A central vacuum system is a type of vacuum cleaner appliance. It is installed into a building as a semi-permanent fixture. These systems are designed to remove dirt and debris from homes and buildings, sending the dirt particles through tubing installed inside the walls to a collection container in a remote utility space.
The power unit is a permanent fixture, typically installed in a basement, garage or storage room, along with the collection container. Inlets are installed in walls throughout the house or building that attach to power hoses and other central vacuum accessories to remove dust, particles and small debris from interior rooms. Most power hoses typically have a power switch located on the handle.
A typical standard central vacuum system is equipped with a 30 foot hose, plus standard cleaning tools similar to those used with portable vacuum cleaners. Some owners will keep a hose and set of tools on each floor of a multi-story building. When not in use, the hose is loosely coiled around a wire rack mounted on a closet wall or the back or a door.
Some advantages of a central vacuum system include:
- Increases suction power – because the vacuum cleaner motor and dirt collection system need not be portable, the weight and size of the unit are not as constrained as they are in a portable system. Additionally, bagless and filterless systems avoid the loss of suction that appear in filtered systems caused by collected dust that clog the filters.
- Complete removal of allergens and noxious odors – Central vacuums typically do not recirculate exhaust air back into the space being cleaned. This contrasts with the well- known acrid “vacuum smell” of fine dust and hot air that is exhausted from a portable vacuum.
- Low noise – Since the motor of a central vacuum system is located remotely in a utility space, a well-designed central vacuum is very quiet at the point of use.
- Convenient cleaning – Setup, use and stowage of a vacuum hose and cleaning tool can be quick and efficient. Cleaning stairways is much easier because you won’t have to balance a heavy appliance on each step or dealing with the electrical cord and vacuum hose.
Adding a central vacuum system to your new home should be decided early on in the design and planning of your home. Since most of the pipes and hoses and run inside the walls, this would need to be installed prior to the drywall, typically when the electric and plumbing rough-in is completed.