The Central Vacuum is one of the handiest appliances on the planet. These products are extremely powerful, durable and ultimately convenient for the homeowner.
The system: motor, filter, piping, hoses and attachments.
Central vacuum systems have a very powerful main motor and an enormous filter unit that is mounted permanently and remotely on a wall somewhere in the home. The actual motor unit is big, a bit noisy, and needs to be easily accessed for regular service. These are usually placed in the garage or in an equipment closet somewhere.
The motor/filter unit is connected to the rest of the house with 1.5” diameter pipe that is built into the structure. The pipes run to connection plates on the interior of the home. Hoses can then be attached to these connection plates for actual use. For maximum effect, central vacuum piping systems need to be “designed in” just like lighting and plumbing, as they are a permanent part of the infrastructure of the home. Because the big heavy motor is mounted remotely, all that is needed to clean the entire home is a lightweight hose with some tool attachment at the end.
For indoor use, soft, furniture-safe hoses attach to a wall outlet then connect to various attachments. The hoses can come in various lengths as needed to reach all the places in your home that need to be cleaned. Various tools and attachments are available for almost any vacuum cleaning job you can imagine.
If storing long hoses is a problem, there is a simple solution. Some manufacturers offer models where the hose is actually sucked back into the wall and stored invisibly up inside its own piping..
In addition to normal hose connections, some makers also offer retractable ceiling hoses for shop or garage use. Special floor terminations can also be installed in cabinet toe-kick areas. These provide a slot that can be opened and debris swept into the system. These toe-kick inlets are great for quick sweepings of busy areas like kitchens and bathrooms.
In some homes, central vacuums can even be retrofit into the existing structures by running the piping through the attic or crawl area.
Central vacs are DRY system vacuums only. Do not use them to suck up water or any other liquids as doing so can do permanent damage to the system.
- Find your appliance’s owner’s manual and place it in a secure location for future reference. If you have lost the manual or want a second copy, you can usually find them on line.
- 1x per month: Keep the easily emptied catch basket and filters clean at all times. Run special cleaning cloths through the piping at least once every month to keep the hoses clean and fresh smelling.
- 1x per year: Inspect the hoses, connector plates and attachments for wear and clean/repair as needed.