On 1 September 2014, vacuum cleaners in the EU will have to abide by a new set of minimum requirements. They cover:
- Performance (ability to pick up dust)
- Energy efficiency
- Dust re-emission in the exhaust air (particularly important for people with asthma)
- Noise level
- Durability (no early failure of the hose or the motor)
So we look at power, but also at performance.
As regards power, the maximum allowed input power will be reduced: from 1600 Watt in 1 September 2014, to 900 Watt in September 2017. The current average on the market is about 1800 Watt.
But – contrary to what is written in some articles and comments –the amount of Watt does not automatically indicate how well a vacuum cleaner will clean. The amount of Watt indicates how much electrical power is used by the engine.
The important question is: How efficient is this electrical power translated into picking-up dust? Dust pick-up is also part of the new technical standard. New models put on the market must undergo a practical test, where the pick-up performance is measured and they have to achieve a certain pick-up factor.
As a result of the new EU ecodesign and labelling regulations, consumers will also get better vacuum cleaners. In the past there was no legislation on vacuum cleaners and companies could sell poorly performing vacuum cleaners. Now, vacuum cleaners that use a lot of energy, that pick up dust poorly, emit too much dust at the exhaust of the vacuum cleaner, are noisy or break down pre-maturely will not be allowed on the market anymore. This means a better cleaning experience and less time and money spent on vacuum cleaning.
The ecodesign regulation was adopted on 13 July 2013 with requirements coming into force 1/9/2014: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2013:192:0024:0034:EN:PDF
The energy label regulation was adopted on 3 May 2013 with labelling requirements by 1/9/2014: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2013:192:0001:0023:EN:PDF