What is a Central Vacuum System?
Also known as a whole house vacuum, a central vacuum system is a built-in vacuum system where the pipes are installed into the walls of the home and attached into the interior walls. These pipes connect to a large vacuum system, which is usually located in the basement or garage. For this vacuum system, the canister is usually bigger than the canister of a typical household vacuum. As such, it’s more efficient when it comes to removing dust, dirt, debris, dander, and all the other pollutants in your house.
Unlike the conventional household vacuum where allergens circulate into the air during cleaning, this vacuum system is guaranteed to keep your surroundings clean and free from any type of allergens during cleaning. Above all, despite being powerful and big, central vacuum systems are much quieter than the conventional vacuums.
How This Vacuum System Works?
In essence, the central vacuum system works pretty much the same as any other electronics in your home. All the appliances and devices in your home that require electricity get their power from one single source. So when you switch off that central source of the electricity, all the electronics and appliances that rely on it won’t be able to function. The central vac is structured in the same way and the central unit is usually located at the basement or garage.
The main source of electricity in your home may also be located in the basement or on some other areas in your house, but all the electronics in your home including those in your bedroom can benefit from the electricity that the central system provides. That’s because all these devices are wired to the main source through the plugs and sockets that are found all over your house in the same way that the various parts of your home are connected to the central vacuum cleaner. As such, you’d be able to vacuum all areas in your house even though the central unit is located somewhere in the basement or garage.
A Short Guide to Buying a Reliable Central Vacuum System
Size is the most important factor to consider when looking for a whole house vacuum. As you know, the vacuum has to be installed into your house, which is why it is also known as builtin vacuums. If it’s sized incorrectly, then this can cost you a lot of money to fix. Therefore, before you go out to shop for a central vacuum system, first measure the square footage of your house. That way, you will know exactly how long the pipe for the vacuum system should be. Another important thing to know is “waterlift.” This is the vacuum’s sucking power which determines how well your central vac can suck dirt through the piping.
The cost of installing central vac systems in your home greatly varies depending on certain factors and it usually averages between $600 and $1,500. Some of the major factors that could affect the cost of the entire system are the length of piping needed, size, and power. When you request for a quote from companies, they will most likely include the installation cost. If you think you have the skills needed to install the whole house vacuum system, then consider installing it on your own so you can save some money.
Types of Central Vacuum Systems
There are two main types of built in vacs; filtered and cyclonic. The system’s longevity and efficiency will mainly depend on the type of unit that you have chosen to install. Filtered vacuums come with a filtration system that cleans out any debris resulting from dust removal. When it comes to this, it’s a good idea to choose a central vacuum system that minimizes any debris while maximizing the flow of air from the vacuum and resulting in more power. This is because too much accumulation of dust and dirt on the filter could eventually result in the damage of the machine.
There are different types of filtration systems used for the filtered vacuum systems, from cloth, foam, paper, and screens. Their main goal is to clean out the air that the vacuum sucked so as to remove any allergens that could lead to illnesses. It’s also necessary for these filters to be cleaned and replaced regularly.
On the other hand, the cyclonic system relies on the centrifugal force that operates like a tornado in separating the allergens from the air that the vacuum has sucked. All the debris that it has accumulated will be deposited into a canister or bag.
The power unit is another important factor to think about when choosing the best central vacuum system to buy. When it comes to this, consider these things – how much power will you need? Would you prefer the debris to be stored in a bag or canister?
The type of built in vacuum to install will also depend on the overall size of your house. For those whose house is less than 5,000 square feet, choose a vacuum with 20 amps power unit or even less than that. For bigger houses, a more powerful unit is required. Another important consideration is whether you want the debris to be accumulated in a bag or a canister. Both are efficient and your choice should depend on your personal preferences.
The power brush unit is another important consideration and you can either go for the air-driven power brush or an electrical power brush. Also known as the powerhead, this is basically the part of the builtin vacuum system that will be cleaning up the house. Air driven systems are cheaper and don’t require electricity to operate. On the other hand, electrical powerheads rely on electricity and have to be plugged to operate. Again, the choice will mainly depend on your personal preferences so it’s important that you understand how these powerheads work and the main differences between them.
Installing a whole house vacuum system could cost a lot of money. In fact, you can expect to spend more than $1,000 for this. This already includes the cost of a power unit, attachments, and the installation. So before you decide to invest in a centralized vacuum cleaner, you must have enough money to spend on the entire system.
You may need to purchase more accessories with a central vacuum cleaner compared to the portable ones. For one, you need to have different attachments that can work well for the types of surfaces that you are cleaning, whether it’s the carpet, furniture, hardwood floors etc.
The central vacuum cleaner is capable of doing everything that a portable vacuum cleaner can do. In fact, it is the versatility of this machine that makes it stand out from the conventional vacuum unit. When you install the system in your home, there will be a flexible hose that’s as long as 60 feet. That should be enough to cover a lot of areas all over your house. Now if you need to remove pet hairs, you simply have to use the specific attachments for this.
Some other accessories that you will have to use for your central vacuum cleaning system are dusting brush, crevice tools, and several other attachments to clean up a specific area of your home. The type of accessories will also depend on the brand and model of your central vac. Others may also come with mini cleaning stations and some other features.
To help you decide whether investing in a central vacuum cleaning system is really worth it or not, here are some of its pros and cons:
- Very Powerful - There is no doubt that a central vac system is more powerful than a portable vacuum cleaner. It’s very powerful in terms of removing dust, dirt, and pet hairs from pretty much every area of your home. In fact, it could suck even the most difficult materials. Thus, if you have a carpet at home that needs regular cleaning, the central vacuum is more reliable. You can also use it to clean upholstery, hardwood floors etc.
- Removes Allergens from the Air - Another great thing about using central vacuum cleaners is that they won’t circulate the air that the vacuum sucked inside the room, unlike the usual portable vacuum cleaners. As such, they are more efficient at removing allergens and maintaining clean air inside your home.
- Easy to Clean and Maintain - In wall vacuum is much easier to clean and maintain, not to mention the fact that it’s quieter than the usual home vacuum cleaner that you’ll be familiar with. The system has a great capacity for accumulating dust and dirt. In fact, it could store up to 10 kg of debris! In terms of durability, the central vacuum is also much better.
- Many Accessories and Attachments - Given the many accessories and attachments that you can purchase for your central vac, this machine is definitely very versatile. You can have electric powerheads, turbo heads, and several other accessories that can make vacuuming your home much more convenient. There are also retractable hoses and attachments that are specifically suitable for cleaning carpets.
- Expensive - The higher cost is the biggest disadvantage of having a builtin vacuum installed for your home. Initial cost starts at $1,000 and this could go up to as much as $3,000 and more! This is definitely more expensive than a portable home vacuum that only costs less than $1,000.
- Permanent Addition - Since it's a built-in vacuum, this machine will be permanently installed in your home and can be costly to remove or transfer. Therefore, it’s important that you plan the installation well before you decide anything.
Power and efficiency are the two main reasons why the central vac is so much better than the portable vacuum cleaner. In fact, the system is said to be five times more powerful than the portable vacuum since it has a much larger motor. This added power allows them to clean up your home more quickly and efficiently.
The power units of the central vac are rated by square footage allowing you to choose the right unit to install depending on how you want to use the machine. Central vacuum cleaners are also equipped with different filtration technologies and each has different benefits. Nowadays, you’ll find central vacuum units that come with Cyclonic Filtration Technology or CFT. This is a unique feature that helps to ensure maximum performance and won’t get worn down easily despite the accumulation of dust and dirt.
One of the biggest reasons why many homeowners invest in a central vac system is convenience. With this machine, there’s no longer a need to use any power cord, which can be a hassle during cleaning. You also don’t need to spend time cleaning the bag or canister every time you need to vacuum.
Nowadays, you’ll find that there are different types of builtin vacuum systems in the market. You’d be able to choose the canister disposal system and the filtration method that can work best for your home. Choose something that you think can work best for your house. For instance, if your garage has a tendency to accumulate a lot of dirt on a regular basis, you should choose a unit that has a quick cleaning system, which you can simply install in the area. It could tackle any dirt in real time, and save you lots of hassle from having to manually clean up the mess yourself.
The hose management system is another feature that makes cleaning with the central vac more convenient. For instance, the Hide a Hose System will simply require pulling out the length of the hose that is needed for the job and then connecting it to the powerhead. Then you can start cleaning up the area. The hose will retract back into the wall and will be out of sight until you take it out to clean up once again.
Cleaner Air and Healthier Home Environment
When vacuuming your home, the dust and allergens are spread into the air, which is not safe for people who are suffering from asthma and allergies. You won’t have this issue with the central vacuum because it’s so much more efficient in removing allergens compared to handheld vacuums. Therefore, if you want to keep your home safe and healthy, you should invest in a whole house vacuum system. As a matter of fact, according to a study done by the University of California, symptoms of allergies were greatly improved in people that switched to a central vacuum system.
Central Systems vs. Portable Vacuums
Thanks to technology and innovation, portable vacuums have evolved a lot. But this also means paying more for the device. Now if you compare the difference of the cost of portable vacuums to that of the central vacuums, the difference is not that much. Yet, the benefits of owning a central vacuum cleaning system are huge.
Here are some of them:
- Convenience - Since the vacuum is built-in, there’s no longer a need for you to carry the machine from one place to another when cleaning. As such, vacuuming will be so much more convenient. It eliminates the need for power cords that are only a hassle.
- Healthy Environment - The central vacuum prevents the re-circulation of allergens inside your home, which results in a safer and healthier environment. The debris and dust will instead be carried into the walls through the pipe and into the canister.
- Increases Home Value - Installing a permanent addition to your home could actually increase the value of your property. Sure, you may need to invest more money for a central vacuum system, but this will also increase your home’s resale value, which is a great thing.
- Doesn’t Make a Lot of Noise - If you hate the annoying sound of portable vacuums, then you’ll absolutely appreciate having a central vacuum system. This type of system is quieter since the unit is usually installed at the basement or garage, so any noise it generates will be enclosed.
- Powerful - Central vacs are up to five times more powerful than portable vacuums, which means that they are way more efficient when it comes to cleaning up your home and removing the dust and debris.
- Versatility - The central vacuum is highly versatile compared to the traditional vac because it comes with many attachments and accessories.
Given the many benefits that come with having a whole house vacuum, it’s not surprising to know why so many homeowners are now investing in this machine. With a built-in vacuum, cleaning your home will definitely be a breeze. There’s no longer a need to plug a cord and manually push the vacuum, which is really a hassle and takes up a lot of time. But perhaps the biggest benefit of owning a central vac is the fact that it minimizes the spread of allergen in the surroundings which can be a threat to your health and that of your loved ones too! Indeed, a central vacuum system is a great investment.