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How to choose the right central vacuum?

To choose a good central vacuum cleaner (central sweeper), you must take into account several factors including: the power of the vacuum cleaner, the filtration system (with or without bags), decibels, the type of installation, accessories, etc. . But also its places of manufacture and the parts that compose it.

In fact, a central vacuum cleaner can be summed up as motor(s), circuit(s) and filtration system(s). The composition is therefore very simple and therefore very reliable in general.


How much does a central vacuum cost?

The cost of a central vacuum power unit ranges from $300 to more than $1,500. Entry-level models, at $300 or $400, risk being noisier and therefore less durable. In addition, their filtration system is in most cases less efficient than medium or high-end devices. A central vacuum cleaner can be residential or even commercial.
However, relying on price alone is not a good thing to do. An expensive device does not necessarily mean power or quality.
Central vacuum cleaners are becoming more and more compact and just as efficient as larger models. It is an adaptation over time to meet the demand for enclosed spaces and the maximization of space as in condos for example.

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How much power is needed?

Most good central vacuum cleaners have a 500 to 760 airwatt motor. This power can even approach 1400 airwatts. The power of a central vacuum cleaner can be expressed in airwatts, suction power (H2O) and even CFM (CFM).
There are two factors to consider when measuring the power you will need:
1. The number of sockets required:
It varies depending on the length of the conduits that connect your vacuum cleaner to the outlet. You must provide one outlet per 1,200 ft 2 per floor.
2. The type of hoses: retractable or standard (non-retractable).
An outlet for retractable hoses requires, on average, three times more conduit than a standard hose outlet, and enough power (at least 600 airwatts) to allow vacuuming over the entire length of the conduit without it blocking and the retraction speed is within standards.
A retractable system allows you to handle only the length of hose you need, because it is stored directly in the pipes in the walls and ceilings. This way, you gain storage space and you don't have to carry the hose from one floor to another when you vacuum.
Can a conventional installation accommodate a retractable hose?
No. This is a completely different type of installation. Although it is simple to install, the installation of a retractable assembly requires the installation of long radius PVC elbows and certain technical specifications.
Power required No. sockets for standard hoses (non- retractable) No. sockets for retractable hoses
500 to 600 airwatts 1 to 2 takes so*
600 to 650 airwatts 2 to 4 sockets 1 socket
More than 650 airwatts Up to 8 sockets 2 or 3 sockets
*An outlet with retractable hoses requires a power of at least 600 airwatts.
For any installation requiring more than 8 outlets with standard hoses or 3 outlets with retractable hoses, it is advisable to seek the advice of a professional to find out the power required.

How is the vacuum cleaner installed?

Whether your house is under construction or already built, you can equip it with a central vacuum cleaner. Installation includes installing the outlet and the PVC conduits that connect it to the vacuum cleaner, as well as plugging in the device. If you're a DIYer, you might be tempted to tackle the installation yourself. However, this is not recommended.
Who should be entrusted with this task?
To the specialized retailer from whom you purchase the vacuum cleaner or to a contractor holding an RBQ license and civil liability insurance.

Cost of installation

1. Standard hose sockets (non-retractable): $150 to $200 per shot.
Added to this cost are accessories (brushes, brooms, etc.), which are not included with standard hose sockets.
2. Retractable hose sockets: approximately $1,000 per outlet, including hard floor accessories. In the field, several types of combinations already pre-designed like combos allow you to save by purchasing a central vacuum cleaner and two retractable sets for example.
It is best to install your device when your house is under construction, or during renovations. This way, you will have fewer constraints when choosing the location of the sockets.

What are the different filtration systems?

In terms of efficiency, the four filtration systems that exist on the market are equivalent. However, here is what sets them apart.
• Filtered (without bag): Dust accumulates in a tank that you must empty about one to three times a year. You are therefore in direct contact with dust, which is not the case with bagged models. When emptying the tank, make sure to clean the filter thoroughly. Because if fine dust particles accumulate there, they could clog the vacuum cleaner's motor and affect its power. A filter lasts about five years (depending on frequency of use) and costs an average of $80.
• Filter with disposable bag: If you are allergic to dust, or if you live in a condo (where the vacuum cleaner is likely to be housed in a closet rather than in the basement), you will prefer a vacuum cleaner with a bag that traps residue. Opt for a device that uses cloth bags, as they retain dust better than paper ones. You will pay around $25-$40 for 3 bags. Their price varies depending on their size and thickness (thicker bags filter better and are more expensive). Each will last between 6 and 10 months, depending on how much dust is vacuumed up.
• Hybrid: “Hybrid” type vacuum cleaners also have a filter, but you can use them with or without a bag. Simply install one – usually made of fabric – if you don't want to be in contact with dust. And if you don't have any left in reserve, you can let the dust fall directly into the tank by simply removing the bag.
• Without filter and without bag: Don't want to clean a filter? So-called “cyclonic” vacuum cleaners use centrifugal force to extract dust from the air and expel it outside the home. If you choose this type of appliance, add about $400 to the cost of your purchase, as you will need to have an exhaust duct installed. And don't think that the chore of cleaning will disappear completely: the vacuum cleaner includes a small grid that needs to be dusted once or twice a year. The biggest disadvantage of this type of system: the exhaust duct makes noise and dust is thrown outside, which your neighbors may not appreciate.

Please note that an exterior exit is obligatory in Novoclimat houses.

Good to know: If you plan to install the vacuum cleaner in a busy area, or in a wardrobe, you will want to ensure that it does not release any dust. Same thing if a member of your family suffers from allergies.
You will also find vacuum cleaners on the market with a permanent filter. The latter must, however, be cleaned, like all other types of filters.
Finally, most hybrid devices have a self-cleaning filter (also called a weighing filter). The advantage? This changes position depending on whether the device is working or not, which helps clear dust from it and prevents it from becoming clogged. The term "self-cleaning" is misleading, however, since you have to clean it three or four times a year to avoid loss of suction capacity. To maximize the lifespan of the device, it is recommended to change this type of filter every 5 to 7 years.

Here is an explanatory capsule summarizing central vacuum cleaner filters:

Vacuum cleaner noise

In a small house or condo, it's impossible to hide the vacuum cleaner in the basement or garage. Noise then becomes an important purchasing criterion. The quietest on the market emit between 68 and 70 dBA, the equivalent of normal ambient noise in a busy street.

What is the lifespan and warranty?

A typical manufacturer's warranty covers the vacuum cleaner housing for life, motor and electrical components for 5 to 10 years, and accessories for 1 to 5 years. If you notice over the years that your vacuum cleaner makes an unusual noise or sucks less well, it may need a tune-up. You can contact a specialized retailer, who will send a technician to your home. The latter will check and clean your device. The cost of a tune-up? Between $80 and $200, excluding technician travel costs. If your vacuum's motor fails after the warranty ends, it could cost you $180 to $500 to replace it.

What are the accessories for a central vacuum cleaner?

Several accessories are available to adapt your central vacuum to your needs.

The basic kit generally includes a 30 ft (9 m) flexible hose, a handle (telescopic or not), a floor brush, a dusting brush, a couch brush, a hose holder and a tool corner. The price of such a set varies between $159 and $250. If you want to add a rotating brush called a “turbobrush” (useful if you have a lot of carpet), count on between $49 and $250 additional.

Finally, if several rooms in your home have long pile carpets, opt for a set of accessories that includes an electric carpet brush. Such a set costs between $350 and $600.

Don't you like taking out the vacuum cleaner hose after every meal to collect crumbs under the table? You can install an automatic dust pan at the bottom of cabinets or a wall. The advantage: you only have to sweep it, open the trapdoor with a push of your foot and then let the dust be sucked up. It will cost you about $50 for the dust pan, and $150 to $200 for installation.


Here is a capsule explaining the different central vacuum accessories:


Source: Protégez-Vous