A vacuum’s suction power is a vital component of your cleaning unit. While most manufacturers do not specify this on their products, it is important to know the suction power of a vacuum cleaner before buying it.
A machine with a higher suction power is more effective at eliminating dirt and dust hidden in your carpet, between furniture, corners, and under your bed.
A vacuum with a lower suction power may get rid of the visible dirt, but not necessarily remove the deeply embedded dirt in your home. Hence, a high suction power has a better chance of removing stubborn debris and dirt from different surfaces.
In this post we will cover:
- What Determines a Vacuum’s Suction Power?
- What Causes A Vacuum Cleaner To Lose Suction?
- How do I fix the suction on my vacuum?
- How can I Improve low Suction on my Vacuum Cleaner?
What Determines a Vacuum’s Suction Power?
The suction power of a vacuum depends on different characteristics, the most important being the quality of the suction power. For hard flooring, the vacuum should operate at maximum output.
The level of power is suitable for flooring such as linoleum, laminate, or tiles that are firmly attached to the floor. However, the maximum power can damage loose flooring.
On carpets, the suction power depends on whether it is a low-pile, high-pile, or rug carpet that is being cleaned. For both high and low-pile carpets, maximum suction power is required due to the deeply embedded dirt in the carpet fibers.
However, when vacuuming loose carpets such as mats and rugs, the suction power should be reduced to prevent damage to the loose carpet.
Other determinants of a vacuum’s suction power include watts, amps, water lift (sealed suction), and airflow. Watts is the measurement in which the input power of the motor of a vacuum is determined.
The second is the amp, which means amperage, which is the vacuum’s ability to consume power. It is used for comparing the input power of a vacuum cleaner’s motor with other vacuum cleaners. The amps measure the power of the motor and the level of suction power it exhibits.
The third is the sealed suction that is measured in water lift inches and is taken when the motor is completely sealed. The water lift provides the power required to remove debris from your floor.
A unit with more water lift inches will easily pick up sand and heavy soil from flooring and carpet. The water lift indicates the suction performance of the motor.
The fourth is the airflow, which is a critical factor in determining the cleaning capacity of a vacuum in terms of suction power.
The airflow force across a surface picks up dirt and moves it to the dust cap or dirtbag. Consequently, if a vacuum has more airflow, it has a better cleaning capability.
What Causes A Vacuum Cleaner To Lose Suction?
The common causes of suction loss in a vacuum are blocked or clogged filters that may only require cleaning or replacement of filters. The second reason is a blocked hose, which will require you to remove the hose and check for blockages in the pipe.
If suction is present in the hose and not the main base, the base connecting the belt may be blocked or the beater bar may have stopped spinning.
Other causes are full dirtbag or dust cup, cracks and tears on the hose, clogging of the roller or brush, wrong height settings, damaged vacuum belt, and loose connections of different parts of the vacuum.
How do I fix the suction on my vacuum?
If your vacuum cleaner has lost its suction power due to a full dirtbag or dust container, it is time to empty the container or dirtbag. When the dust cup or dirtbag is full, it will reduce your vacuum’s suction power.
The vacuum will sound as though it is working, but it will not have the suction power to pick up dirt since there is no more room for the dirt to collect. The removal of dirt will allow the vacuum power to return to its normal level.
If the suction loss was due to clogged filters, it may be time to clean or replace them to address the suction loss issue. Vacuum cleaners consist of various mesh or foam filters that become clogged over time and if appropriate cleaning or replacement is not done. Clogged filters decrease a vacuum’s suction power.
If the suction loss is caused by hose blockage, it is time to take the hose and its attachments apart to determine if there is a foreign item on the hose, such as a hair or dust ball, that is restricting airflow. You can use a broom handle or a long stick to unblock the hose.
Carefully feed the stick or handle into the hose and when you reach the clog, push it through until it comes out on the other end of the hose.
If you have a vacuum that sucks up water, wash the hose in soapy water and then reverse suction. If there are cracks or holes, bubbles will start to form in the impacted areas.
If the suction loss is caused by cracks and tears in the hose, you will need to get in touch with an authorized service agent. Tears and cracks cause air to seep through the hose, resulting in loss of suction.
If the roller or brush is clogged, you will have to turn the brush upside down and clean the brush or roller. When the roller and brush are used for some time, hair or dust may get stuck in them or they might get clogged, resulting in your vacuum cleaner losing its suction.
If the suction loss is caused by incorrect height settings, you have to fix it by adjusting the setting according to the surface to be cleaned.
For wood or tiled floors, utilize the bare floor setting and ensure that it is adjusted upwards accordingly. A high setting or deep carpet setting will not work well on your hard floors.
If the suction loss is due to a clogged, stuck, or damaged vacuum belt, it is easy to fix. In most instances, unwanted dust and debris cause the belt to jam.
Therefore, check the operating status of the vacuum and if it is clogged, you must clean the alloy. Inspect the belt further for weak points and cracks. If there are cracks, the belt needs to be changed immediately.
For parts that are loosely attached, make sure they are correctly attached so that your vacuum does not lose its suction. Make sure that the hose, the dust container, the brush, and the tube are properly attached to your vacuum cleaner.
If you have made all these adjustments and your vacuum cleaner is still having problems with suction loss, the unit may have technical problems. In this case, you should get in touch with a service agent who is authorized.
How can I Improve low Suction on my Vacuum Cleaner?
First, empty the dust container or dirtbag when it is full of debris that has been sucked up by the vacuum. If your machine is bagged, unplug it and open the bag compartment.
Slide the cardboard collar out that connects the bag to the unit and then slide on the new bag’s collar and close the compartment.
For a bagless vacuum, unclip the dust container, open the lid, and dump the dirt into a trash can. Removing dirt improves the suction of your vacuum cleaner. Check your user manual for further instructions.
Secondly, clean or replace your filter. If the filter is dirty, tap it against a hard surface outdoors to knock out debris and dust. Ensure that the breeze is blowing away from you to avoid breathing in the dust.
Some filters are rinsable and after you have knocked most of the dust out, you can use cool water to rinse them and leave them to dry before putting them back for 24 hours.
You have to replace the filters every three to six months. The cleaning and replacement improve the suction of a vacuum.
The suction power of a vacuum is important if you want to eliminate all the deeply embedded dirt in your home. This is not the only thing to look for in a vacuum cleaner, but it is amongst the most essential.
If your vacuum cleaner has reduced suction or loses its suction, this does not necessarily mean you need to buy a new one.
Instead, there are many reasons that could result in the suction problem, most of which can be easily fixed. However, if the suction of your unit is beyond repair, then it is time to consult an authorized service agent.
Linda Joan is a market researcher and publisher at Experts in Vacuum who has had an interest in topics related to vacuum cleaners since she was in university, out of curiosity and passion. She is now a full-time writer based in New York, New York.