If the time has come to replace an aging vacuum cleaner, a central vacuum system should be on your short list of options. It’s not the perfect solution for everyone, but central vacuum systems have unique advantages that are worth knowing when researching the best vacuum for your lifestyle. What many homeowners don’t know is that central vacuums are, in general, more powerful, convenient and quieter than traditional vacuums, and they add resale value to a home. Before you purchase a new portable or robotic vacuum, here are some things you should know about central vacuum systems.
What is a Central Vacuum?
Central vacuum systems, also known as built-in or ducted systems, are installed into a building or home and feature a base power unit, collection container, and inlets that are installed in convenient locations throughout the home. Inlets are connected to the tube system which transport the dirt back to the power unit and collection canister. The system also includes the hose, hose management system, powerhead, and various accessories. The power unit and collection canister are generally installed in a remote area of the home, like a basement or garage, and the inlets can be installed in several different ways, depending on the existing duct-work and desired features for the system. The hose, fitted with the appropriate accessory for the cleaning job at hand, attaches to the inlets so owners can simply open the wall mounted inlet, vacuum normally, and whisk away dirt and debris to the remote canister, which locks in even the smallest particles to ensure that they aren’t exhausted back into the air during use. Central vacuums are engineered to operate quietly, and when the motor is located away from the living area the noise level is greatly reduced.
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You may be under the impression that installing a central vacuum system is a daunting and time-consuming task. With several different installation options available, your local Dirt Devil, Vacuflo, or Element installer will be able to help you design a system optimized for your space. Central vacuum systems can be installed in any new construction or retrofitted into existing homes without having to tear down or destroy any walls, and it generally takes less than one day.
For those who want to save a little money and enjoy DIY projects around the home, a central vacuum system can be installed with some supplies and assistance from your local dealer. This method also takes one to two days depending on your skill level.
Installing a central vacuum system has immediate benefits, but there are also long-term benefits to consider. Regular effective vacuuming can extend the life of carpets and furnishings, especially in places that are hard to reach with a traditional vacuum. If you ever decide to sell your home, having a central vacuum system installed can increase the resale value by at least $1,500. Because it is a built-in feature, it is an excellent selling point and makes for a great demo during open house events and more.
Power and Efficiency
Before you buy another portable vacuum cleaner, think of what you really want and need from your vacuum. Cleaning power and convenience tend to top the list. Central vacuum systems have up to five times the power of portable vacuums because they have much larger motors. This extra power allows them to capture debris and the smallest dust particles quickly and efficiently, without forcing you to repeatedly track over trouble spots. Central vacuum systems include power units that are rated by square footage so homeowners are able to easily select the right unit for their particular cleaning demands. Central vacuum systems feature different kinds of filtration technologies with different benefits. Some units have inverted filter technology, replaceable bag systems, filtered, or cyclonic. For example, many of the units manufactured by H-P Products feature a unique Cyclonic Filtration Technology® (CFT™), which ensures that the powerful performance of the motor will not decrease over time and as dirt accumulates in the canister.
With modern cleaning products, consumer demand is all about quick, effortless convenience that still gets the job done. If you own a central vacuum system, there’s no need to dance around the power cord when cleaning, nor do you spend time cleaning out canisters or bags before or after every use. Due to the wide variety of central vacuum systems on the market, you can select the filtration and canister disposal system that works best for your living space and will make cleaning most convenient for your unique needs. For example, if your kitchen, garage or mud-room tends to accumulate the most dirt and mess on a regular basis, there are quick-clean systems like Spot from Vroom that can be installed in a cabinet or closet to quickly tackle messes at a moment’s notice and remain out of the way when not in use.
Hose management systems also offer additional benefits to a central vacuum system to make vacuuming even more convenient. With the Hide-A-Hose system, you simply pull out the length of hose needed for the cleaning job, connect a powerhead, vacuum up the mess, and the hose simply retracts back into the walls of your home and remains out of sight until the next cleaning job.
Accessorize for Whole-Home Cleaning
Central vacuum systems have a wide range of accessories for every cleaning need in your home, basement, garage and workshop. From mini tool kits for cleaning keyboards and knick-knack shelves, to extension wands that reach the highest vaulted ceilings, there is almost no part of the home a central vacuum can’t reach. There are also rug tools, dust mops, upholstery tools and other attachments optimized for cleaning every surface.
Clean Air and Home Environment
Asthma and allergy sufferers often have to duck out when the vacuum comes on since all the tiny particles and allergens exhausted into the air after vacuuming can trigger a reaction. Since central vacuums are more powerful and efficient than traditional or handheld vacuums, more of the vacuumed dirt, allergens and odors are removed, without leaving behind that dreaded “vacuum” smell. In fact, the University Of California Davis School Of Medicine found that allergy sufferers’ symptoms can be improved up to 61% when using a central vacuum system.
What About the Money?
Cost is an equation of quality, time, energy and materials. While the initial investment in a central vacuum system may be greater than that of a portable vacuum cleaner, the costs are significantly lower in the long run. There was a time when a good vacuum cleaner was a solid investment that lasted 10+ years. Today’s portable sweepers seem to be designed to get you back to the store to buy a new one within three to five years. Even if you spend upwards of $500 on a quality portable vacuum cleaner, you are still dealing with the weight, noise, storage, inconvenience and costs that go along with it, as well as the prospect of replacement at some point. In fact, most central vacuum systems have better warranties than their portable vacuum counterparts, and some even have lifetime limited warranties. The best thing to do if you need more information on the benefits of owning a central vacuum system, or if you need to find which system is right for you, is to visit some sites of companies that provide this type of services, such as the H-P Products you can find here.
In my opinion, a central vacuum system is an investment in powerful performance, significantly cleaner indoor air, and convenience that will most likely last the life of your home, and even increase its resale value. What do you think? Do you own a central vacuum system? Are you planing to install one soon? I would love your feedback on this matter.
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I am doing a new build and am looking for a quality central vacuum for a 2800 sq ft home. I suffer from asthma so a filtered vac is very important.
What brands would you recommend that I look at and what stores in toronto would you recommend I approach?
Thanks for your assistance in advance.
Did you end up buying a central vacuum ? I am building and wanted to know more.
Jason Roberts says
Wow, I think I forgot to reply to your comment. If it’s not late, you could check out the Honeywell 4B-H503 or the or the Vacuflo FC550.
I have had Vac U flo system in four homes, and I love it! Whatever system you choose just make sure to keep the collection receptacle cleaned out well. I take our shop vac and vacuum the very top of it where the suction thingie is 🙂
Clare Snyder says
We have had a Beam for about 30 years and just replaced it with a CanaVac. My wife wouldn’t be without it. We went for the top end CanaVac with the Teflon coated? HEPA filter that can be used with or without a bag. I think we will use the bags, as it makes emprying the system a lot cleaner. The CanaVac is a lot quieter and a lot more powerfull than the Beam (it has an 8.4″ turbine compared to the 7 ? incher in the Beam.
I would not consider anything that does not use a “bypass” motor – preferably Tangential – which the beam had and all signature series CanaVacs also have. They cool better when the airflow is restricted, unlike a flow-though that can overheat very quickly with restricted airflow.
Not cheap, but the Beam cost a lot less than the 5 or 6 high end portables friends have gone through over the last 30 years.