About Performance Rates on Insulation Machines: Blowers and Vacuums

“This blower can blow 2,000 lbs of cellulose an hour!”

“Our vacuum can extract 3,000 lbs of cellulose an hour!”

What about production rate claims? What is the thinking and process behind making these claims? There are varying, wildly skewed rates that are published on the internet and claimed over-the-phone. Can they be trusted? Why or why not? What goes into establishing these rates?

Since blowers and vacuums are different “animals,” we need to discuss them separately

Insulation Blowers and Production Rates

The insulation machine industry has a standard benchmark for testing the production rates of insulation blowers. These rates can be measured and compared with solid results. How are these rates pretty solid?

  • Manufacturers test the blowing rates of their machines by attaching 100 feet of hose to the machine with a 12 foot lift/rise.
  • Material used during testing is virgin. The material is free of debris. The material weighs the same and has nothing that will impinge free blowing.

You can be assured that your insulation blower will come close to matching published production rates. At least with the rates published on this site, we do not inflate the rates.

Insulation Removal Vacuums and Production Rates

Production rates on vacuums are spurious. Unlike a blower, vacuums are used to extract materials that are damaged, aged and have foreign objects. Production rates will vary greatly because every house will have a different consistency of material.

  • Unlike blowers, there is no common standard for testing production rates. There are no agreed upon lengths of hose or rise.
  • Instead of measurements by pounds per square feet, the exact measurement is determined by what is called “water column.” Water column is a measurement used to find the amount of suction power that a vacuum produces. The higher the water column number, the more suction that vacuum produces.

Here is a quick (44 second) explanation of water-column rates: