It seems quite astounding that these days you can pay well over $1000 for a vacuum cleaner which, let’s face it, is still likely to be noisy and can damage furniture or doors that it knocks as you drag it around.
Whether you’re building a new home or renovating an old one you should consider installing a central vacuum system, the question then arises – what will be the best central vac to purchase? Alternatively, if you’re already living in a property with a central vacuuming system it might be time to replace the existing one with something that is more efficient.
Benefits of Using a Centrally Located Vacuum
Having a centrally located vacuum means that the motor and cylinder for the vacuum cleaner stay put in one place and all you have to do is plug a suction hose into sockets located around your home.
The most obvious benefit of the system is that you no longer have to carry the heavy cylinder around with you. If you live in an apartment carrying a cylinder around can be a drag, in a house with flights of stairs it can even be dangerous – especially for elderly or infirm people. Also, by not having the cylinder with you not only is the noise factor of vacuum cleaning removed, so is the risk of any dust re-entering the room you’ve just cleaned.
Central Vacuum Cleaning System Options
There are two types of set-ups that you can buy – a filtered one or a cyclonic one.
In a filtered system as the dirt is sucked into the cleaner and is then separated from the air flow by a filter; the dirt is then deposited in a bag. In a cyclonic system the dirt is separated from the airflow by creating a powerful centrifugal force in the airflow causing the ‘heavier’ dirt particles to be pushed out of the airflow.
Whilst both systems need to be periodically emptied a filtered one also requires the filter to be periodically cleaned and/or changed.
Neglecting to regularly empty and clean either system could cause maintenance and reliability problems. Whilst a filtered system might need a little more attention it should not be ignored as an option.
As the cleaning system needs to operate throughout the property it will require a powerful electric motor to create the vacuum and, generally speaking, cyclonic systems need a more powerful motor than a filtered one.
To actually do the cleaning you need a power brush, which again has two options. You can have one that operates as soon as it’s plugged into the vacuum socket, known as an air brush; or you can have one that is electrically controlled, allowing you to turn the suction on or off as you move around with the brush.
Whilst the electric one gives you more control it will also require some electrical installation work to be done on the vac suction sockets. There’s also a whole range of other accessories, like dustpans and attachments, that you can purchase for the vacuum system you choose.
Can I Install a Central Vacuum System in my Home?
The simple answer to this is yes. However, whilst some of the pipe work can be run under floorboards, through a loft space or a basement; you wouldn’t want any unsightly pipe-work on the wall surfaces of a living area.
So, at some point the pipe-work needs to run inside the wall of the property, meaning that you’ll need to rout out channels for it to sit in. If you’re an accomplished DIY enthusiast and are undertaking the major renovation of a property this may be worthwhile, otherwise you could be creating a lot of extra work that you might regret.
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