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# Understanding Air Watts in Vacuums

Updated: Jul 22, 2022 12:36 AM

What are air watts in vacuums? It’s a fair question, and one we’ll thoroughly cover today. Whether it’s for an HVAC school assignment or your household project, this article will go over what air watts are, how to measure them, and explain the math, so you understand it. Do you need this information even if you own a top-tier vacuum cleaner? You bet, you do!

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

• Air watts are simply a unit of measurement to determine how much power a vacuum needs to pull debris through the air.
• The difference between air watts and watts is that the latter is just a unit for measuring power, while air watts are specific to the effectiveness of vacuum cleaners.
• You can measure air watts using this simple equation: P = 1/8.5 x F x S, which is explained in depth further in this article.

## Understanding Vacuum Air Watts

“What is ‘air watts’ in vacuum cleaners?” is a worthy question, primarily since most people have never even heard of this type of measurement. First, you need to understand what they are and how to both measure and calculate them. Air watts can be an important factor when purchasing certain types of vacuum cleaners like a shop vac or a cyclonic vacuum.

Insider Tip

An air watt determines how much suction power a vacuum has.

### Explaining What an Air Watt is

An air watt determines how much suction power a vacuum has. Essentially, it measures the ability of a vacuum to use power to pull debris through the air. Understanding air watts is good, but if you want to improve air quality in your home or office, try to understand what a hepa filter vacuum is and how it can improve air quality.

#### How Many Air Watts should my Vacuum Have?

This depends on what you need. However, an upright vacuum cleaner should land right around 100 air watts of power. On the other hand, cylinder vacuum cleaners should have at least 220 air watts to offer. An upright or cylinder vacuum can be a heavy vacuum, and they don’t have a sleek design in most cases, but the powerful suction is worth it.

Insider Tip

You can find air watts by using this equation: P = 1/8.5 x F x S.

#### What is the Math Equation to Find Air Watts?

You can find air watts by using this equation: P = 1/8.5 x F x S. Use the shortlist below to understand what each value represents:

• P = Power in Air Watts
• F = Air Flow in CFM
• S = Water Lift

### Breaking Down the Equation for Air Watts

Understanding vacuum air watts is near impossible unless you know about the math behind it. Sometimes, a vacuum with tons of power can be very loud, which is why it’s a good idea to know when’s the best time to vacuum in an apartment if that’s where you call home. In this section, we’ll break down this simple formula, so you know what it all means.

#### What is Air Flow (CFM)?

CFM stands for cubic feet per minute. This determines how much airflow goes through a certain amount of space over sixty seconds.

#### What is a Water Lift Test?

Vacuum cleaner manufacturers use the water lift test to check their models for suction power. They seal everything off and place it in a one-inch cylinder of water. The amount of water lifted from the suction power determines the “Inches per H20”, the measurement unit for suction power.

Warning

Understanding vacuum air watts is near impossible unless you know about the math behind it.

F.A.Q.

What is the difference between Air Watts and Watts?

An air watt is a unit of measurement related almost solely to suction power in vacuum cleaners. This is the amount of energy they have or need to pull debris through the air. Watts is simply a unit of measurement for power in general.

Do canisters have a higher suction power compared to uprights?

Canisters are generally considered to be more powerful than their upright model counterparts. A canister vacuum is an excellent cleaning tool.

Is it preferable to have a vacuum with one or two motors?

If you have carpets or other hard-to-clean material, two is always preferable. The extra motor ensures a more powerful vacuum cleaner, making deep cleaning on the regular far easier.

STAT: A HEPA filter-equipped vacuum can capture 99% or more of both dust and dander. (source)