Is central vacuum worth it? Should you install it at home, or should you consider other options? If you’re unsure of the best decision, this article is for you. Central vacuums have changed the way we keep our houses clean in the long run. However, there seem to exist mixed opinions among people who have used them.
You can either love these systems or despite them. Hence, it can be complicated for first-timers to use it without specific references. The truth is that central vacuums can be beneficial for some people, while others may be more comfortable using traditional vacuums or other alternatives (like a portable vacuum) to keep their houses clean, room to room.
The truth is that central vacuums can be beneficial for some people, while others may be more comfortable using traditional vacuums or other alternatives (like a portable vacuum) to keep their houses clean, room to room.
What is a Central Vacuum?
A central vacuum, or “central vac” for shorter, are vacuum system that remains installed in your home. These devices work thanks to a centrally located and motorized unit, which generates suction and helps you clean your house. Two other essential parts take part in the system: the motor and the debris collection container.
These components are typically placed in discrete places, far from the living areas (for instance, a storage room, the garage, or perhaps the basement). Central vacuum systems also use a tubing system, which is located within the walls of the home.
These tubes are in charge of connecting the whole unit together, so the central vacuum can function as it should. Sometimes, there can be vacuum wall ports throughout the whole property. This way, a central vacuum allows you to vacuum your home without carrying a large unit with you. You must attach the hose to a vacuum wall port and then turn the system on.
You will be able to vacuum your house comfortably, as per usual. The hose should be stored in a place where it doesn’t cause any disturbance. However, it is also possible to find Hide a Hose central vac systems, which allow you to “hide” the retractable hose inside the walls and pull them out again when necessary.
Either option requires a vacuum head so you can easily clean all the necessary places of your home. Central vacuum systems have powerful motors that allow you to clean your house easily. However, it’s a system that is not convenient for everyone.
Unlike traditional vacuums, you don’t have to carry the whole power unit with you while you’re trying to vacuum your house. Instead, the whole system is present in each room, allowing you to clean every area of your house comfortably without getting exhausted too quickly.
You can get installed as many vacuum wall ports as you need. It’s important to consider whether you would like the “Hide a Hose” system or will use the traditional model, as choosing the latter option will force you to carry the hose all around the house whenever you’re cleaning.
Advantages of Central Vacuum System
We’ve already mentioned many of the advantages of these vacuums. However, one can enjoy many other things by installing one of these systems at home.
Quieter than other vacuums
If you install the power unit in a discrete place, away from your living area (for instance, the garage or a storage room), then you can be sure that your central vacuum system will be relatively quiet while you’re using it, unlike traditional vacuums.
It’s also possible to find several central vacs with noise reduction. Furthermore, there are PVC mufflers available that can help you reduce the noise even more. Traditional vacuums have about 70-80 dB. On the other hand, a central vac only has around 60 dB, making them quieter than other vacuums.
Less noise can be beneficial for people who live with pets, babies, and little children. Make sure to ask the vendor about the vacuum’s decibel rating so you can get a better idea of how noisy it is while it’s in use.
This is not everyone’s cause, but many people live in multi-level houses. Imagine being forced to carry a heavy unit whenever you need to vacuum your house. It’s exhausting! Hence, this problem is non-existent whenever you choose to use a central vacuum system.
You’ll only need to carry the hose, which is relatively lightweight. Furthermore, if you don’t want to carry anything, remember that you always have the option of choosing retractable vacuum hoses. You won’t need a dustpan if you include baseboard dust slots in your central vac.
Doing so will allow you to sweep debris from different surfaces without problems. Another good point is that you will rarely need to empty the dust collector. It’ll pass a long time before you have to clean it, as these components have a capacity of around 5-10 gallons.
Promote Air Quality
If you or someone you live with has allergies, maybe you should consider a central vacuum system. It can also be helpful for people with other respiratory conditions, such as asthma. A central vac will remove all the dust particles, allergens, and other harmful agents that could worsen your health, sucking them out into a different place that is not near your main living area.
You can also use a HEPA filter, allowing you to add an extra layer of protection. Besides these benefits, the fact that you will only have to clean the collector a few times every year make central vacs extremely convenient for people vulnerable to breathing conditions and those that want to reduce allergies at home.
Central vacs are bigger and more powerful than traditional vacuums. Hence, their motors have a better capacity, offering greater suction power to the user. This aspect makes it possible for the user to remove debris, regardless of the size. A standard vacuum typically has 100-200 air watts. On the other hand, a central vac has 500-1000 air watts.
The difference is immense. In any scenario, a central vacuum will be more powerful than a regular vacuum. Hence, if you live in an area where you constantly have to clean out dust and other types of debris, perhaps a central vacuum can be more efficient for your case.
Multiple Attachment Choice
Central vacuums are not limited. These devices can be as versatile as traditional vacuums as you will be able to use tons of attachments with them. You’ll be able to use vac pans, brush rollers, and soft mop extensions, among many other attachments. This versatility will make it possible for you to keep your house clean with ease.
Increase Your Home Resale Value
A central vacuum system can make your house more expensive. It’s important to take into account several factors, such as the features it has, the type of vacuum, and how old it is. Still, it can be an excellent benefit if you plan to sell your house in the near future.
These devices are made of a PVC pipe system and steel components. Therefore, if you provide regular maintenance and use it appropriately, you can be sure that your central vac will be with you for more than 20 years. The materials of central vacs are meant to last for a long time. Furthermore, the motor has a life expectancy of over 800 hours.
All the other features are made to be as robust as possible, making them resistant to most situations. On the other hand, a traditional vacuum has a life expectancy of eight years. Then, you’ll have to replace it with a new model. Using a central vacuum can help you save money in the long term.
Central vacuum systems are meant to last for a very long time. That’s why it is not rare for companies to offer extended warranties, typically starting at five and up to 10 years.
Disadvantages of Central Vacuum System
Central vacuum systems can be quite convenient for certain people, but they can also be disadvantageous for others. Here we describe the reasons why central vacs may not be for everyone.
Expensive and Costly Repairs
Central vacuum systems are very large and powerful units. That means that purchasing and installing it can be costly. The cost to install is typically between 1,000 and 3,000 USD, depending on your area and other factors, such as the features included and the brand.
Other factors that you should take into account include the connections needed, if you’ll install it once your house is built or during the construction process, as well as the overall size of the overall unit. There are tons of aspects that could affect the total price of your central vac.
Furthermore, let’s say that something goes wrong and your central vac stops working as it should. That means you’ll have to repair it, which can be extremely expensive depending on the damage’s severity and location.
People specialized in repairing these systems are not complicated to find, but hiring their services can be quite expensive. Hence, you may spend as much as you did while installing the unit for some repairs.
Difficult to Install
Let’s say that you’d like to add a central vacuum system to your home. That means you’ll have to deal with a noticeable period of disruption while the unit is being installed.
Workers will have to install ports in each of the rooms you’ve selected, the central unit must be installed in the garage, basement, or the destined room, and then you have the inclusion of pipes, tubes, wires, and the large central unit so everything can work together.
Sometimes, it will be necessary for the installers to break through the walls to be able to install the tubing. Experienced people may try to make the process as straightforward and quiet as possible.
Require More Space to Store Hoses
Hose storage is another big issue that you’ll have to deal with during the installation. Typically, vacuum hoses for central vacs have a length of around 30 feet. They can be bulky, too. Hence, you may have to choose a large area (such as a closet or any other storage space) to keep the hoses out of sight.
ON the other hand, a traditional vacuum cleaner is easier to store. These devices will rarely be an obstacle around your house.
Less Energy-Efficient than a Standard Vacuum
When it comes to energy efficiency, central vacuums and regular vacuums are relatively similar. Modern vacuums are designed to be energy-efficient. Furthermore, since they are smaller, they use less energy.
On the other hand, a central vac system requires more energy to function correctly, as its motors tend to be extremely powerful. However, the energy consumption also comes down to how many times you use the unit throughout the month.
Reasons to Consider Buying One
A central vacuum system might be beneficial for you for the following reasons:
- You live with babies or small children and would like to clean the house while they’re sleeping. Since these units are a lot quieter than regular vacuums, it’s possible to use them without worrying about bothering anyone at home.
- You or someone you live with has allergies or any other respiratory conditions. A central vac system will vacuum up all the dust particles, allergens, and other agents that may cause these conditions to worsen. These particles will be outside of the main living areas.
- You own pets that shed a lot. Central vacs have a very much stronger suction power compared to traditional units. Therefore, you can be sure that getting rid of pet dander will be easy.
Reasons Why it is Not Worth the Investment
While central vacs sound wonderful and may seem compatible with all homes, that is not the case. Here are some of the reasons why you shouldn’t buy a central vacuum.
- Your house is small. For instance, if your home only has 1,200 sq ft (or even less), a traditional vacuum will be more than enough to keep your house clean. Furthermore, the costs may be too expensive.
- Your house has certain types of flooring, like wood, carpeting, stone, or tile. It’s best to keep hard surfaces clean if you mop or sweep them. Furthermore, although central vacs work wonderfully with rugs, they may not be the same with carpeting.
- You’re on a budget. Typically, central vacs cost between 1,000 and 3,000 USD. It’s a very luxurious expense. You can get a regular vacuum cleaner with good construction that can help you keep your house clean without spending that much money.
- You don’t clean frequently. A central vac may seem like the dream for you if you’re a fan of cleanliness. However, if you prefer to clean during specific occasions, a central vac system may not be the smartest way to spend your money.
Is it Worth Buying a Central Vacuum?
Central vacuums may or may not be worth purchasing, depending on your context. These systems are convenient, powerful, and extremely useful for different situations. However, it can be costly to install these units, not to mention the maintenance.
Hence, we can only say that a central vacuum is worth it if you can afford it. Other reasons may include:
- You’d like to have the best air quality possible at home.
- You’d like your home to be more valuable.
- You’d like the convenience of being able to clean at any time without carrying anything heavy.
Of course, these advantages may apply only to people who live in large homes. If you live in a smaller house, maybe a traditional vacuum or a portable option, like a dustbuster, might be better for you.
Central vacuums are excellent systems that can be helpful for people with larger homes. This system can make it less complicated for you to clean your house. Furthermore, since they’re quieter than most traditional vacuums, no one will notice that you’re actually cleaning.
Hence, depending on your needs, you can choose the best central vacuums for your case. We recommend these devices for people who can afford to install and maintain them in the long term and those who live in larger homes. People with smaller houses might do better with traditional vacuums, as such a heavy unit may only cause disruptions in their homes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Central Vacuums Better than Regular Vacuums?
It’s true that central vacs are more powerful, but they are not the best option for everyone. Central vacuums are better for people with larger houses, while regular vacuums are better for people with fewer spaces at home.
Are Central Vacuums More Powerful?
Yes. Central vacuums are powerful units that have a relatively high suction power. Therefore, they can do a better job in certain things compared to traditional vacuums. It’s quite easy for central vacuums to clean large debris and other types of messes.
How Long Do Central Vacuums Last?
It depends on several factors, such as the use you give to the unit, the quality of the construction and the installation, as well as the brand. However, central vacuums are generally designed to last more than 10-20 years.
Is it Possible to Install a Central Vacuum After the House has Been Built?
Yes. It is possible to install a central vacuum after your house has been built, but keep in mind that doing so will cause a slight disruption at home and will also cause a bit of a mess. It may be needed to break through the walls, too.
Does a Central Vac need to be Vented Outside?
It is not necessary, but it would be best if you did so. If you choose to vent your central vacuum, you’ll be contributing to the air quality at your home. If it’s not possible for you to vent your central vacuum outdoor, you may need to get a bagged or filtered alternative.
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