Like many people, you’ve owned a variety of vacuums throughout your life, including upright, stick and canister vacs. Since these are all portable vacuum cleaners, you have to go through the hassle of taking them out, unraveling the power cord and lifting them when necessary.
However, a different type of vacuum cleaner is changing the way people vacuum, and it’s called a central vacuum system.
What Is a Central Vacuum System?
Typically, the unit is installed in the home’s garage or basement. To vacuum your house, you simply connect the hose to an outlet and stretch the hose to the area you need to clean.
How They Work
There’s nothing complicated about central vacuum systems (CVS) and how they operate. For the user, the only difference that comes with owning a CVS is the fact that the days of lugging around the bulky body of a traditional vacuum cleaner are over. All users need to do is plug in their hose to an outlet at the wall and the central system installed into the infrastructure of their home will do the rest of the work.
Central vacuum systems are powered by a large motor installed out of sight in a secluded area of the house, such as an underground basement or the home’s garage. The installed motor powers every outlet throughout the house.
Pipes installed behind the walls suck up debris from any room that you are vacuuming in and get moved to wherever the central system is installed. Generally, the bag or collection tank for dirt and debris is situated above the motor in the same room and is generally kept well away from the occupants of the home. The suction power of the central vacuum system can often be controlled through a switch located on the handle of the suction hose, meaning the system can be turned on and off from any room within the house.
The CVS also has an installed filtration system to trap dust and allergens. This ensures that the air in your home is left cleaner, which is ideal for occupants who suffer from allergies or asthma.
Reasons to Buy a Central Vacuum System
Although a regularly overlooked product, central vacuum systems (CVSs) actually have a number of good qualities that may even make you rethink purchasing a movable unit instead.
1. Easy to Use
A major downside when it comes to generic movable vacuums is that they need to be lugged from room to room, and are pretty heavy. Stick vacuum cleaners and handheld units may resolve this, but they tend to be very limited in terms of suction strength and battery life.
Alternatively, the wand and intake spout of a CVS is lightweight and easy to maneuver. These parts are also easily stored away close to the outlets. As a result, users can conserve their energy while cleaning, thereby reducing the risk of overexertion, strain, or injury. Bulkier vacuum units could cause injury if dropped or even when being picked up, particularly for the user’s back. The additional hazard of the cord may be dangerous for children and animals in the house, as they could easily trip or become entangled.
An additional issue is that the wheels of mobile vacuum cleaners may scratch exposed floors, or leave other marks. If one invests in a central vacuum cleaner, they need not concern themselves with any of the aforementioned issues.
2. Reduced Noise
A major inconvenience of normal vacuums is noise disturbance, which makes it imperative to plan one’s vacuuming sessions when all occupants of the house are awake or not busy with work or studies. In recent times, many people work from home and take part in virtual meetings, which may be interrupted by loud vacuuming noises. If you enjoy listening to music or watching TV while getting through your chores, you’ll have no real luck with a regular vacuum cleaner.
A central vacuum system’s motor is generally kept stationary in a separate area. At most, you’ll hear the suction of the air through the wand or pipes, and perhaps small sounds of debris entering the intake hose. Nevertheless, the overall motor noise is greatly reduced.
3. Low Maintenance
Whether you have a large mobile vacuum cleaner or a stick vacuum, you will have to regularly clean the dust cup, or constantly dispose of and replace the dust bag. As opposed to cleaning the unit once a week, a central vacuum’s dust tank is much bigger and will only need to be cleaned out every 3 months. This can be done without dismantling the unit and is very simple.
In addition, because central vacuum cleaners are affixed to the house, they are durable and won’t need constant upkeep and equipment replacement, unlike movable units. On account of this, they are very cost-effective and reduce the expenditure of both your time and money in the long run.
4. Powerful Execution
Central vacuum cleaners are able to distribute incredible and consistent power. Not only do these units effectively remove dust, dirt, and debris from floors, furniture, and curtains, but they also consume airborne dust and pollen, leaving behind cleaner air to breathe altogether. The location of the dust canister is also ideal.
Since it is built into the house’s garage or downstairs in the basement, the debris collected is unlikely to leak back into the house. In fact, most portable units tend to recycle air on account of their exhausts and leave unwanted allergens behind. This is usually the cause of a particular smell that you might notice after using a portable vacuum unit.
Purified air is great for users who suffer from asthma or allergies. There will be no reason to dust after using a central vacuum, which is extra convenient and reduces user effort overall. The University Of California Davis School Of Medicine actually researched this issue and came to the conclusion that central vacuums have the capacity to improve allergy symptoms by as much as 61%.
5. Improved Air Quality
Portable vacuums equipped with a high-efficiency particulate absorbing (HEPA) filter are very effective in improving a home’s air quality, but they are, unfortunately, quite an inconvenience to clean and will subject the user to allergens that they were trying to dispose of during the cleaning process.
This is because movable vacuums simply have a far smaller capacity when it comes to their dust cups. They also tend to require frequent replacements and have a decreased suction strength compared to central vacuum systems.
The HEPA filters themselves have their limits despite all of their good qualities. Due to the decreased capacity of generic vacuums, the filter’s ability to purify a home’s atmosphere will inevitably be undermined. central vacuums, because of their greater volume and capacity, are significantly more efficient when it comes to air purification. The hose pulls the impurities right out of the house and away from the user for good, which is ideal for pet owners and users with allergies.
6. Improvements to Property Value
In addition to all the aforementioned upsides, a property equipped with a central vacuum system will generally be worth more than a property that has no such fixture. This is said to be because of the increased ease and cost-effectiveness of central vacuuming.
Therefore, if you are thinking of selling your house eventually, installing a CVS will no doubt be a sound investment.
There are a plethora of accessories and attachments available for central vacuums on the market. As a result, you will be able to find those accessories which can assist you in cleaning your particular home as effectively as possible. Extension wands will help you reach higher-up and tackle a home with exceptionally high ceilings or arched ceilings with a high arched point at the top.
Smaller accessories will get into the nooks and crannies around the house, such as behind and around shelves. There are also accessories specifically designed for different surfaces in the house, such as rugs, carpets, upholstery, and furniture.
Some tools are designed for frequently-used rooms in the home, while others are specifically designed for storage areas like basements, attics, and garages. There are also additional, miniature tools to assist in cleansing your workshops and studies, or areas with delicate materials and documents. Users, therefore, have a wide array of choices when it comes to cleaning their spaces.
8. Greater Efficiency
As stated above, central vacuums are much more powerful than ordinary vacuums. With smaller motors, sizes, and capacity, regular units emit significantly less power and therefore are limited in their suction capabilities. Central vacuum systems have no such limitations and are, therefore, especially ideal for households with a lot of carpeting, and households occupied by members subject to allergic reactions or who have other breathing issues. Ultimately, the central vacuum does more while the user does less.
At first glance, a central vacuum system may appear pricy compared to normal mobile units. Market prices for these type of vacuums range from $500 to $10 000. The price is dependent on your house’s size, the area in which the unit will be installed, and the attachments and various functions that you select alongside the unit. However, once one considers all of the additional costs and inconveniences that come with regular vacuum cleaners, many of which are mentioned above, you might find that the price is actually quite a steal.
A central vacuum system is incredibly sturdy and will certainly work for a significantly longer time than smaller units, especially because it is installed in the home and therefore subject to less wear and tear than mobile units that need to be pushed or dragged around the house. With fewer repair and replacement costs for wear and tear, you may well end up saving money despite the increased upfront price for central vacuums.
There is also reduced effort on the part of the user, as they need not risk injury lugging a heavy vacuum cleaner around the house, nor do they need to constantly clean or replace the dust canister. The decreased noise and increased mobility of the system’s wand make a huge difference in the lives of users. This equipment also takes up less storage space than the bulky bodies of portable vacuums.
Our Recommended Central Vacuum Cleaner Systems in 2023
8) VacuMaid BL54 Black Label
The VacuMaid BL54 is an impressive central vacuum system that delivers quite a punch. First of all, this unit features a 2-stage, self-cleaning motor that delivers as much as 142 inches of water lift and a maximum airflow intake of 121 CFM. Best of all, it runs on a standard 120V outlet, so you won’t have to rewire your home’s electrical system to make use of this central vacuum.
Another huge benefit of having such a powerful motor is that the BL54 can provide even, consistent suction pressure to up to 10 inlets. The maximum pipe running length for all 10 inlets is 10,000 feet, making this unit a worth candidate for both residential and industrial purposes.
Measuring 41.75 inches tall and 14 inches in diameter, finding a spot in your garage, attic, or another room shouldn’t pose a tremendous problem. The trickiest part, which isn’t too difficult per customer reports—is connecting the pipes and running them throughout your home.
The cyclonic suction system is designed to separate fine from large debris. Bigger bits will enter the system and land inside of an awaiting canister (plastic bag optional), whereas tinier particles are vented directly outside of your home. A built-in filter ensures that the finest airborne contaminants don’t find their way into the storage canister.
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- GREAT FOR HOMES WITH PETS Use to clean up unwanted pet hair and even help groom your pet.
7) Imperium CV300 Central Vacuum Power Unit
The Imperium CV300 delivers as much as 138 inches of water lift at 138 CFM, making it one of the most powerful central vacuum systems. That’s not all—at maximum suction power, this device generated a moderate 58 dBA of noise, which is considerably quieter than comparable models. At most, the CV300 is designed to clean homes of up to 7,500 square feet with just standard 2-inch PVCs.
In terms of dust collection, you can either use your own garbage bags or install one of Imperium’s premium HEPA filter bags that trap microscopic particles up to 99.97% of the time. Swapping out bags can be done in just about 60 seconds after collecting a maximum of 6.25 gallons of dirt and debris.
Compared to other central vacuums, the CV300 is a more compact device that stands 25.75 inches tall and 12-7/8 inches in diameter. Its tiny profile means owners shouldn’t have much trouble finding a spot for their CV300 while running pipes throughout their homes and garages.
One neat feature is the positioning of the exhaust. It’s situated on the back instead of the sides, so you won’t have to install an exhaust pipe that throws microscopic debris outdoors (optional). While the port for hoses and pipes isn’t pre-installed in the device, it does come with an inlet that you can twist on in no time.
- MADE IN THE USA - 10 Year Motor Warranty
- FOR PEAK PERFORMANCE - Recommended for homes up to 7500 sq ft. - 58 Db. Very Quiet
6) Allegro Central Vacuum
If you’re looking for one of the most complete central vacuum systems, the Allegro Central Vacuum is a good place to start. First of all, it comes with all of the hardware you need to get started, including various cleaning tools like horsehair brushes, extendable wands, and an upholstery brush. There’s even a handy storage bag where you can place all of your tools for quick and easy access.
Built inside of the Allegro Central Vacuum is an 8.4-inch, single-phase motor that can suction in as much as 121 CFM with a water lift rating of 141 inches. This particular device is made almost entirely out of stainless steel and can clean homes of up to 15,000 square feet. Businesses and homeowners will definitely find value in this central vacuum.
Unfortunately, the Allegro doesn’t feature a HEPA-grade filter, but instead, it comes with a standard mesh filter that can trap particles as tiny as 3 microns. Anything smaller gets trapped in the cyclonic suction and tossed outdoors. Everything else will fall into the 20-liter drum for later disposal.
Another thing worth noting is that the Allegro’s fan and motor are separate, while keeps the motor cool and able to run for longer. Plus, there are two intake ports, which give you the freedom to clean multiple areas of your home in a jiffy.
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5) Dirt Devil Central Vacuum System
Those shopping for a more portable central vacuum system option will definitely appreciate the Dirt Devil System. This device was made with convenience in mind to give users the option to move it to different parts of a room without setting up annoyingly long pipes and hoses. The dimensions of this central vacuum are only 14.5 x 7 x 6.25 inches.
In terms of performance, the Dirt Devil Central Vacuum System doesn’t offer nearly as much power as its more premium-quality counterparts, but with an 11.7-amp motor that produces up to 100 CFM of inward airflow, common floor and above-ground contaminants will get sucked into the tank with minimal effort.
Due to its tiny profile, the Dirt Devil can’t hold as much dust as other systems. At most, this device can store only 1 gallon of dirt at any time. You don’t need to attach a catch bag in the tank—instead, just let the debris fall into the storage compartment and empty it out later on.
Despite its tiny size, this central vacuum system isn’t lacking anything in the tools and attachments department. It comes with an extendable hose that can stretch out to 35 feet, a 10-inch floorhead, and multiple cleaning tools, all of which fit easily inside of a mesh bag.
- Built in for convenience and space-saving purposes
- 7' to 35' expandable length hose
4) Nutone PurePower 5501
In terms of looks, the Nutone PurePower 5501 is arguably the flashiest central vacuum you can get your hands on. However, there’s a lot more to appreciate about this device than its appealing black-and-red exterior.
First of all, it delivers an astounding 550 air watts of suction, meaning that hardly a speck of dust will remain on your floors or couches after the PurePower 5501 has had its say. For those with professional auto cleaning businesses or messy kids and pets, Nutone is certain that this central vacuum is the right fit for your home.
While great power usually means deafening operating noises, this definitely isn’t the case with the PurePower 5501. The device’s Thru-Power motor design combined with built-in ULTRASILENT soundproofing materials ensure that noises are kept to a bare minimum. You won’t even need to install a muffler or place the unit inside of a soundproofing box to keep down the racket.
This central vacuum has a storage compartment that can collect as much as 6 gallons of dust before reaching max capacity. Nutone offers its own line of antimicrobial filter-lined bags, but users claim that regular black garbage bags can do the trick. This central vacuum works best in homes of between 1,000 and 4,000 square feet.
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3) Bissell Garage Pro Wet/Dry Vacuum
From water to dirt, the Bissell Garage Pro can handle it all. This central vacuum system is designed to lift dry messes and wet spills.
It boasts a 12-amp motor that can suction stubborn debris, and the 32-foot-long hose gives you plenty of maneuverability. Plus, you have the option of turning the vacuum into a blower for leaf removal and other surface-clearing chores.
The tank on the Garage Pro is equipped with Bissell’s own clog-preventing helix system that consists of integrated ribs, which push debris to the bottom of the bagless canister.
Since it holds a maximum of 4 gallons, you won’t need to empty the tank frequently. Thanks to the tank’s translucent material and the full-water indicator, you’ll always know when the tank needs to be cleaned.
When you buy this wet-dry vacuum, you get seven attachments that include brushes, extension wands and more. The wall-mounting kit helps you save floor space in the garage, and the accessory bag has multiple pockets for storage as well as a handle for carrying or hanging.
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- 12 Amp Wet/Dry Vacuum: Picks up both wet and dry messes in the garage, car, workshop, etc.
2) Prolux CV12000 Central Vacuum Unit System
If you have a large home, suffer from allergies or simply want a central vacuum with all the bells and whistles, the Prolux CV12000 Central Vacuum Unit System is for you.
Its 2-stage Ametek motor is mighty enough to generate 150 cubic feet per minute of airflow in homes as large as 12,000 square feet, and the motor is backed by a 10-year warranty.
To protect the high-quality motor inside of the vacuum unit, the casing is made of powder-coated steel and covered under warranty for 25 years.
The 5-gallon bagless tank has a window on the side that allows you to monitor the dirt level, and it contains a reusable HEPA filter and a washable micron pre-filter to reduce dust emissions.
Prolux includes a bracket for wall mounting as well as a 30-foot hose, which is controlled by a fingertip dual-speed switch. For carpet vacuuming, you get an adjustable-height power nozzle that’s equipped with LED lights.
You can also use the crevice nozzle and brush attachments for home and auto detailing.
1) OVO Large Capacity 700 Airwatts Central Vacuum
Durability is the first word that comes to mind when you think of the OVO central vacuum system. Instead of flimsy plastic components, the Ametek Lamb flow-through motor is constructed from metal through and through.
Soft-start technology means less wear and tear upon startup. The inclusion of two fans prevents temperature spikes and reduces electricity usage, and the central vacuum’s motor also boasts an auto-shutoff mechanism that engages before the motor overheats.
Producing 140 inches of water lift and 700 air watts, the OVO central vacuum easily meets the needs of areas up to 9,000 square feet. Thanks to a solid gasket, a top-located air intake and a 3-second shutdown delay, blockages are unlikely to occur.
You’ll also appreciate the lengths OVO goes to keep the noise level at or below 65 decibels, including sound-proofing foam and noise-canceling bracket inserts.
Inside the canister vacuum, there is a high-density polypropylene filter. This filter is washable and remains efficient throughout the life of the vacuum. It’s also well-adept at minimizing airborne allergens, boasting a 99.97-percent reduction rate.
Cyclonic suction increases the length of time between filter washes, and a color-coded LED indicator lets you know when it’s time to clean the filter and perform other maintenance tasks.
OVO integrates an additional level of filtration with its disposable filter bags. These three-layered bags stop the spread of dirt and dust. If you choose, you can vacuum without inserting the bag.
Either way, the 9.5-gallon canister is a breeze to empty since it opens from the bottom. The canister’s latches can be installed at any point along the opening, so you can easily dump the debris.
Installation doesn’t require any expertise. If your home already has a hose system, you can tap it into it. The canister vacuum doesn’t need its own outlet or circuit, and the entire unit only weighs 27 pounds.
If you’re short on space, the 16 by 13 by 30-inch vacuum fits in tight spots. With its steel body, the canister vacuum can withstand a little rough handling during installation.
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Central Vacuum System Buyer’s Guide
The idea of a vacuum system that is built into a house is a novel concept to many; however, it’s becoming a growing trend, especially in new construction homes.
If you’re tired of lugging around an upright from room to room, then a central vacuum system is right for you. Before you start shopping around, learn more about the features available on these vacuums.
Benefits of Central Vacuum Systems
Homeowners greatly benefit from having a central vacuum system installed within their living spaces. This built-in feature virtually eliminates the need to own one or more heavy, expensive upright vacuum cleaners.
Rather than lugging heavy appliances from room to room or up and down stairs, a centralized cleaning system allows homeowners to have a vacuum cleaner installed within the walls of each room. Only a versatile, lightweight hose is needed to rid each room of unwanted dust and dirt.
In addition to being incredibly convenient, there are many health benefits of opting for a central vacuum system rather than a traditional vacuum cleaner. Because the system’s exhaust is expelled outside of the home, there is no way that excess dust or allergen causing particles can be released back into your home’s living spaces. For households containing members with severe allergies or an extreme sensitivity to dust or airborne bacteria, eliminating this concern can prove invaluable.
Central vacuum systems have gained accolades from health organizations including the American Lung Association for their respiratory benefits. In addition, the National Association of Homebuilders recognizes the inclusion of a central cleaning system within their National Green Building Standards.
System Variations of Central Vacuums
Central vacuum systems utilize special filters and filtration systems to ensure that air is separated from dirt and debris after suction. How this is done can vary greatly between systems, making it important to choose a system with your preferred type.
A centralized cleaning system that contains a cyclonic System utilizes cyclonic separation to capture 98% of dust within a receptacle and subsequently expels the rest through the vacuum’s exterior exhaust.
As the name suggests, filtered systems contain a removable filter which catches the dirt and debris. Bagged systems which send dirt into an attached bag for easy disposal are also available.
All of these different filtration systems have pros and cons that should be considered before deciding which one is the best fit for your home. While a cyclonic filtration system is the most effective and powerful, it also requires homeowners to manually empty the dust receptacle, which can be unfavorable for those who are extremely sensitive to dust.
Filtered systems and bagged systems are easier to clean. However, they require more frequent cleaning and maintenance for the central vacuum system to work at an effective level.
Choosing the Right Central Vacuum System for You
Although both traditional vacuum cleaners and central vacuums serve the same purpose, there are a number of differences between these products that will change a prospective buyer’s deliberations to an extent.
Whereas manufacturers of mobile vacuum units put a lot of emphasis on the appearance of their products, a central vacuum is built into the house and is usually not visible to the user. As a result, buyers need not worry about the aesthetic appearance of the unit. Additionally, the only spatial considerations for a unit will have to do with the wand and attachments, which will inevitably be different from considering how to store a large unit that contains a motor and a dust tank.
A possible problem that comes with central vacuum cleaner systems is that if there are any defects or malfunctions within the system, it may be a great inconvenience to try and repair it. The damage may even be irreparable, and to find this out would be costly in and of itself. It is therefore imperative that you purchase this product from a legitimate source and do your research before making any big decisions.
Whereas you can simply replace a cheap and faulty mobile vacuum cleaner, the same is not so for a system built into your home. It is simply not worth the risk to save a bit of money, so don’t be swayed by a low price.
It is extremely important that you seek professional assistance to build the vacuum unit into your house. When installing an additional structure into your home, you must consider the implications of such an installation on the structure of the house, the support beams, the electrical wiring and piping, and a number of other concerns. It is therefore not recommended that you try to DIY.
How well the central vacuum system fits throughout your house’s infrastructure ultimately impacts how well it works. You would, therefore, have to identify, prior to installation, whether the square footage of the unit covers the area of the house. The producers of the model you are interested in will no doubt specify the right dimensions and the maximum square footage of the vacuum so that you can plan accordingly.
It is a good idea to calculate the exact measurements of your property and then double that in determining the size of the unit to purchase.
The increased power of the central vacuum will inevitably mean that more electrical energy will be required for each clean. This may be an additional cost to consider when deciding to buy the system, so make sure it is in your budget to increase your electricity bills.
Another consideration is that some models come with different plugs that may not be suitable for American sockets. You may have to purchase adapters, which is an additional expense.
It’s also useful to take note of whether the central vacuum has an accessible on/off switch from wherever you are in the house. Some models may be turned on at the central unit and will run constantly, using up more electricity.
Different models of central vacuums will have different designs, and some may be faultier than others. As stated above, it may not be worth saving the extra cash that could be spent on quality if this means there will be perpetual malfunctions or the need for expensive repairs.
Higher quality central vacuum cleaners use disposable bags to trap all the debris collected during a cleaning session and their motors are usually situated above the bag and the filter. This is the most efficient design, as it is less likely to result in any obstruction of the airflow and debris collection.
More traditional systems are bagless, but they are still very effective in general. The only downside is increased maintenance of the system; as the user would have to manually clean the dust tank every 3 or 4 months. They would also have to check on the tank every now and then to make sure it hasn’t reached full capacity.
Central vs. Regular Vacuum Cleaners
Whether you choose to install a central vacuum system in your house, or would sooner keep to a traditional, mobile vacuum, it all comes down to user preference.
In deciding between these two options, you would have to consider your budget. In other words, you would have to contemplate whether you have the ability to pay the increased cost of a central vacuum upfront and whether this is preferable to accruing the extra costs that come with traditional vacuums in the long term. Set out below are a few of the differences between these products:
Central Vacuum System = Cleaner Interior
central vacuum cleaners are notoriously more efficient when it comes to purifying the air in one’s home. The intake spout removes dust, pollen, and pet hair floating around in the atmosphere, which is ideal for inhabitants with asthma, breathing issues, or allergies. Traditional vacuums tend to recycle air and leave behind a lingering odor.
Some central vacuums can exert five times the suction strength of traditional canister-type vacuums due to their powerful motors. Their motors are affixed to the house and need not be carried around either, which reduces the efforts of the user. In other words, the cleaner exerts more power so that you can exert less.
Not carrying around a heavy piece of equipment everywhere you go reduces the risk of injury on the part of the user, particularly if you suffer from back problems, arthritis, or mobility issues. There are also no cords to trip over or become entangled with. The central vacuum system is, therefore, more user-friendly for the elderly than normal vacuum cleaners
Central vacuums remove dirt and debris from the house and transfer it into the dust canister at a separate location, thereby keeping all of the debris a fair distance away from the user. The large capacity of their dust canisters also means the user will not have to come into contact with the collected dirt as regularly as they would will a smaller traditional vacuum. The filters of the central vacuum are often capable of being cleaned and reused, which is both cost-effective and environmentally conscious.
Central Vacuum System Drawbacks
Although all the aforementioned benefits may make you quite keen to get going with your purchase, it is important to consider some of the issues that come with a central vacuum systems.
Unlike a normal vacuum that you can simply purchase and bring home, a central vacuum must be installed into the infrastructure of the house, which would require building materials, planning, and professional skills.
2. Extra Permissions Required
Although it’s very possible to install the system into a pre-existing house, this probably won’t be allowed if you do not own the entirety of the property or are renting it. Remember to seek permission from co-owners or the sole owner of the property before you go ahead with your purchase.
3. Increased Electricity Consumption
If you are concerned about being environmentally friendly or are on a budget, you may not want to invest in a product that uses more electricity. A central vacuum will inevitably increase both your electricity bill and your carbon footprint.
4. Additional Costs
It’s difficult to determine with complete accuracy whether central vacuums or traditional vacuum cleaners will cost you more in the long run. Each has its own additional costs and requires different kinds of maintenance. You would have to consider which would be most beneficial in light o your particular circumstances, like where you live and where your values lie.
5. Possible Need to Re-install
It is possible to remove the system from your house and install it elsewhere, say if you move from one house to another. This may be a time-consuming and possibly quite costly endeavor, especially if you want to rebuild the area and cover up any evidence of the removal for the next owner.
Alternatively, you could let the existence of the central vacuum serve to increase the value of the old property and use that additional income to install an entirely new system in the new location. This would do away with the expense of removing the system and may give you the opportunity to buy a newer model.
Components of a Central Vacuum
At the heart of every high-quality central vacuum, there is a motor of equal quality. You can get an idea of the motor’s power by looking at its amperage. Additionally, the motor partly determines how much sound the vacuum unit produces. Flow-through motors are usually quieter than others.
Often, manufacturers assign a square footage rating to their central vacuum systems. If you are interested in a model without that rating, you can determine the strength of its suction in other ways. A high number of air watts, airflow and water lift indicate strong suction.
An inclusive central vacuum system always comes with a hose. The most important aspect to examine is the length of the hose. The longer the hose, the more reach you get from one wall outlet.
Ideally, the hose should be at least 30 feet in length. You also want the hose to be durable, such as one made of crush-proof material.
There is a lot to consider when it comes to a central vacuum unit’s tank. Some are bagless while others are designed to hold a disposable bag. If you choose a bagless model, a viewing window helps simplify the tank’s maintenance.
The type you choose is entirely up to your personal preference., but it should be able to at least 4 gallons of dirt. Also, the tank, as well as the rest of the body, should be made of strong material such as steel.
Like any other vacuum, an excellent filtration system reduces the amount of dust that’s released. In bagless models, an effective filter is a must-have. A HEPA filter is the best type, and the addition of a pre-filter ensures the HEPA’s efficiency. Some filtration systems are self-cleaning while others are permanent or disposable.
Obviously, a reusable filter will save you the most money.
What’s a great vacuum cleaner without accessories? In terms of attachments, the more, the merrier. Many central vacuum systems come with dusting brushes, crevice tools, and floor nozzles, and almost all of these vacuums can be hung on the wall with a mount.
The extension wands may be adjustable to make users of all heights comfortable, and some manufacturers also throw in a bag to store the vacuum’s attachments.
Some central vacuums can do more than just suction dry debris. You can find models that also act as blowers, which are great for removing leaves and pine straw from your garage or workshop. There are even central vacuum units that can clean up wet spills.
Central vacuum systems are interwoven into the infrastructure of a home. Therefore, you want a vacuum that’s protected by a long warranty.
This means you may want to pass on those that only offer a 1-year warranty period, but a 2-year warranty is acceptable. A warranty period that lasts 5 years is great, and any period longer than 5 years is phenomenal.
As mentioned above, there are several important components present within any type of central vacuum system. A powerful motor and filter are contained within the unit’s power unit, which is typically installed within a basement or other utility area within the home.
This power unit ensures that the system maintains a powerful suction so that the user always receives a thorough and satisfactory clean when using the system. Attached to the power unit and filter are a series of PVC pipes, which travel throughout the walls and connect to the rooms within the home.
These pipes are attached to inlet valves, which are installed into each room, and transport dirt and debris to the power unit where it is properly filtered.
Within each room, a subtle inlet valve allows homeowners to utilize their central vacuum system as needed. Lightweight and flexible hoses attach to these inlets and allow you to direct suction to necessary places and areas within the room.
While these hoses are usually separate accessories that are stored elsewhere, special “Hide-A-Hose” units are also available, which retract into the inlets and eliminate the need to fetch hoses from storage.
No matter which hose system is installed, separate vacuum brushes and other cleaning accessories then attach to the end of the hose to provides you with sufficient cleaning. These brushes or attachments are very similar to the types of attachments that you find on a traditional vacuum cleaner. Both electric brushes and air-driven brushes are available.
Air-driven brushes rely on internal suction to rotate belts and brushes, while electric brushes utilize a separate, internal motor to spin brushes and bristles, allowing a maximum level of suction to focus on removing the debris. Specialized brushes are also available, which are designed specifically to clean upholstery, blinds, hard flooring and other unique surfaces.
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• Best Central Vacuum Systems
How to Use Central Vacuum Cleaners?
Central vacuum cleaners are built-in, semi-permanent fixtures that – much like their traditional counterparts – remove unwanted dirt and debris from your home’s interiors. Inlet valves are subtle fixtures that are installed throughout the home and conveniently attach to hoses or other accessories that suction up dirt from interior rooms.
This dirt then travels through a series of tubes that run within the walls and is collected into a receptacle that is usually hidden away in a basement or utility room along with the permanent power unit.
How Do Central Vacuum Cleaners Work?
When people think of vacuum cleaners, a certain image pops into their minds. Many people think of large, noisy upright devices that require plenty of time and manual effort to clean floors effectively. For an easier way to keep living spaces clean, however, central vacuum systems are a great alternative to traditional floor cleaning appliances.
These systems are incredibly convenient and intuitive, as they allow you to remove debris and dirt from your floors with ease easily. Central Vacuum Systems can be installed into existing homes and new constructions alike, and include a whole host of benefits aside from just clean living spaces. These quiet and revolutionary devices can increase a home’s value and also act as a selling point to prospective buyers.
Read on to learn more about how central vacuum systems function and the benefits of adding them to your home.
What Are the Benefits of Owning a Central Vacuum System?
In terms of performance, there are many advantages over using a central vacuum system as opposed to a portable vacuum cleaner. Since central vacuums are not located in the same room where you’re vacuuming, you aren’t exposed to ear-damaging noise.
If you’re far enough away from the central unit, you may not hear any noise at all.
Central vacuum systems also produce more powerful suction because they have a larger, strong motor than those used for portable vacuums. Plus, they last years longer than their portable counterparts.
here is no heavy lifting or cumbersome maneuvering – The only thing you have to carry is a lightweight hose. As soon as you connect the hose to an outlet, a wire in the outlet powers on the main unit, so you don’t have to deal with buttons or switches.
Are Central Vacuums Safe for Asthma and Allergy Sufferers?
Dust and fine dirt are two major triggers of asthma and allergy symptoms. Many portable vacuums emit dust into the room.
Even vacuum cleaners with a HEPA filter release these lung-irritating particles into the air when you change the bag or empty the canister.
However, central vacuums do not recirculate dirt and dust throughout the room in which you’re vacuuming. Instead, these contaminants are sent straight to the unit through a series of tubes in the wall. In some configurations, dirt and dust are exhausted outside of the house.
Is Installation Labor Intensive?
When a central vacuum system is installed in a new house, a lot of the tedious work that must be done in an existing house can be skipped because it can be installed while an electrician is wiring the home. In already-built homes, the unit is hung in the garage or basement and inlets are put on each wall. Then, tubing like PVC is run through the wall to each inlet.
Usually, a professional can get the job done in a day. However, those with moderate DIY and construction skills will need a helper to install the system within the same time frame.
Do Central Vacuums Clog Easily?
Due to their strong motors and wide tubing, central vacuums are less likely to clog than standard vacuums. When they do clog, the obstruction is sometimes close enough to the hose’s opening that you can remove it with your fingers.
For clogs that are out of your reach, you can press on the hose to feel for the clog. When you find it, kneading the hose often breaks down and loosens the clog.
To remove more stubborn clogs, you can snake a garden hose through the home to get rid of the clog.
Does the Vacuum’s Suction Waver Further From the Unit?
The longer the hose and the greater the distance the inlet is from the unit, the less powerful the suction and airflow. However, the difference in suction is minimal, and you won’t notice a reduction in performance.
Again, the large motor in a central vacuum system is responsible for the vacuum’s unwavering suction.
Is the Filter in a Central Vacuum Hard to Replace?
Most central vacuums contain a filter that traps airborne particles. Like filter inside of portable vacuums, the filters used in central vacuums must be replaced about once every few months.
Luckily, they’re a breeze to change. Simply take off the unit’s lid, pull out the old filter and insert the new one.
Should I Buy a Bagged or Bagless Central Vacuum Unit?
Although both types of central vacuum units offer the same level of performance, there are some pros and cons to bagged and bagless varieties.
While bag changes are quick, bagless central vacuums tend to have a bigger debris capacity, meaning you’ll spend less time dumping their contents. Plus, you don’t have to purchase replacement bags.
On the other hand, bagged central vacuums release less dust when you empty them. In turn, you must be vigilant about changing the filter, and they are slightly more prone to motor clogs.
Central vacuum systems make cleaning your home easier than ever before. Rather than traditional vacuum cleaners that require lugging heavy appliances around your home, these convenient units essentially ensure every room has a vacuum cleaner installed within its walls.
Not only is it more convenient than the traditional methods, but these quiet and easy-to-use systems also remove dirt and debris from your floors and surfaces without any exhaust being sent back into the air you breathe. Although they require initial installation, the benefits of these convenient systems are countless.
Our Recommended Central Vacuums
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Last Update: 2024-02-25 | Affiliate links/Images from Amazon Product Advertising API