Updated: June 8, 2015

Central Vacuum Systems Reviews:

If you've ever lugged a heavy vacuum cleaner up and down stairs and from room to room, you may have dreamed about central vacuum systems. Wouldn't it be nice if you could clean any room in your home without having to carry a standup vacuum? Wouldn't it be nice to get a thorough clean quickly rather than carrying a tiny compact vacuum? And wouldn't it be nice if your back got a break from toting and pushing a heavy standard vacuum across room after room after room? And wouldn't it be nice if someone did the vacuuming for you so you could sit by the pool and sip an umbrella drink? We can't guarantee the last request, but the others are more than met by high quality central vacuum systems. What exactly do these gadgets do? Are they outrageously expensive? Should you just get a standup vacuum? Do they really work? What happens if they need repairs? This guide will give you all the information you need.
central vacuum system
central vacuum system canister

How Does Central Vacuums Work? - Let's start with a very easy question to answer: is a built-in vacuum system a good idea for your home? If you have an area rug, then no. Central vacuum systems make sense when a significant portion of your floor space is carpeted. If that describes your home, a central vacuum can save you a lot of work. Every central vacuum has a receptacle where the dust and debris is stored. This is like the canister in your standup; instead of being attached to your vacuum, however, the receptacle is in your garage, basement, or other out-of-the-way area. So how does the debris get there? When you set up such a system, you install inlet valves in strategic locations throughout the house (and garage if you choose). You simply plug your lightweight hose and power brush unit into an inlet, vacuum the area, and move on. The inlet captures the debris, and it is moved via tubing to the storage receptacle. This YouTube video will give you an idea of how they work (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OALm6KEc7Bg). central vacuum system Here's a less easy question to answer: is a central vacuum system going to be much, much more expensive than a standalone, portable vacuum? These systems can run over $1000, which includes the installation, motor, and accessories. Even a pricy deep cleaner will cost about half that, so you'll have to see if the extra benefits are worth the cost. Besides the convenience, central vacuums improve air quality, provide three to five times the power of a standard vacuum, are quieter because the motor is located in the basement, garage, or utility room, come with a range of accessories, and can increase the value of your home. Many fans point out that your upholstery, rugs, and drapes will last longer and look better, which can save you money in the long term. central vacuum system example Before we get to the main event, the best central vacuum systems, here are some things to think about before you buy:

*Do you want a filtered system (which uses replaceable screen, cloth, foam, or paper filter) or a cyclonic system, which uses centrifugal force and gravity to take impurities from the air and deposit the dirt in the receptacle.
*Do you want a canister or bag? This refers to the receptacle; do you want to empty a plastic container or a replaceable bag. There is really no difference in performance, but you may save a little bit of money with a reusable plastic container.
*How much power do you need? CentralVacuum.com recommends a power unit of 20 amps or less for a home that is less than 5000 square feet. Larger homes will need more power.
*What types of attachments do you want?

We found a very comprehensive rundown on all the features in central vacuum cleaners at Consumer Reports. Get tips and details on installation, pricing, features you want, and more. CR always does a very good job of helping consumers pick out the best products. You can browse the best selling central vacuum systems online here.


Best Central Vacuum Systems:

There are several brands that you will see again and again in your search for the best built-in vacuum systems: NuTone, Honeywell, MD, and Beam central vacuum systems are highly regarded. Let's start with the Nutone VX475C. This model is popular among consumers, and it is a relatively affordable choice. This NuTone is designed for homes up to 3000 square feet and features an Oval Cyclonic filtration system, HEPA filtration and Microban protection, EasySnap mechanism for easy emptying, left or right hand intake, 2-stage universal bypass motor, indicator lights, simple filter replacement, and slim profile. The NuTone provides a very deep clean for your carpets and upholstery. It is available on Amazon for $400. Remember, this is just for the power unit. You still need the hose, inlets, and attachments, which you can find here. A NuTone hose and attachments can cost you another $300 or more, so remember to include that with the cost of the power unit. A top of the line choice is the Beam Serenity IQS Series Vacuum Model SC3900A LCD. This is the Cadillac of central vacuums, according to Buzzle. Beam central vacuum systems are typically considered better than NuTone, and you'll see the difference in price first. But there are other differences; the IQS features very quiet operation, ATLIS Intake Technology Sealed Suction, 137 waterlift air flow, 126 CFM air power, 640 air watts, permanent self-cleaning filter, 120 volt motor, 15 max amps, and 7 gallon dirt bucket made of anti-microbial plastic. It is designed for homes up to 12,000 square feet. The power unit is $1000, and the additional hose, power brush, and accessories can add another $500 or so. You can also find lower priced Beam central vacuum systems here, which still offer superior quality. Another way to save on NuTone, Beam, and other central vacuums is to purchase them as packages. This way, you get the power unit, the hose, and all the accessories you need for one price. For example, CentralVacuumsStore offers all-in-one DIY packages. A NuTone package for a small home which includes an SRV valve, package of bags, VacPan kit, and garage kit costs just under $1000. This can be a great way to save, so shop around.

DIY or Professional Installation of Your Central Vacuum? - If you do your own central vacuum installation, it'll cost about $30 - $40 per inlet. If you hire a professional, it'll cost between $100 and $250 per inlet. The downside of DIY, though, is that it is a fairly difficult project which involves cutting into your drywall and doing some wiring. It can be time-consuming, and if you're not handy, it can be expensive to repair! You can find a host of tutorials online here (http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=installing+central+vacuum&aq=f) if you want to tackle it yourself. Many central vacs come with instructions and videos and have these posted online on their websites, so make sure to take the time and read through it all before you get started. You can troubleshoot and repair any glitches with the help of these sites as well. A central vacuum can make your life a lot easier - and your home a lot cleaner. They can be pricy, but if you consider that it may just be the last vacuum you ever buy and that it can increase the value of your home, much of the cost is alleviated. Browse through some great options here and find the right fit for your home.