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Energy Efficient Vacuum Cleaners?

Discussion in 'Home Power and Microgeneration' started by Mike D2, Oct 25, 2003.

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  1. Mike D2

    Mike D2 Guest

    Does anyone have any recommendations for upright, canister vacuum cleaners
    that are energy efficient?

    I am amazed to find that there are no "Energy Star" or equivalent listings
    for these kinds of home appliances.

    Ideally it would be quiet (relatively), durable, high CFM and low power

    Am I dreaming of the impossible?

    Please don't suggest google or other search engines as the they produce 5000
    hits of crap. And the salespeople generally have a glazed "doe in the
    headlights" look and keep insisting that the higher amperage means better.

    Thanks, Mike
  2. mark Ransley

    mark Ransley Guest

    Consumer reports rates them. But energy star, no , its an AC motor.
    They are all pretty much the same.
  3. Steve Spence

    Steve Spence Guest

    ac motors are pretty efficient. 90%+

    "energy star" rating not needed.
  4. Q

    Q Guest

    The inexpensive Eureka upright is quite good. The one with the vertical
    shaft motor and round profile rubber belt that does a twist on the way to
    the beater bar. I used to be able to run mine off a 250 watt inverter.

  5. Mike D2

    Mike D2 Guest

    The AC motor might be efficient but everything else can be wrong as well.

    For example, on industrial dust collectors, vendor#1 might use a 2 HP motor
    generating 800 CFM at 90db noise level. Vendor#2 will use 1.5HP motor at
    1200CFM at 70db. Bottom line is vendor #1 is using a poor design, generates
    more noise (wasted energy) and has less performance for the power used.
    I'll choose vendor#2.

    Why are there no ratings on household vacuums? From what I see the majority
    are energy pigs drawing 12A and generating tons of noise. It's up to the
    consumer to figure out which one is the best one?

    Anybody have links to FREE consumer reports on vacuums?
  6. daestrom

    daestrom Guest

    Some of this may be a case of deceptive advertising. Consumers see two
    vacumns, one bragging 12A motor while another only 7A. *Obviously* the 12A
    is 'better' and justifies a higher price tag. Yeah, right!!!

  7. Guest

    I once sold vacuums. Electrolux. It's an interesting field.

    Look for a model that puts the impeller / fan behind the filter.
    This helps ensure a longer life. The okld kirbies were notorious for
    ruining their fan when a quarter was sucked up.

    When comparing, it's the airflow (cfpm) and air speed that does the work,
    not the suction. Holding up a bowling ball is meaningless. The amps
    or horsepower ratings are meaningless.

    A powered head (to turn a beater bar) that can be switched off can save
    1/4th the power.

    Remember, no vacuum will get 100% of the dirt. You can always suck
    up a little more. Salesmen use this (a white cloth over the nozzle)
    to show how poor YOURS cleans.

    Personally, I have a Sears canister vacuum with power head. I save
    energy by running it as infrequently as possible :)

  8. But the average vacuum cleaner does NOT use an AC motor. The vast
    majority use a brush type motor with wound fields - what is generally
    known as a "universal" motor.
    Efficiency is generally a bit lower than 90%, as they need prodigious
    amounts of air cooling to keep them from melting down under load.
  9. Bob Adkins

    Bob Adkins Guest

    Go by Amps. Try some out in the store, and settle for the lowest Amp model
    you think you would be happy with.

    Mine hits 13a, and can still run on my 1500w inverter. That baby would suck
    the beard right off your face.

  10. John Gilmer

    John Gilmer Guest

    The trouble with that approach (especially for higher suction models) is
    that the air volumn falls more quickly under load. This has to do with the
    problems of drawing a vacumn.

    The Kirby types "solve" the problem of damage to the impeller by making it
    substantial. Coins don't do any damage at all, Stuff like sheet rock
    screws can cause problems (don't ask how I know.)

    We got something jammed into our Kirby and "smoked" but didn't destroy the
    motor. It definitely took out the impellor but a local guy replaced it
    (with plastic) for less than $30.
    Well, when you clean a carpet the idea is to suck air through the carpet
    with the hope that it will drag some of the dirt with it. That's the Kirby
    approach to carpet cleaning: LOTS of air going THROUGH the carpet.

    The can type machines (and the central vac types) need to draw a much
    higher vacumn at the blower (and thus draw more electricity) to get the same
    vacumn at the carpet surface.

    But, as you did say, sometimes you pick up something that doesn't go through
    the impeller.
  11. Bob Adkins

    Bob Adkins Guest

    That brings to mind the night a couple of Kirby salesmen stayed for 3 hours.
    They put on the demonstration you mentioned.

    I had just got rid of 3 large piles of fine red sand in the yard by
    shoveling it every day for weeks. The edge of the carpet where I first
    stepped when coming inside was beginning to turn reddish. Well, they ran my
    old vac, and I mean it was a dog. They put a gizmo on the Kirby to show the
    dust flowing through and a white filter too.

    Well, when they started the demo, we saw UNBELIEVABLE amounts of red sand
    flowing through. Their eyes got big, and they looked at each other,
    dumfounded. It was like a comedy skit, but my wife and I kept a poker face.
    It looked like a fake demo had went wrong. I think they were afraid I had
    busted them or something. The red sand just kept flowing and flowing, and
    the bag got heavy. Long story shorter, we all ended up having a good laugh.
    I didn't buy the Kirby, but got a free 12V auto vac. It's still an
    excellent, tiny little vac.

  12. Walter E.

    Walter E. Guest

    I test vacuum cleaners before I buy them. It costs nothing.

    All it takes is a l lb kitchen scale, a piece of string and the plastic
    cover from some small can (approx. 3" diam.).

    Loosely tie the string conversely around the tray of the scale, run it
    through a small hole in the center of the plastic disc, put a knot at the

    Hold the scale in your left hand and use the vacuum cleaner hose to suck
    against the plastic disc until it pops off. This will give you the suction
    in ounces of a particular vac. cleaner. You can easily do this in a store
    where you compare vacuum cleaners.

    I ought to take out a patent on this thing. Naw, too simple.
  13. mark Ransley

    mark Ransley Guest

    Vacs are being made cheaper and cheaper as is everything else in our
    Global economy ,
    Prices havnt risen with inflation, in 15 yrs.
    Ross Perots sucking sound , was right.
    Buy a Vac with a metal turbine, Keyed , not pressed on the shaft .
    Plastic ones fry from long carpet fibers , or string , or objects
    dislodging them , then they freeze for a moment spin on the shaft ,
    and Melt. Ive ruined 3 , and the problem was the turbine..
    Sales people say they are aware , and certain models address the
    issue. But who knows.
    I have 3 or 4 vacs, and a Rigid Shop Vac the ONLY one with a
    LIFE TIME warranty sold at HD . But who likes to vacuum..... Design
    a Mexican style , Tile , use drains . Well thats my
  14. Vaughn

    Vaughn Guest

    For the average consumer, the efficiency of their vacuum cleaner
    matters little because it is only used a few minutes every week. If you are
    concerned about energy efficiency, look at things that are on for several
    hours a day, such as your fridge, TV, AC, lighting and wall warts.

  15. mark Ransley

    mark Ransley Guest

    Walter E a BOzo ..............................................
  16. mark Ransley

    mark Ransley Guest

    Stormin mormons usual stupid response
  17. Bob Adkins

    Bob Adkins Guest

    Yea, I know. I ignore the strange looks and search the labels to find the

  18. Bob Adkins

    Bob Adkins Guest

    Do you factor in the nozzle size? A killer vac would not pull much with a
    small nozzle. A weak vac can lift a lot with a fat hose and nozzle, but does
    a poor job of cleaning.

  19. Guest

    This just tells you how good the vacuum (sucking power) is, not how
    well it will clean. A suction cup will rate quite well on the test you
    describe but will pick up no dirt. The VOLUME of air (moving quickly) is
    what you really want. The air moving past the dust it what picks it up.

    So, as a test, you could bring an air matress. The longer it takes to
    fill the mattress the lower the cleaning efficiency. You can create an
    index by dividing the seconds needed to inflate the mattress by the amps
    it draws. The lower the number the more effective the cleaner.

    Keep in mind, the quality of the filter bags will have a drastic impact on
    how well it cleans when the bag is no longer new. Some cheap ones clog up
    pretty fast.

  20. Walter E.

    Walter E. Guest

    You have a point, but, although the suction power is only static, it
    ultimately determines the ability to move air, as well. Right? Not
    necessarily, I guess. However, there is a distinct suction difference
    between vac. cleaners and it coincides with my empirical evaluation of a
    vacuum cleaner.
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