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Do Vacuum Cleaners Use A Lot Of Electricity?

It’s tough to imagine a world before the vacuum cleaner.

Our ancestors could only push dust and debris around, and would have to live with dirtier homes, more-or-less.

Even though vacuum technology is highly convenient, in more ways than cleaning your house, how much electricity does a vacuum use?

Depending on the model, 500 to 3000 watts of electricity are used by a vacuum cleaner.

In this article, we’ll explore the power it takes to make these wonderful devices run, multiple kinds of vacuums that you can buy, how much it can cost to use one, and some helpful maintenance tips.

How Vacuum Cleaners Work & Use Electricity

To understand what it takes to power a vacuuming device, first we have to know what it is and how it works.

Using an air pump ( it can be internal or external), vacuums use suction force to draw in dust and dirt from any surface you press it onto.

Ever feel nice cold air from a store blowing on your face once you enter it to escape a hot summer day?

Vacuums take advantage of such forces to help clean your home!

The amount of electricity a vacuum uses is very dependent on the model you have or are interested in.

We need to get a bit technical, as most electrical devices have their power-usage measured in watts (W).

For common every-day vacuums, they require 500 to 3000 watts of electricity to work.

However, more wattage doesn’t always mean better suction power.

To get a bit technical again, a vacuum’s overall performance is evaluated by measuring the vacuum airflow and the vacuum suction.

These two aspects are dependent on the hardware a vacuum cleaner has.

Here’s a list of what can affect performance:

  • Different suction levels (can be adjusted on the device)
  • The number and types of filters (more complex ones will slow down air flow)
  • Living space (how much area needs vacuuming)
  • Working speed (a quick vacuuming vs. an afternoon-long one)
  • Vacuum cleaner type (some models are more efficient than others)
  • Motor (most important when determining overall power and wattage)

Figuring out the overall power consumption of any vacuum depends on what the model is, and how often it is used or will be used.

Ones that are corded and have long sticks attached to the heads tend to be some of the most reliable models out there.

This is due to their longevity and reliability, provided there’s always a wall outlet nearby to feed them electricity.

Any vacuum that uses a battery has a habit of dying out during use, or dies completely after around a five-year period.

Picking An Energy-Efficient Vacuum Cleaner

Yet, should you be on the prowl for a new model and want to know which type works best, it helps to know what you’ll need it for.

Does your home have several flights of stairs?

Consider getting a canister vacuum, especially if you also have several hardwood floors.

Need something reliable to clean all the rugs and carpets?

Try out an upright vacuum (bagged ones are highly recommended).

Can’t be at home long enough to do household cleaning? Get a robotic vacuum.

Whereas these kinds can’t do a deep cleaning, at least you can control your vacuum from far away using a smartphone app. You’ll have to empty it once in a while though.

No matter which model you get, it will help lower your monthly energy bill by choosing a model that’s energy efficient.

Many vacuum motors operate at only 25 to 35% efficiency, meaning the power consumption of your vacuum is usually much higher than what it actually uses!

When it comes to the best of the best, the Federal Energy Star Program advises those seeking the most bang for their buck to get bagged upright vacuums that use 1150 to 2000 watts of power.

The least efficient, according to their studies, are bagless cylinder devices, which use 1400 to 2700 watts.   

Calculating How Much Electricity Your Vacuum Cleaner Uses

Now we move on to the costs.

The first step you’ll need to figure out is how much power (in watts) your vacuum uses per day.

Watts are typically associated with a device being used for an hour.

So the number on your vacuum will indicate how much power it will use within that time.

Once you have the total number, say about 1000W, for example, divide that by 1000 and you get 1 kilowatt per hour (kWh), the units that your energy company uses to determine how much to charge on your monthly electric bill.

The amount you pay per kWh is highly dependent on where you are, and which energy company you’re with.

Check your monthly statements to find this out.

In the US, the average tends to be 13 cents, or $0.013 per kWh.

If you know how many kilowatt hours your vacuum will use in a month, simply multiply that number by the current rate your energy company charges to know how much you’ll pay to use your vacuum cleaner.

For yearly, multiply that result by 12.

Doing the math for every single model you’re interested in will be tedious and boring, but will draw you closer to the best and cheapest vacuum for you and your needs.

Final Word

Aside from getting or having the most energy-efficient model, you can further reduce your energy costs by keeping your vacuum in a decent shape.

For bagged models, cleaning out the bag on a regular basis will prevent dust from clogging up the insides such as the motor.

The motor and dust filters will also need a good cleaning to prevent your device from working too hard, increasing the power usage, meaning a larger energy bill.

Another helpful tip is to use your device only when it’s needed.

Leaving your robot vacuum on all day, as opposed to only a few hours, will only add more costs on your part.

Even something as simple as using a brush and dustpan instead can go a long way in saving you money.

Consulting the owner’s manual for just about any vacuum can let you know the best ways to use one, as well as how often.  

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