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  • What's a Watt? A Guide to Vacuum Cleaner Specifications

    Vacmaster vacuum cleaner rating label

    When it comes to purchasing a new vacuum cleaner there is so much choice, and trying to work out which one is best for you whilst getting your head around the myriad of technical specifications can seem like a daunting task. Here at Cleva we’ve come to the rescue and have put together a guide to help you understand exactly what all the tech-talk means. So, if you want to know your Watts from your water-lift and your amps from your volts then read on, and choose your next vacuum cleaner with confidence.

    Watts

    Watts measure the power of the motor inside the vacuum cleaner, but not the overall efficiency of the machine. Some manufacturers don’t provide the Watts, and instead give the amps of the vacuum cleaner. You can convert amps to Watts using this simple equation:

     No. of Amps x 230 (volts)= No. of Watts

    Be careful when doing the conversion, as the amp rating takes into account the electrical consumption of the whole vacuum cleaner, considering features such as the bulb and power head. Watts only rate the power of the motor. A measurement given in watts may seem weaker when converted into amps and compared with another machine.

    If you must do the conversion from amps to watts then try to just find the amp rating of the motor alone to make it a fair comparison.

     

    Amps

    This specification is very commonly given out by manufacturers as it rates the electrical usage of all the components of the vacuum cleaner together. The maximum number of amps than can be used by an electrical appliance in the UK is 13 amps. This is government regulation, so don’t believe any source that advertises a vacuum cleaner as being more powerful than this!

    Like Watts, amps measure the power of a vacuum cleaner and not its cleaning ability, it doesn’t take into account the efficiency of the motor. If you aren’t sure of the number of amps in an electrical appliance, you can check the number on the fuse inside the plug (if it’s safe to do so!)

     

     Volts

    In the UK, the voltage is 230V. This is the standard voltage of electricity outlets, it varies from country to country. The only exception to this in the UK is the specially designed 110V vacuum cleaners that are built for using with the safety current on building sites. They have a two-pin plug as opposed to the standard three-pin and won’t work in your home.

    Now that we’ve cleared that up, the main thing you need to know about volts and your vacuum cleaner are these two equations to work out amps and watts:

     Watts= Amps x Volts (230)

    Amps= Watts/Volts (230)

     

     Water lift

    Vacuum cleaners are put through a water lift test to see how powerful the suction is. The unit is sealed and attached to a tube of water; the test is to see how far the machine can lift the water level. In basic terms, the higher the water lift the better the suction power of the machine.

     

    Air watts

    This is a fairly new measurement designed specifically to compare vacuum cleaners, it measures the power in the airflow produced by the vacuum cleaner during suction. When testing the air watts, the air inlet size is gradually reduced in order to simulate everyday blockages that can occur in vacuum cleaners. The best result is somewhere in the middle range of both categories, where the suction power and airflow are maintained at a good level during the partial blockage.

     

    Filtration

    Depending on what you are using your vacuum cleaner for, filtration is a very important specification. Machines with a higher level of filtration must have a higher power to enable it to pull debris through the complex filter. The higher resistance from the filter can often mean vacuums with a HEPA filter are more expensive, because of the higher level of airflow they demand.

     

    PTO (Power Take Off)

    Power Take Off (PTO) is a term used to describe an additional power socket that is fitted onto a vacuum cleaner unit. Most commonly used for plugging in electric power tools, some PTO sockets also feature an integrated switch that synchronises the power switch on the vacuum cleaner to the power switch on the electric tool. This enables an operator to turn the vacuum cleaner on and off from the switch on their tool, cleaning as you work to capture dust, shavings etc. Our best-selling VQ1220PFC Multi 20 is prime example of a vacuum cleaner with PTO.

     

    Capacity

    Capacity is simply the size of the collection tank on your vacuum cleaner. Smaller capacity means you must empty your machine more often to avoid losing suction power. The bigger the capacity, the larger the airflow and cleaning ability. When considering the capacity, you’ll need, think about how often you use your vacuum cleaner and what you’re vacuuming, bigger is not necessarily better when it comes to being economical.

     

    Horsepower

    This specification has surprisingly little to do with vacuum cleaners and is mainly used for marketing purposes to suggest a high-power machine with little relation to the cleaning performance. It is measured by removing the fans from the vacuum cleaner motor, then running it to maximum capacity until it burns out. Clearly this is not an accurate measure of the actual cleaning ability. Although the term horsepower is not used very often now, if you do see it, be careful when using it to compare vacuum cleaners as it can be deceiving.

     

    kPA

    The kPA (kilo Pascal) is the maximum suction pressure during test conditions. This is measured with almost no airflow when the inlet is completely blocked. Remember that this measurement does not represent real-life conditions, as the inlet is not normally fully blocked during everyday use.

     

    Noise

    Depending on where you want to use your vacuum cleaner, noise can be a deal-breaker. The more power the machine has, naturally it will be louder, but some vacuums are louder than others. It is always worth checking the decibels (dB) of the device.

    To give you an idea of what decibels mean, a normal conversation at home is usually rated around 50dB, while a lawn mower is around 90dB, and a car horn is around 110dB. The average vacuum cleaner is around 80dB, but there are models out there that are designed to operate quietly. A quiet vacuum cleaner would operate at around 65-75dB, for example our Vacmaster Quiet operates at 72-74dB.

     

    Don’t leave it there!

    Of course, there are a range of other factors that will influence your decision when purchasing a vacuum cleaner. The price, brand, look and specific features to suit your personal needs are all important.  We hope that our guide to specifications can help you find exactly what you’re looking for and get the most out of your money.

     

    We hope you have enjoyed this article and found it helpful. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to get in touch by leaving a comment in the section below or send us an email at sales@cleva-uk.com.

  • Vacmaster Power 30 - Ideal Home Best Buy

    We all know that finding the right wet and dry vacuum cleaner can be a challenge. There's so much choice! Luckily, the experts over at Ideal Home magazine have done the research and found the best models on the market today. And we're very proud to announce that our Vacmaster Power 30 Wet and Dry vacuum cleaner features top on the Ideal Home Best Buy list.

    Scoring an impressive 4 out of 5 stars, it was also voted best for easy emptying!

    Vacmaster Power 30 Ideal Home Best Buy

    Ideal Home Best Buy Guide 2018:

    1. Great Value for Money

    Above all, the main benefit highlighted in the review is the great value for money that the Vacmaster Power 30 represents. Selling for less than £80, this vacuum cleaner has features which are “extremely impressive for the price”. Notably, the power take-off socket which turns any connected power tools on and off automatically.  Plus, the addition of a handy blow function.

    2. Clever Design

    “There’s a clever design, with space to store up to eight tools and stow the cable.”

    3. Innovative Drainage

    Finally, the feature that made the Power 30 stand out was its innovative drainage function. The outlet at the bottom of the canister makes emptying liquid waste after use super easy. So there's less mess and no need to lift a heavy 30-litre tank.

    We aim to make cleaning easy. So, it makes us very proud to see our Vacmaster Power 30  getting the recognition it deserves.

    Buy now:  Vacmaster Power 30  £79.80

    Read the full review at Ideal Home Best Buy Wet & Dry Vacuum Cleaner.

  • It’s Summer. The season of sun, sand & allergies!

    Girl Suffering from Hay FeverIt's summer and with allergies on the rise, now is the time to get them under control and put an end to suffering.

    Most of us are affected by allergies at some point in our lives. Allergies are one of the most prevalent chronic health conditions in Europe, with more than 150 million Europeans suffering daily (EAACI, 2016). In Britain alone, over 20% of the population is affected. Making the UK population one of the biggest sufferers of allergies in the world (M. L. Levy, 2004).

    What is an allergy?

    An allergy, or allergic disease, is a sensitivity in the immune system which triggers a reaction in our bodies when we’re exposed to certain substances in the environment. They can be triggered by almost anything. Some of the most common types of allergies are, food allergies, hay fever, and asthma.

    The science behind an allergy involves our immunoglobulin E antibodies. These antibodies, found in the body’s immune system, bind to allergens and then to a receptor on a mast cell. This binding triggers the release of a protein called Histamine. And it's the Histamine that causes the a reaction. For hay fever sufferers, it's the cells in the nostrils that produce Histamine when they're exposed to pollen. Causing a runny nose.

    Recent scientific research published by the Society of Asthma, Allergy and Clinical Immunology (AACI), suggests that there is a strong link between the health of our microbiome (the collection of microorganisms that inhabit our bodies) and our immune system. Findings indicate that because we are exposing ourselves to fewer microorganisms through the use of antibiotics and changes to our diet, for example, our susceptibility to asthma and allergies is increasing.

    Diagram of Histamine reaction to pollen

    Symptoms

    Symptoms vary greatly depending on the allergy. There are many factors which determine the type and severity of symptoms. Such as the amount of exposure we have to the allergen, the type of allergy, and even our genetics. Symptoms usually include: a runny nose, itching and sneezing, and hives or a rash on the skin. The most severe allergic reaction is called Anaphylaxis. This particular type of reaction needs to be treated immediately as it can become life threatening if left un-treated. A person suffering from Anaphylaxis shows the usual allergy symptoms, such as a runny nose and skin rash, however these symptoms then develop into vomiting/diarrhea or cramps, dizziness and fainting, shortness of breath and swelling and itching of the skin, throat and mouth.

    Avoiding allergic reactions

    An all-out cure for allergies has not yet been discovered, however there are ways to avoid suffering reactions. Doctors recommend two techniques; avoidance and medication. Once identified, certain allergens can be avoided, however some of the most common allergens, such as pollen, are almost impossible to stay away from.

    Medication in the form of a pill can help relieve symptoms but making lifestyle changes can be the key to living a normal life with allergies. There is mounting evidence to suggest that exposing ourselves to lots of different strains of gut friendly bacteria (symbiotic microorganisms) through diet and environment, can help regulate our immune system. However, keeping a clean and tidy home, free from allergens and irritants can also help avoid reactions.

    Here's our top 5 tips for avoiding allergens in your home:

      1. 1. Keep on top of washing 
        Bedding, pillows, and other items such as throws, rugs or blankets provide the perfect environment for dust mites to thrive. Up to 57% of adult patients and up to 88% of children have allergy related sleep problems leading to tiredness during the day and lack of concentration (Pawankar R, et al, 2013). Keeping your bedroom allergen free will help you to get a good, uninterrupted night’s sleep. Aim to wash your bedding at a hot temperature (60 degrees) at least once a week. Also, try to avoid highly perfumed, biological washing detergents as these can trigger reactions.

     

      1. 2. Dust – there’s a correct way to do it?
        Yes, there is. With dust comes dust mites, also known as one of the biggest indoor allergens. You may think dusting your home regularly is a simple day-to-day task, but just wiping away the dust with any old cloth can make matters worse by stirring up allergen particles and scattering them into the air. Make sure you use a damp cloth or a specially treated dust cloth to wipe surfaces. This ensures the dust sticks firmly to the cloth. Wearing a mask while dusting and minimizing clutter around the home, can also help.

     

      1. 3. Clean the environmentally friendly way
        Harsh chemical cleaning products can trigger allergies. So, swap the harsh chemicals for a greener clean! There are a lotEco-friendly cleaning products of environmentally (and human) friendly options available in supermarkets which contain more natural ingredients to leave your home clean and fresh without the potentially dangerous chemicals. Alternatively, it is super easy to make your own cleaning products at home using baking powder and vinegar.

     

      1. 4. Defend against mould
        Mould spores can trigger allergy symptoms but avoiding them can be easy if you know how. Mould gathers in damp areas, usually in the bathroom, so ensuring the room is fully protected against mould is vital. Use tiles or mould resistant paint on the walls, and regularly scrub away any mould starting to form. Replace your shower curtain when it begins to look mouldy, and use a dehumidifier or fan to reduce moisture, especially after taking a shower.

     

    1. 5. How can HEPA help?
      High-efficiency particulate air filters, more commonly known as HEPA filters, are designed to capture microscopic dust particles without blowing allergens into the air. Some air purifiers and vacuum cleaners contain HEPA filters that capture and trap extra fine dust particles (as small as 0.3 microns). Standard vacuum cleaner filters simply re-release allergens back into the room. Be careful to check that the filter in the machine you buy is a certified class H13 filter, as there are many HEPA 'type' filters posing as the genuine article. Here at Cleva we have many vacuum cleaners with certified H13 HEPA filters.  Including cordless vacuum cleaners from our household Joey range .

    Cleva Joey HEPA Vacuum Cleaner

    FIND OUT MORE

    Sources: https://www.allergyuk.org/ & https://www.webmd.com/allergies/guide/allergy-symptoms-types & https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4674907/

  • Good Housekeeping Institute verdict on the Joey cordless vacuum cleaner

    We know that unbiased, independent reviews are everything when it comes to helping you choose the best appliance for your home and budget. That’s why we asked the experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute to put our new Cleva Joey cordless vacuum cleaners through their paces. And we’re delighted with the verdict:

    Overall Score

    89/100 Joey 21.6V
    89/100 Cleva Joey 18V
    86/100 Joey 14V

    Good Housekeeping Institute Expert Verdict.    December 2017

     

    The Good Housekeeping Institute Experts were particularly impressed with the pick-up performance of the powered brush head on our 21.6V & 18V Joeys. Giving us a fantastic score of 4.5/5 for performance.

    “The motorised brush head copes well with dust and debris pick up, with almost top marks in these tests - and it picked up pet hair in just one sweep!” GHI Expert on Joey 21.6V Touch.

    All three of our Cleva Joey cordless vacuum cleaners underwent real-life testing. Each vacuum cleaner was evaluated on performance, design, ease of use and quality of instructions.

    You can read the full verdict of all three reviews at the Good Housekeeping Institute

     

    Shop Cleva Joey

     

  • Cleva Joey cordless vacuum cleaners get the Good Housekeeping Institute approved endorsement

    When we sent our new Cleva Joey cordless vacuum cleaners to the experts at Good Housekeeping, there was an atmosphere of nervous excitement here at Cleva HQ.

    We knew that the Joey would be put through a barrage of tests. On performance, design and ease of use. So, when the news came in earlier this week that its passed the test and has been given the coveted Good Housekeeping Approved endorsement, we were super proud.

    ‘The 3 Cleva Joey vacuums have been rigorously tested by the Good Housekeeping Institute Experts and are now GHI Approved’. Good Housekeeping Institute.

    The GHI Approved initiative is an unbiased, independent endorsement. And only those products that pass the consumer Quality Assessment tests gain the prestigious endorsement. 

    The reviews will be available on The Good Housekeeping Institute in the New Year.

    According to Gfk - the fourth largest market research organisation in the world - our desire for more convenient appliances that save us time has seen sales of cordless vacuum cleaners grow considerably in recent years. Up 45% and still growing. http://www.gfk.com/insights/press-release/small-domestic-appliances-trending-to-convenience-health-and-connectivity/

    If you’re yet to join the cord-free cleaning revolution, then you can learn more about our Cleva Joeys here.

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