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Ten days left to vacuum up a powerful cleaner

image copyrightThinkstock
image captionThe EU says most vacuum cleaners waste too much energy

Anyone wanting to buy a powerful vacuum cleaner has only 10 days left to be certain of getting one - following new EU rules that come in next month.

From 1 September, companies in the EU will be banned from making or importing vacuum cleaners above 1600 watts.

Hoover - based in South Wales - said that most of its cleaners were in that category.

Since July it has been replacing its models with less powerful versions, but a few of the old ones are still left on the shelves.

Elements of the directive are being challenged by the Dyson group.

The consumer organisation Which? says many of the models involved were rated as "best buys" by its researchers.

In one recent study, five of the top seven cleaners had motors of more than 1600 watts.

image copyrightHoover
image captionModels like this Hoover will no longer be available

The new European rules are part of the EU's energy efficiency directive, designed to help tackle climate change.

Among the models which will soon no longer be available are:

  • Hoover Spirit TSP2101 (2100w)
  • Miele S5281 (2200w)
  • Samsung CycloneForce Sensor (2100w)
  • Bosch BSG8PRO1 ( 1800w)

No models made by Dyson are affected, as all the motors on their machines are below 1600w.

However manufacturers are bringing in new models, which they say are much more energy-efficient, and just as effective.

Court Challenge

The new EU directive on energy efficiency will also require manufacturers to put an energy rating on the box.

From 1 September, vacuum cleaners will be given seven different ratings, from A to G.

This includes measuring the performance on hard floors, carpets, and how much dust is emitted.

But the Dyson group is challenging this aspect of the new rules, and has applied for a judicial review of the EU directive.

It argues that the performance criteria do not include testing a vacuum cleaner when there is already dirt inside it - what it calls "dust-loaded".

Dyson also says that 126 million cleaner bags and filters from new vacuum cleaners end up in landfill across the EU every year.

Yet the new labelling system does not reflect the impact of used bags and filters on the environment.

The rules will get even tougher in three years' time.

From 1 September 2017, all vacuum cleaners will have to be less than 900w.

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