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Since 1st September 2014, manufacturers of household appliances must include a label on vacuum cleaners, showing their energy consumption and efficiency.

Since 1st September 2014, the new EU ECODESIGN* directive requires manufacturers of vacuum cleaners to fulfil new standards in terms of energy economy and efficiency. The European Commission now requires all manufacturers to make significant reductions in the electricity consumption of their appliances, whilst at the same time improving suction and filtration efficiency.

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Just like the system that is already in place for white goods, vacuum cleaners will now be rated from A to G to allow consumers to compare and choose thanks to clear and precise labelling:

  • Energy efficiency;
  • Electricity consumption;
  • Dust pick-up performance on carpets and smooth floors;
  • Quality of filtration.

In addition, the power of vacuum cleaners will now be limited to 1,600 W (900 W by 2017) and the noise level clearly shown.

Consume less energy with small electrical household appliances (vacuum cleaner Rowenta)

(*) Regulation of the European Commission implementing directive 2009/125/CE of the European Parliament and Council concerning the ecodesign requirements applicable to vacuum cleaners.


How does a vacuum cleaner work?

To simplify matters, this can be broken down into three main phases:

  • Firstly, the vacuum cleaner lifts the dust from the ground and into the suction head. The suction power is measured by the vacuum in the column, which is expressed at this point in kPa (kilopascals).
  • The dust is then transported from the suction head to the bag or tank inside the appliance. This action depends on the quantity of air circulating in the tube, measured by air flow per second (dm3/s).
  • The dust is retained in the bag or tank and the air is released once it has been filtered. The quality of released air depends on the performance of the filtering elements.

Understanding the new universal labelling system

This new and unique energy label will enable buyers to gain a better understanding of the performance criteria of the various models of vacuum cleaner and above all to compare them!

It takes into account 6 key criteria:

  • The energy efficiency rating measuring the ratio between dust pick-up efficiency and energy consumption.
  • The international rating scale, divided into 7 ratings and shown opposite.
  • The actual dust pick-up efficiency measured in the suction head by a DPU (“dust pick-up”) index on smooth floors (tiles, parquet etc.) and on carpets.
  • The average annual energy consumption, linked with the power of the appliance in watts.
  • Dust re-emission, which is the amount of dust released by the vacuum cleaner after filtration.
  • The noise level expressed in decibels (dB) when the power is set to the max position.

Filtration quality

The quality of filtration depends on the type of filter elements inside the vacuum cleaner. This is a very important criterion for people with allergies as well as where animals are present. Without filtration, the dust would not stay inside the vacuum cleaner.

There are three types of filter: Foam filters, micro-filters and HEPA filters at air entry and exit. All of these must be cleaned or changed regularly to guarantee consistent performance over time.

HEPA filters offer the best performance, with a technology that is similar to that used in operating rooms for the HEPA 13, which filters 99% of particles and is recommended for people with allergies.

Noise levels

Noise levels in vacuum cleaners vary enormously according to the model and make a huge difference to user comfort. The new energy labelling makes it easy to compare the noise level of each model, provided that you take into account the fact that the noise does work on a linear scale – a 3 dB gain in performance halves the perception of sound. Some key values for comparison purposes:

  • 140 dB = an aeroplane taking off
  • 90 dB = lawnmower
  • 70 dB = television
  • 60-65 dB = normal conversation

Rowenta vacuum cleaners displaying 65 dB therefore enable you to stay connected with your environment, hear the telephone ring, the radio or the television and talk without having to shout.