The power of a vacuum cleaner motor is one of the most misrepresented and misunderstood aspects of vacuum cleaner technology. This confusion has been accentuated by many manufacturers and salespersons in their attempt to make their products appear superior to others. At times this takes the form of performing amazing demonstrations of the vacuum cleaner's abilities. Often, when we take a closer look, these amazing feats prove very little and are relatively meaningless!
The salespersons who sell their vacuum cleaners by performing demonstrations in the homes of their prospective customers are known for doing some amazing feats with their products. One such activity is to put some dirt or salt on a small area of carpet and, after working it in a bit with their foot, clean the area with the prospective customer's vacuum cleaner. Then to show how much more effective the new vacuum cleaner is, the salesperson will clean the same area again with the new one. Often special devices are used to trap the dirt which is being picked up so it can be easily seen.
This demonstration is very effective in convincing the prospective customer that they need a new vacuum cleaner since the one watching usually doesn't realize two important facts: 1) The older vacuum cleaner probably is not performing to the best of its ability. 2) When cleaning a carpeted area containing a concentrated amount of dirt, there will still be considerable dirt left after the first few cleanings. If the area were cleaned again after the demonstration, even more dirt would be picked up. A carpet can hold its own weight in dirt and still look clean.
Our article on the Loss of Performance with Use discusses various performance reducing factors which can be improved with relatively inexpensive maintenance. Most vacuum cleaners would benefit greatly from a simple yearly checkup by its owner or a vacuum cleaner repair shop.
Recently I saw David Oreck on a television commercial picking up dirt with his eight pound Oreck upright after cleaning the carpeted area with a very inexpensive Hoover Encore upright. Although we at Ristenbatt Vacuum Cleaner Service promote and sell some Oreck products, we choose to not stock nor promote their upright vacuum cleaner. It simply does not pass our minimum standards, primarily due to its very, very small four amp motor and extremely small fan. I cringe when I see it being promoted using this demonstration on Oreck's television commercial, especially since we are extremely careful to represent our vacuum cleaners in an honest and straight forward manner.
As you can see, it really isn't such a marvel that a vacuum cleaner can pick up dirt that another one missed. To learn about various methods for rating vacuum cleaner motors, see our article about the Power of the Suction Motor.
There are many important performance aspects of a vacuum cleaner system which you can read about in our article on Identifying Good Performance Factors. These include the Power of the Suction Motor, Effects of Brushing Action, effect of internal resistance on the Air Flow through the System, as well as the Efficiency of Paper Bags and Filtration Efficiency - HEPA, Micron, etc.
To choose a durable vacuum cleaner which will meet your cleaning tasks and preferences, see our articles on Identifying Durable Designs & Construction and Match Your Tasks and Cleaning Style. A good, knowledgeable sales person like those at Ristenbatt Vacuum Cleaner Service can help you determine which vacuum cleaner system will be the best for you in your particular cleaning situation.
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