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Let Us Help You Find the Best Vacuum — Visit #1 Vacuum Cleaner!

Like many industries, the vacuum cleaner industry is highly competitive. Therefore, they use many catchy technical terms to try and convince you their vacuums are better than those of their competitors. In your buying research, you’ll come across many exaggerated claims and obscure technical jargon. #1 Vacuum Cleaner is here to help you navigate this maze of information by defining these terms and answering the top questions we receive about vacuum cleaners. With these tips, we hope you can arrive at a well-informed purchasing decision.

All those Marketing Terms! 

There are three important terms you’ll find when researching various vacuums on the market. These include “airwatt,” “airflow” and “suction.” Read on to learn more about these key terms.



An airwatt is a unit of measure determined by a mathematical equation as expressed in the following formula:

Airwatt = 1/8.5 x vacuum suction (inches of water) x air flow (cubic feet per minute).


Don’t worry, you don’t have to do the math; most reputable vacuum manufacturers recommend a minimum airwatt rating of 100 (or more) for uprights and 220 airwatts (or more) for cylinder-style models. Anything less than these figures will provide less-than-desirable results.


Airflow (CFM)

As one of the most important measurements, airflow expresses the force of suction that exists between the cleaning surface and the bag (or bin). CFM represents the amount (in cubic feet) of airflow being sucked into the system in one minute. Many vacuum cleaners operate at between 50 to 100 CFM. We recommend choosing a vacuum on the higher end of the airflow spectrum to give you the best performance.



Suction — it’s what makes a vacuum, well, suck things up. Suction is the most important factor in a vacuum’s performance, especially when using the hose. A better performing motor will provide better performance at the end of the hose.


Central Vacuum Motors: Which to Choose? 

Flow-thru, tangential bypass and peripheral bypass are the three types of vacuum motors on the market today. This guide will help you decide which type of motor is right for you.


Good:While a flow-thru motor is the most affordable, it also has the least amount of longevity since it operates without a dedicated fan to cool the motor. Flow-thru motors can be good, but they are really the least desirable option.


Better:A better option is buying a vacuum with a peripheral by-pass motor. Peripheral bypass motors feature a dedicated fan which cools the motor and armature, helping extend the life of the motor.


Best:The best option is to buy a vacuum with a tangential bypass motor. The largest and most powerful type of motor, tangential bypass motors feature a clean air intake and can get rid of all the dirt and allergens in your home. These motors are also quieter as they can operate at a lower RPM than peripheral and flow-thru varieties.


Still Have Questions?

With the myriad of information available, performance specifications, marketing tactics and misinformation, it is little wonder central vacuums and vacuum cleaners in general are still misunderstood.


We hope these tips can help you navigate the vacuum world a little easier. And, if you have any questions, please feel free to call or visit #1 Vacuum Cleaner


When to Empty Your Vacuum

Central, cylinder and bag-style vacuums should all be emptied when they reach about 75% capacity. When you go over this threshold, you will begin to notice less performance and push your vacuum more than is necessary.

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