Central Vacuum Systems
The arrival of spring means it’s time to give the house a good cleaning. But few of us enjoy dragging the vacuum cleaner around the house – especially up and down the stairs. Another option for homeowners is a central vacuum system.
How does a central vacuum system differ from a portable vacuum?
· A central vacuum system includes pipes that run through the interior walls of the home and they are connected to a large vacuum system that’s typically located in a garage, basement, or other utility space.
· Suctions ports of a central vacuum system are installed throughout the home, so instead of plugging a portable vacuum into an electrical outlet, you carry just a hose and brush from port to port.
· Central vacuum systems are typically three to five times more powerful than a portable vacuum.
· The dirt is taken through the piping in the walls directly to the main system that uses either bags or a canister. You don’t see the dirt until it’s time to empty the system – which is usually once every three months.
Angie’s List, the nation’s premier provider of consumer reviews asked its highly rated vacuum companies on how to determine if a central vacuum system is right for you:
- Installation process: It’s a lot easier to do the initial installation during construction of the home. It can be done afterwards, but certain homes are easier to retrofit than others. For example, if you have a large custom home with three finished levels, it’s going to be challenging to get access to interior walls. So, if you’re planning to move soon it may not make sense financially.
- Better for bigger: Mainly large homes are best serviced by a central vacuum system because when you need to do that large of an area a regular portable vacuum will either break down very quickly or fill very quickly because they are not typically designed to handle that much service. Your average portable vacuum cleaner is designed to do about 1,500 to 2,000 square feet.
- Cost determined by size: The overall cost is greatly affected by the size of the home and the number of suction ports that are needed throughout the home. When checking estimates, make sure installation, materials and installation are all included in the final price. Most systems start at around $1,000.
- Cleaner air: When a central vacuum system is vented to the outside of your home the unit removes the dust from the air and sends it outside, so you don’t have the recycling effect you have with a portable vacuum. This could be helpful for those with problems with allergies or asthma.
- Maintenance still required: You clean and change the filters regularly on a portable vacuum cleaner – and a central vacuum system is no different. Highly-rated companies on Angie’s List recommend having a technician come out to your house every three years to test the unit and change internal filters. Many newer models will also alert you when it’s time for a maintenance check.