From Friday, 1st September new EU regulations will affect the sale and import of corded vacuum cleaners sold in the EU.
As part of the EU’s energy efficient directive, designed to help tackle climate change, the new rules will reduce the maximum wattage from 1,600w to 900w, limit maximum operating noise to 80dB and require vacuum cleaners to pass two durability tests, for both the motor and main hose.
Included in the regulations will be a new rating scale on all energy labels. For the first time, vacuum cleaners will be rated A+++ to D for energy use (A+++ for the most efficient and D for the least efficient). The label will also rate the cleaning performance on carpet and hard floors, dust emissions and average annual energy consumption.
The new rules are designed to boost energy efficiency and cut carbon emissions, but what do they mean for you or your business?
- Limited performance
The reduction of power will not always reduce performance. The number of watts does not automatically indicate how well a vacuum cleaner will clean, instead a combination of factors impact how well a vacuum cleaner performs. These include the motor and cylinder design, the shape of the vacuum head, airflow, whether the vacuum is full or empty and whether the filters are regularly cleaned. As a result, a larger emphasis will be on how efficient the electrical power is translated into picking-up dust.
To assess the performance of a vacuum cleaner when buying, look closely at the suction and airflow figures. Limiting wattage could make it more difficult for manufacturers to produce a vacuum cleaner that uses less power but delivers the same suction and airflow performance as current models on the market, without increasing the price to pay for the additional research and development costs needed.
- How will this affect you?
When the time comes to replace your old vacuum cleaner, it is likely that your range of choice will be limited to more expensive, high-end models that maintain good performance levels and the lower-cost, poorer performing models.
While energy efficiency is an important consideration when choosing a vacuum, we expect that most consumers and businesses place carpet and hard floor cleaning performance well above this.
That’s why it’s important that consumers know that wet and dry vacuum cleaners and cordless (battery operated) vacuums will not be affected by the new EU regulations that come into effect on the 1st September.
Wet and dry vacuum cleaners can offer greater value for money. Offering the same high performance that is currently available in a much more cost-effective package, with additional benefits such as versatility and the disposal of liquids compared to a typical corded upright vacuum.
An alternative to paying more for a high performance, quiet vacuum would be to purchase a cordless vacuum system. Offering a good performance with a low noise, a cordless vacuum is battery operated and leaves cleaning hassle and cord free. Most cordless vacuums are extremely lightweight, offer sufficient runtime for daily cleaning and come complete with a detachable handheld for cleaning counter tops, stairs and cars.