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The EU to ban powerful vacuum cleaners: they will disappear from September 1st

The EU to ban powerful vacuum cleaners: they will disappear from September 1st

If you think the best way for cleaning your home fast is using powerful vacuum cleaners, then run into some electronics shop and get a good stock of them. In ten days in fact you will only find appliances with reduced power: a maximum of 1600 Watt, when today average is 1800 Watt. The most powerful vacuum cleaners will be retired from the market in accordance to the new regulation on ecodesign approved by the European Union, adopted in July 2013 and in force starting from 1 September 2014.

This will be just a first step: from 2017 the de-powering will be even more remarkable, down to 900 Watt. Energy saving which will get citizens’ life more complicated? Not at all, said the European Community, according to which European consumers will get vacuum cleaners better than ever before instead. “They will use less energy and have the same performances,” assured Marlene Holzner, spokesperson for Energy at the European Commission, into a blogpost: citizens will “save money and Europe as a whole will use less energy.”

According to Holzner, “the amount of Watt does not automatically indicate how well a vacuum cleaner will clean,” but just “how much electrical power is used by the engine.” The important question, continued Holzner, is: “How efficiently is electrical power translated into picking up dust?” Even this aspect will be covered by new technical standards, explained Holzner: “vacuum cleaners must meet minimum dust pick-up requirements, based on a practical test that measurese the pick-up performance.”

New rules in fact will deal with efficiency in terms of dust pick-up, noise level, energy efficiency, dust re-emission in the exhaust air, durability. New rules will apply to labelling too: for the first time, vacuum cleaners will be rated on A – G scales evaluating all its aspects: cleaning, noise, consumption…in this way, “vacuum cleaners consuming too much energy, not cleaning well, emitting too much dust, being too noisy or not durable won’t be put in the market any longer,” concluded Holzner.

Still, it is not that easy, someone else said. The British Consumers Association Which?, for instance, has already indicated a series of critical aspects. First, using less powerful vacuum cleaners, they say, will just mean they will need to be used longer. Result: the same energy consumption as before. Then, labels helping consumers with their choices will be self-made by the producers: will there be any third party controller? Who will guarantee these labels are truthful?

The Consumers Association has also indicated a simple item on the tests performed to choose the best vacuum cleaners: in their ranking as at January 2013, in the first seven positions five vacuum cleaners had engines more powerful than 1600 Watt. That would mean something, wouldn’t it?