You may already be aware of energy labels on home appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers. Labelling is really important as it helps you make sure you know exactly what you’re buying. And in the UK from September 2014, all vacuum cleaners must display an energy label. Bosch has always been a frontrunner when it comes to energy efficient appliances, but what does the new labelling mean for you as a consumer?
Let’s take a closer look...
1. Energy efficiency class
The coloured bars show the energy efficiency of the product. An ‘A’ means it’s the most energy efficient, with each subsequent letter being less energy efficient until we get to ‘G’ which is the least. However – you can get an A-rating by simply reducing the amount of power the vacuum uses. And so an A model might not clean as effectively as some others.
2. Average annual energy consumption
This calculation is based on an average household with 87 sq m who vacuum about once a week. The real figure for your house will depend upon its size and how often you vacuum.
3. Dust re-emission class
Dust re-emission class tells you how clean the exhaust air is. Exhaust air comes out of the appliance and is measured by the number of particles found in it. The type and quality of the filter, along with how well the vacuum is sealed, will determine how clean the exhaust air is. Clean exhaust air is important for people with allergies.
4. Sound power level
Looking for the quietest option? This panel shows how noisy the vacuum cleaner is. The sound level is given in decibels. If the level is below 70dB, you’ll still clearly hear music, a mobile or a baby calling. The average vacuum cleaner is 78dB.
5. Carpet cleaning performance class
This is measured in percentage dust pick-up on a standard test carpet. The vacuums that pick up the most dust will be rated here as ‘A’. High dust pick-up reduces allergies and sucks up dirt which is deep down in the carpet. For a clean and hygienic carpet, choose C or above.
6. Hard floor cleaning performance class
This is measured in dust pick-up and describes the amount of dust that is removed from a standard crevice filled with dust. The better the cleaning performance, the faster you can clean dirt out of crevices like tiles and wooden floors. For a clean and hygienic floor, choose C or above.
Frequently asked questions.
How can I tell which vacuum cleaner is the quietest?
Look for the decibel (dB) level – the lower the number, the quieter the vacuum cleaner. A label with 70dB or less means that when the cleaner is on, it is quiet enough so that you can still hear music in the background, the phone ringing, someone at the door or a baby crying.
How can I tell which vacuum cleaner is the best on hard floors?
Every cleaner is given a rating from A to G on how well it cleans hard floors – A is the best cleaning performance, G is the lowest cleaning performance. For clean and hygienic hard floors you really should choose models given no lower than a C rating.
How can I tell which vacuum cleaner gets my carpets really clean?
Every cleaner is given a rating from A to G on its dust pick-up - A is the best cleaning performance, G is the lowest cleaning performance. The better the rat-ing, the more dust the cleaner can pick up that is deep down in the carpet. Which means your carpets will be cleaner and more hygienic, and it will make the home environment more pleasant for any allergy sufferers too.
How can I tell which vacuum cleaner gives the cleanest, dust-free performance?
Air that passes through and out of the vacuum cleaner is called re-emission – and every model now has a performance rating (from A to G) based on the quality of its re-emissions. Models with the best A-rating have the most efficient and effective exhaust filters that capture the most dust and allergen particles and prevent them from being re-emitted in the home. A-rated appliances are the best choice if there are any allergy sufferers living at home.