Thread Number: 17626
Vacuum watts in new Argos
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Post# 190713   7/20/2012 at 12:06 (2,814 days old) by Turbo500 (West Yorkshire, UK)        

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I noticed Argos have stopped listing the motor wattage on their vacuums in the new catalogue but have started listing the airwatts generated - a massive step in the right direction

Post# 190718 , Reply# 1   7/20/2012 at 13:00 (2,814 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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Really ? That's good, but then it isn't...

Reason being, if I were buying a new vacuum I'd want to check I wasn't buying a 2400W screamer!

Still, it is taking the attention away from wattage which may in the long run inspire manufacturers to lower wattages in favour of better designed motors ?

Post# 190733 , Reply# 2   7/20/2012 at 15:06 (2,814 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

It is, because at least they all start on an even playing field this way, but it still means very little. High air-watts does not make for best cleaning and we here all know this, plus it will of course trail off significantly as bags fill and filters clog. What is needed for accurate decision making is for us all to be told how many air watts are needed to accomplish a range of every-week cleaning tasks. For instance, hard floor vacuuming and curtains are going to require very little air watts.

Then add to that the knowledge of the air-watts when the cleaner is half full of average dirt and dust. That would be useful. And as we all also know, if the floor tool is poor, this can make or break even the best vacuum cleaner.

Post# 190744 , Reply# 3   7/20/2012 at 16:03 (2,814 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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That is true Benny, they should do two air watt readings.

One when the bag/bin is empty and one when it is half full, that way you can tell how much it drops when it has seen some use.

Still, there are variables in that too. If your carpet's dirt consists of mainly large pieces of dirt then the suction will remain higher as the bag/bin fills, but if you vacuum up a lot of fine dust it will clog quicker.

There is no way to really tell what it will be like for you, but at least the empty/half full idea would be somewhat close to realistic.

Post# 190746 , Reply# 4   7/20/2012 at 16:06 (2,814 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

That is why I said an average type of dust and dirt. Unless someone has builders in or uses carpet freshener powder, there is not going to be huge amounts of fine dust to clean up in an average home. And as I also suggested, without knowing how many air watts are needed, it is very hard to translate the outcome into everyday cleaning.

Post# 190750 , Reply# 5   7/20/2012 at 16:16 (2,814 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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True again, we don't actually have a number of air watts that defines "enough" and "too much".

Perhaps somebody on here could inform us ? If indeed anybody knows...

Post# 190760 , Reply# 6   7/20/2012 at 17:01 (2,814 days old) by thevacuumlover1 ()        

We use CFM here to measure air movement. Every vacuum cleaner company always lists it in the manual what the CFM and amperage is. I thought argos mostly sold those ugly blue, grotesque value range things. Guess i didn't look at the website quick enough... ohhh welllll.

Post# 190761 , Reply# 7   7/20/2012 at 17:05 (2,814 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

Argos sell all kinds of products, and a good deal of different vacuum cleaners. Do you have any statistics on your side of the world which state what air wattage is useful for each task?

Post# 190765 , Reply# 8   7/20/2012 at 17:20 (2,814 days old) by thevacuumlover1 ()        

No, it just states the CFM and thats it. Really doesn't tell you what its good for.. I'd imagine the hose if it was a clean air machine and for a dirty air i'd imagine it would be good at the floor.

Post# 190776 , Reply# 9   7/20/2012 at 19:57 (2,814 days old) by FantomLightning (Ohio)        

Wouldn't the most important thing be how the machine puts air watts to use? Mainly with things like Tool, Hose, Brushroll, and Nozzle design. It doesn't seem to me that air watts would be the most important thing in the equation, one of high importance but not the most.

Post# 190794 , Reply# 10   7/20/2012 at 22:28 (2,813 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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Benny - well said - I couldn't agree more. Buyers only know "half" of the story where Air watts is concerned. But I don't think knowing "what level of air watts is required for certain cleaning,"is required since that would be impossible to gauge. Homes are different both on sizes, traffic from people, pets, lifestyles etc. It would be impossible to statistically state to what extent suitable air watts would be justified for each task, and before you know it, it could translate to buyers wanting to know, as pedantic as it seems, the levels of water used in a kettle to make it economically viable. Those with 3kw kettles and that daft Tefal One Cup are dreaming if they think their products are eco-friendly, even if brands promise it. 


IMHO Air watts is a by word from Dyson - and it only appeared in the UK under the marketing that everyone now wants to get into the act of. 


Noise levels are something that can only be trusted with half way too - if they are tested in a room that is void of noise, then fine, but brands like Hoover claim 79dbl is "quiet" when the machines they claim are quiet, aren't really and the tests that brands reveal aren't always consistent either. Really, it depends on your own choices, but there should be more outlets in the UK other than John Lewis where you can test run a few machines before you buy.

Post# 190818 , Reply# 11   7/21/2012 at 08:22 (2,813 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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I agree with that Ryan.

There really should be more shops where you can go in and test out a Vacuum Cleaner before buying.

Of course I would NEVER use them just to test the machines then leave without buying anything... :)

Post# 190840 , Reply# 12   7/21/2012 at 11:17 (2,813 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

Sebofan, thank you for your reply. Here is the number (1) I am unable to add officially to your post. But when I said about knowing what air-watts are needed, what I meant was the public could do a lot worse than being told in a very general sense that air-watts don't count for much on a good deal of jobs, like vacuuming bare floors where the slightest breeze is enough to disturb the dirt. Carpet vacuuming is the only real task which is going to need suction power, brushing action, etc. The vast majority of cleaning tasks can be done quite well on a very low suction power. Though the reality is of course that although carpet vacuuming is only a fraction of the jobs we need a vacuum cleaner for, it is the one task which is done most often.

I would still like the consumer to be shown a bigger picture though, of how many tasks don't rely on much power.

Post# 190848 , Reply# 13   7/21/2012 at 14:07 (2,813 days old) by Scaniabebe ()        
Watts and AirWatts. Why not both?

Yes, I have only just realized this after opening my new Argos Catologue just a minute ago.

Yes, AirWatts do matter, but so does Wattage. As I have said before, so AirWatts and Wattage can both be high and very good. A large, powerful motor with a large fan, is the best of both worlds. Powerful, and reliable. The only problems I see with that is that prices would be higher, and that it would be louder than a smaller fan. But, I think we'd all rather a Louder Vacuum with Awesome Suction, than a silent one with no suction? Am I right?

Really, Argos should have kept Watts, but just added a new box for Air Watts. Simple.

@thevacuumlover1 who said "I thought argos mostly sold those ugly blue, grotesque value range things.": No, they used to, back in the late 90s, early 00s. But, they sell vacuums of all types, Numatics, Dysons, Mieles, Vaxs, Hoovers, Bissells, Panasonics, Russell Hobbs and Karchers. But, they do carry their own Branded stuff, which is cheap and cr***y, and should be avoided at all costs.

Bad news, if you was going to consider buying a new Numatic HVR200-A (Henry) Autosave from Argos, the price has raised from 99.99 to 199.99. 149.99 for the Henry Extra HVX200-22, and the GVE370 (George) is now 199.97. The HHR200-A (Harry) and CVC370 (Charles) are not available from Argos.

Just thought I'd update you all on that!:)

Post# 190851 , Reply# 14   7/21/2012 at 14:37 (2,813 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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Well in the last Argos catalogue they showed the watts and air watts.

Post# 190857 , Reply# 15   7/21/2012 at 15:49 (2,813 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

I would not like a noisy vacuum cleaner with 'awesome' suction. I would like it to be a quiet as possible, with enough air watts to do the job. Do you know what 'enough' is? No, nor me. Suction -as is said over and over - on here, is only one aspect of what makes a vacuum cleaner do its job. During the 1980's, a good deal of vacuum cleaners on sale in the UK were quiet and yet had good suction power. So it can be done.

Incidently, if Argos are showing the price of 199.99 for the Henry, that can only be so that can 'reduce' it in future, and state a price difference. There is no way anyone would ever sell it for that, and indeed the on-line price is only 109.99.

Post# 190858 , Reply# 16   7/21/2012 at 15:57 (2,813 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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200 for a Henry!? Yes, they must be doing it for the reason Benny suggested!

It was the same with the Hoover Turbo Power. In the last catalogue they had it advertised for 250 but it was reduced to around 120 on the website shortly after.

Post# 190915 , Reply# 17   7/22/2012 at 03:04 (2,812 days old) by Scaniabebe ()        

Sorry, my bad, I meant 119.99. Sorry about that, I was drunk on Haribos!XD

Post# 190950 , Reply# 18   7/22/2012 at 09:27 (2,812 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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Oh I see! Phew, thought the people in the pricing department for Argos were a few cards short of a deck there... Well, I should rephrase that - A few MORE cards short of a deck than usual :)

Post# 190953 , Reply# 19   7/22/2012 at 10:21 (2,812 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

I always thought Argos to be one of the more efficient stores around. Considering the amount of stock they sell, I am surprised there aren't more mistakes.

Post# 190960 , Reply# 20   7/22/2012 at 13:31 (2,812 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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Um.. well it isn't Argos fault - its the manufacturer who supplies the stats and the prices at the time of the purchasing. I only know this because I moaned to Argos a few years ago about the pricing of one of their dishwashers I was going to buy. Argos purchase models and appliances from the brands and use the prices as they see fit. Argos also take into consideration what other companies are doing, such as Comet, John Lewis et al - therefore they either offer a competitive pricing structure or a "lead in, brand new" pricing. 


The best thing about Argos is that sometimes you don't get what you actually purchased - mate of mine bought a JVC budget micro hifi a couple of years ago that cost £99-99 and got a premium JVC unit that Argos was also selling at £399! Sometimes the companies misplace the products under the wrong product code and it also happens with a lot of other appliances, including vacuums. 


Also the "cheap tat" that someone else referred to here at Argos isn't Argos own - some of the bagged cylidner vacuums are a mix of Eureka cylinder vacs from the U.S under the Proaction & Russell Hobbs tag, to Argos Value who rebadge Vax appliances that aren't always available in the UK. Case in point - Argos Value bagless upright is based on the Vax Essentials upright, sat underneath it in the website - you can clearly tell, despite the colour changes - model numbers are pretty similar too.




Post# 191185 , Reply# 21   7/24/2012 at 09:53 (2,810 days old) by Turbo500 (West Yorkshire, UK)        
AirWatts do matter, but so does Wattage.

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Sorry, but I couldn't disagree more. For me, it's all about air-watts generated. Look out how well the Hoover Junior and Turbopower perform and they only use 300w and 410w respectively. My Panasonic 47 has incredible suction power and that only use 700w max. Infact, it has stronger suction than my mother's 1800w Electrolux.


Just look at old Numatic cylinders as a prime example. 800w and you know how much suction they have.


On another note, I also have to disagree with you about the Argos Value range. I'd sooner pay £35 for a cheapie, Argos Value bagless vac than pay £100 for pretty much the same machine but branded "Vax" or "Hoover" (the Vax Power and Hoover Whirlwind range are virtually identical in design). The bagged cleaners are actually not half bad, especially for the price.

Post# 191205 , Reply# 22   7/24/2012 at 12:54 (2,810 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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Ah but Chris, you're falling into that trap already that "air watts" is the same as motor watts - if you refer to the old Hoover uprights that use the actual wattage power of 300w and 410w, there are not air watts and if there was a way to find out what the air watts were these days with these old vacuums, they wouldn't be very much from the hose. Also don't forget that of the Hoover models you do mention, those are upright by design only. I can recall from my own Hoover Junior U1104 that the suction through the hose wasn't that good, and a bit better with the convertor on my older Junior U1012 upright. 


As Benny pointed out, air watts only goes so far -it is pointless taking into account air watts where bagged vacuums are concerned anyway as the dust eventually clogs the bag and the suction is reduced. This also occurs as well with the Vax/cheap branded bagless vacs with the "regularly clean" filters for extra maintenance of power - air watts can't be trusted unless they have been put into a vacuum that offers constant suction all the time, and we all know what brand uses that as a heavy advertiser.


As you know not all vacuums are made the same - the Numatic has an excellent sealed suction system and likewise with Sebo, it depends on the actual way air flow is maintained as well as minimising air leakage through performance that produces the power, not just the motor alone. 


Lastly, as the previous owner of an Argos Value bagged upright, they're good at what they are designed to do - but getting the bags and belts for it can be a complete nightmare! Getting drive belts off the high street was impossible. I don't like to shop for everything online but that's an issue you have to do because Argos eventually get rid of stock like consumables as well as running out on a daily or weekly basis. The bagged upright is fantastic value, but you do have to do a lot more assembly than the cheapest mass-brand bagged vacuum that Argos sell and because of its exclusivity, I often had to buy two packs of dust bags to keep me going. It was cheap to buy, but to maintain for a medium sized home with 3 people sharing, not really that cost effective. If the bags had been larger on capacity, then yes I could well have seen it as an economical purchase; thus the Panasonic upright that Argos sell is far more reliable, not just in terms of performance but for the fact that nationally and locally, there are far more widespread parts, bags and filters - as well as having a larger dust bag capacity.



Post# 191209 , Reply# 23   7/24/2012 at 13:21 (2,810 days old) by Turbo500 (West Yorkshire, UK)        

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Ryan, I think you miss understood what I meant.

Jason pointed out that both the motor wattage AND air watts are important. I was saying that, in my experience, the motor watts are irrelevant to the performance of the cleaner.

Post# 191210 , Reply# 24   7/24/2012 at 13:43 (2,810 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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I totally agree Chris, as long as the air watts are sufficient, the motor watts really don't count.

Post# 191213 , Reply# 25   7/24/2012 at 14:12 (2,810 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

Would you gentlemen permit me to word it like this: It is how the cleaner is built which matters, and how that then produces the final product; the air watts.

So, electrical wattage, design and size of motor, and design of the ducting all goes towards the air watts. To say electrical watts do not matter is both right and wrong, because as the old cylinder cleaners prove, a low wattage motor is not great, but as Turbo500 suggests, the 800watt Numatic machines certainly did raise the gain. So in that instance I think it is fair to say a motor needs around 800-1000 electrical watts to hit it's stride.

Put that electrical rating to a well designed cleaner and the motor, and there you have ample air watts. Dyson proved this on the DC04 where the tubes were such that airflow and suction was maximised. After that came the DC07 with extra cyclones and a redesigned cyclone unit, proving again what 'design' can do. As has been said so many times, cleaners today are not built to maximise a relativley low electrical watt motor, they just have cheap designs and high wattage motors to compensate for it. One can only imagine the power behind a 2500 watt motor which was designed to the standard of the 1970's Electrolux cylinder motor, fitted to a model 345. The cleaner would implode for sure.

However, to bore you all again, I return to my original point; how do we know what air watts are 'enough'?

Post# 191239 , Reply# 26   7/24/2012 at 16:24 (2,810 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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Well, as I did say in my post originally - its how airflow is maintained, how well sealed the vacuum is and if it has sealed suction. However, Benny even if a vacuum cleaner is well built, the air watts can't be trusted because they diminish as soon as the bag or filter gets clogged up with dust.


Where other confusion can often happen between global consumers and buyers is that the old adage that the higher wattage a vacuum cleaner's motor has, the better suction it will produce. This then leads to the three type vacuum cleaner processes;  dirty fan, clean fan and tandem air. I recall there were other threads on here regarding dirty fan vs clean air.  


In so far as a dirty fan vacuum cleaner producing a better "cleaning action," versus high powered clean air vacuums, the use of air watts to suggest that one is better than the other would probably show that the air watts is lower from a dirty fan compared to that of the higher motor built into a clean fan system. Yet... when you think about it, we, as buyers and consumers are only going by our own experiences - thus air watts can't really be trusted as law.


It would be fine if all vacuums maintained suction all the time when or if bags got to their fullest, or if that paper pleated cone filter in a cheap bagless brand never clogged. Air watts could therefore be more trustworthy and consistent. It appears to me air watts has been overused and is thus a false promise - a bit like "lifetime filters."

Post# 191241 , Reply# 27   7/24/2012 at 16:29 (2,810 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

And added to that, no one knows how many air watts are really needed. Did I mention this?

Post# 191242 , Reply# 28   7/24/2012 at 16:34 (2,810 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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I can't remember much, but I remember you mentioned that Benny :)

Post# 191244 , Reply# 29   7/24/2012 at 16:37 (2,810 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

Yes I thought I had. Are you the gentleman with the 1977 Hoover Ranger?

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