What is a Central Vacuum System and is it Right for Your Home?

April 23, 2011

Vacuuming is rarely anyone’s favorite chore and even though vacuum technology has produced lighter, yet still powerful vacuum cleaners, cleaning all of the carpets in your home still means lugging a fairly bulky unit from room to room and often dragging it up the stairs as well. If a number of the rooms in your home are carpeted, or someone in the house has allergies, even if you are just sick and tired of dealing with a vacuum cleaner, a central vacuum system may be a better alternative.

What is a Central Vacuum System?

A central vacuum is pretty much exactly what the name suggests. A central unit is installed in an unobtrusive location, usually a basement, attic or utility rooms. Outlets (as many as you like) are then placed in convenient locations in any room in the home you designate. The outlet valves are connected to the power unit through lengths of tubing. The tubing can be run through the attic, basement or cold air returns in the house.

The actual vacuuming is done with a long, lightweight portable hose that can be plugged into any of the outlets. The dust and dirt is then literally sucked into the walls of the home, you never see it until it is time to empty the central unit. These units are usually very powerful and do an excellent job on carpets of all kinds.

There are even some central vacuum systems that include an automatic dustpan, that lets you quickly sweep debris into a wall vent using a regular broom. Such a set up means that even if you have hard surface flooring like hardwood or laminate you can benefit from a central vacuum system.

How Much Does a Central Vacuum System Cost?

Obviously a central vacuum system is not the cheapest household appliance in the world but it is not as expensive a prospect as you might think. A basic central vacuum system can be purchased for under $600 but if you opt for professional installation (always advisable) that will add to the final bill as well.

On the surface that sounds like a lot compared to opting for a traditional mobile vacuum. However, with a high end vacuum like the Dyson Animal costing about $500 and having half the lifespan of a central vacuum unit then it does not seem such a stiff price tag after all. The fact that most real estate professionals agree that having such a system in place also boosts the value of your home should you ever decide to sell is a big plus as well.

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