Tired of dragging that heavy vacuum cleaner from room to room? Imagine being able to plug into outlet valves installed in the walls to vacuum each area of your home quickly and easily. A central vacuum cleaner system makes whole home cleaning fast, convenient and extremely thorough.
According to the New York Times article on real estate, having a central vacuum system at home makes a house easier to sell. In fact, the study found that 81% of homeowners feel that central vacuums help make everyday living easier and more enjoyable. And with the average American spending nearly an hour vacuuming each week, that convenience and cleaning power is worth considering.
What Is a Central Vacuum Cleaner System?
A central vacuum, also known as built-in vacuum, is a type of vacuum system that has its motor unit and dust collector installed in a central location in the home, usually the basement or garage. Inlet valves are installed in walls throughout the home allowing vacuum hoses to be plugged in for convenient whole house cleaning.
The key components of a central vacuum system include:
- Central motor unit – This is the heart of the system containing a high-powered motor and dust collection bag or canister. It needs to be installed in a location with access to an electrical outlet.
- Inlet valves – Strategically placed flush-mounted inlet valves provide connection points for vacuum hoses throughout the home. They are connected to PVC tubing that runs through walls back to the central unit.
- Vacuum hoses – Lightweight flexible hoses plug into inlet valves. They are typically 30-50 feet long allowing access to multiple rooms from each inlet location.
- Vacuum accessories – Central vacuums use the same types of cleaning tools and floor nozzles as regular vacuums.
How Do Central Vacuum Cleaners Work for the Whole House?
Central vacuum systems utilize the power of airflow to transport dirt through tubing hidden inside walls back to a central collection bin. When the motor unit is switched on, it creates powerful suction at the open inlet valve. At this instant, simply insert the hose into the inlet and begin vacuuming any area within hose reach.
In like fashion, the suction lifts and propels debris through the network of tubes back to an enclosed collection bin or bag in the central unit location. The central motor generates much stronger and more consistent suction power compared to portable vacuums, resulting in a deeper, more thorough clean.
Moreover, with multiple inlet valves placed around the home, each room can be accessed simply by plugging the hose into the nearest inlet. No more lugging a heavy canister vacuum up and down stairs or over carpet!
What are the Features
Central vacuum systems offer convenience and cleaning benefits beyond traditional portable vacuums:
- Whole-house coverage – Inlets placed throughout the home allow all areas to be reached for quick daily cleanups. No room is excluded or off limits!
- Powerful suction – Central motors generate about five times more power than even heavy-duty portable vacuums for superior pickup of dirt, dust and debris.
- Hose mobility – Lightweight hoses are easy to maneuver up and down stairs, around furniture, and reach high places like ceilings and drapes.
- Permanent dirt collection – Dirt is transported away from living spaces completely to a canister or bag in the central unit location. No need to empty portable bins frequently.
- Low maintenance – Central motors are designed for years of use with minimal maintenance required.
- Quiet operation – The motor unit sound stays isolated to its location, allowing quiet vacuuming throughout the rest of the home.
- Health benefits – Central vacs can provide relief for allergy sufferers by removing dust and allergens completely from the home.
Installing a central vacuum system provides whole-home cleaning convenience and several advantages over portable vacuums:
- More thorough cleaning – The powerful suction reaches deep into carpets and grabs pet hair, fine dust and allergens ordinary vacuums miss.
- Sound isolation – With the motor unit separate from the living spaces, it operates very quietly so as not to disrupt conversations or TV watching.
- Cost savings – Despite the initial investment, central vacuum systems last for decades with practically no maintenance costs. There are no bags or belts to frequently replace like portable vacuums require.
- Increased home value – Central vacuums are a valued feature to home buyers. Installing one can increase your home’s resale value.
- Healthier indoor air – Central vacs remove microscopic dust and allergens from carpeting completely helping improve air quality and reduce allergy symptoms.
- Easy operation – Plugging the hose into any nearby inlet and flipping a switch is much simpler than dragging a heavy upright or canister vacuum around.
How to Identify the Best Central Vacuum Cleaner for Whole House
If you’re ready to install the best central vacuum system, focus on these factors to choose the right model:
- Motor power – Look for a motor with at least 5 peak HP to generate sufficient suction for a residential system. The higher the HP the stronger the suction.
- Capacity – Collection canisters around 30-50 liters are ideal for most homes. Bigger is better to allow longer periods between emptying.
- Filtration – Aim for at least 7-stage filtration to capture most dust particles and allergens. HEPA filter compatibility is ideal.
- Noise level – Check decibel ratings. The quieter the better if installing the unit in a frequented area like the basement.
- Tubing – Sturdy, crush-proof tubing with a smooth interior is best for airflow and durability. Look for long warranties.
- Installation – Consider ease of DIY versus professional install if that will impact your costs.
- Brand reputation – Stick with proven brands known for making long-lasting, high-performance central vacuum systems.
While a significant investment, a central vacuum cleaner can transform home cleaning with its unmatched power and convenience. Strategically placed inlets give access to thorough, quiet vacuuming of every room from a single, permanently installed central unit. For homeowners wanting the ultimate in whole-house cleaning, a central vacuum is worth considering.