microns or smaller.

HEPA filters can not get rid of gases and smells, which are two types of pollution.

  • Misconception 4: CADR Ratings Indicate Overall Air Purifier Effectiveness

Another mistaken belief is that air purifiers with high CADR (clean air delivery rate) ratings are better than those with lower ratings.

CADR ratings show how fast an air purifier can clean the air in a room, but they do not always show how well an air purifier will get rid of specific pollutants like smoke or pollen.

In the end, it is important to know the truth about these myths so that you can buy air purifiers and vacuum cleaners with confidence.

Remember that the amp rating does not show how well a vacuum cleaner can suction, that size and weight do not show how well a vacuum cleaner works, that HEPA filters do not get rid of all pollutants in the air inside, and that CADR ratings do not show how well an air purifier works overall.

With this information, you can make the best choice for your home and family.

When a vacuum cleaner says it has anti-bacterial protection, it means that it can kill bacteria and other microbes on surfaces or get rid of them.

Some vacuum cleaners have a UV light that kills allergens, bacteria, dust mites, and bed bugs.

But it is important to keep in mind that vacuum bags can hold bacteria, molds, endotoxins, and allergens.

Salmonella spp and other microbes that can make you sick if you breathe them in can be spread by the airborne and aerosolized dust that is released when you vacuum.

Antibacterial protection in vacuum cleaners has a number of benefits.

They can cut down on the number of microbes in the dust in the vacuum bag and in the aerosols that are released when you vacuum.

People with allergies often find that water-filtration vacuum cleaners help them feel better.

They have been approved by groups like The Carpet and Rug Institute, Go Green, and the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF).

Antibacterial vacuum cleaners can also pick up liquids without getting clogged or losing suction power.

Liquids are easy for water to soak up, so a water vacuum can easily clean up liquid messes and pick them up.

You can add fragrances and deodorizers with antibacterial and antifungal properties to the water in water vacuums.

This makes them smell nice, get rid of smells, and clean the air as they work.

Microban is an antimicrobial agent that can keep mold and bacteria that cause smells, discoloration, and stains from getting into products.

Some home products are made with Microban so that they are always protected from microbes that could damage the product or shorten its life.

When it comes to cleaning for health, vacuum cleaners are very important.

Pollen, dust, and small particles that can not be seen with the naked eye can make allergy and asthma symptoms come on.

Proper filtration systems in vacuum cleaners prevent dust and debris from being expelled into the air.

Using a vacuum cleaner with anti-bacterial protection offers several benefits such as reducing microbes present in vacuum bag dust and emitted aerosols during vacuuming.

Water filtration vacuum cleaners are efficient at reducing allergy symptoms.

They can also pick up liquids without clogging or losing suction power.

Water vacuums can clean the air while they clean by adding fragrances that kill bacteria.

Microban is an antimicrobial agent that provides continuous protection against microbes that might otherwise damage items.

Proper filtration systems in vacuum cleaners prevent dust from being expelled into the air.

There is no clear evidence that antibacterial protection affects a vacuum cleaner's ability to pull in air.

The power of the vacuum's suction is determined by the motor, which creates a pressure difference and airflow that pulls dirt into the dust bag or container.

Wattage does not always show how well a vacuum cleaner can suction.

What really matters is how well it can suction and move air.

One vacuum cleaner, Huawei Clea, has an ion antibacterial water tank to prevent secondary pollution on the ground.

But this part is not mentioned as affecting how well it pulls in air.

Also, a study by Knibbs et al found that vacuum cleaners can release large amounts of particles in their exhaust air and when they stir up dust that has already settled.

However, the study did not find any link between antibacterial protection and suction power.

Depending on the type of filter, a vacuum cleaner's anti-bacterial protection may need to be changed more or less often.

HEPA filters can catch particles as small as 0.3 microns.

If they are used every day in a commercial setting, they should be checked every six months and replaced if they are very dirty.

Otherwise, they should be changed every year.

In a home, the HEPA filter may only need to be changed every two or three years.

Every two to three years, you should change the carbon pre-filter.

Foam and cartridge filters are two other types of filters that need to be cleaned regularly.

Before putting them back in the vacuum, foam filters should be put in water, squeezed to let dirt escape, and left to dry in the air.

Cartridge filters can last a long time if they are cleaned regularly, but they should be checked more than once a year.

There is no clear information about how often the antibacterial protection in a vacuum cleaner needs to be changed.

It is hard to say if antibacterial protection is safe for people and pets.

Antibiotics save lives, but every time they are used, antimicrobial resistance can happen.

Antimicrobial resistance happens when germs like bacteria and fungi learn how to beat the drugs that are meant to kill them.

It means that the germs are not killed, so they keep growing.

Both people and animals can get sick from antimicrobial resistance.

People, animals, and the environment can all spread germs that are resistant to medicine.

Antibiotic resistance can happen when people give antibiotics to animals too often.

Viruses can be killed by antibacterial products because they contain ingredients that can hurt cats and dogs very badly.

Pets have more sensitive skin than people, so it is important to keep their paws away from cleaning products that have just been used.

Even though dogs have more sensitive skin than cats, cats spend more time licking their paws and fur.

The Better Health Channel says that instead of antibacterial cleaning products, you should use regular soap, warm water, and good personal hygiene.

This is because antibacterial cleaning products are not any better at preventing infections in the home.

Some bacteria could become resistant to antibacterial products like triclosan if they are used a lot in homes.

It is important to clean and disinfect your home's surfaces often to stop the spread of germs that can make you sick.

Cleaning surfaces gets rid of germs, dirt, and other dirty things that can make you and your family sick.

Using soap or detergent-based household cleaners will get rid of germs and dirt on surfaces and lower the risk of getting sick from surfaces in your home.

When you disinfect, you kill bugs like bacteria, viruses, and parasites.

Microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, protozoans, and fungi like mold and mildew can be killed or stopped from spreading by antimicrobial products.

Antimicrobial soaps may make it less likely that germs will spread from your hands to inanimate objects and food.

But you should remember that most germs will not hurt you.

Your immune system protects you against infectious agents.

For some diseases, the best way to protect yourself is to get a shot.


In conclusion, cleaning the air with HEPA filters is an important step toward making a healthy and safe place to live.

It not only helps clean the air by getting rid of harmful pollutants and allergens, but it also makes the air quality better overall.

As a vacuum cleaner owner or someone who wants to buy one, it is important to know about the HEPA filter technology and how well it cleans the air.

But it is important to remember that cleaning the air is not a one-time fix.

Filters need to be maintained and replaced on a regular basis to work at their best.

Also, it is important to do things like make sure there is enough airflow, clean often, and avoid using chemicals that could be harmful.

At the end of the day, it is up to us to make choices that are good for our health and well-being based on what we know.

Buying a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter is a good step, but it is only the beginning.

Let us try to make the world a cleaner, healthier place for us and for future generations.

Remember that even small steps can help make the future better.

Looking for a new robot vacuum?

Choosing a gadget can be very difficult if you know nothing about the technology.

Some will pay for features they do not need while others may not consider what they really want.

So I created this quick, newbie guide to help you focus on what is really important to you:

The best robot vacuum for you.The best robot vacuum for you.

Links and references

- "Residential Air Cleaners - A Technical Summary" by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

- "Indoor Air Quality: A Review of Cleaning Technologies" published in MDPI

- "Assessing effectiveness of air purifiers (HEPA) for controlling indoor particulate pollution" by Dubey et al.

- "Air filtration as a tool for the reduction of viral aerosols" by researchers at the University of Helsinki

My article on the topic:

HEPA Filters: Your Vacuum's Superpower!HEPA Filters: Your Vacuum's Superpower!

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