Spouse says yes to central vac, but not hide a hose. please advis

threeapplesJanuary 19, 2012

Our house will be about 7,000 sq ft and he has two reasons for saying no to the hide a hose: the house will be too big and we'll need to have the cabinets everywhere, and it's too expensive. we won't have any wall-to-wall carpeting, but we will have oriental rugs in some areas. i don't like the idea of these hoses scraping against my pretty baseboards, but with all of us dealing with allergies, it makes sense to have a cental vac. I'd love any thoughts. thanks!

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How nice of him to volunteer to sweep the house for the rest of his life!! ;)

Seriously, though- I'm not an expert on the central vac thing yet- we're still in the visualizing stage. But it seems to me that it would be silly to have the central vac WITHOUT the HAH. I wouldn't want to lug that big hose all around the huge house.

With the HAH, the tubing can retract in to the walls, so you would just see an outlet-looking thing on the wall, not a cabinet. And the hose is something like 50 ft, so depending on how your house is laid out, you would probably need 3 or 4.

Like I said, I'm not an expert, but it seems like I would either go with a CV with HAH or just forget the whole thing and go with a Dyson.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 11:16PM
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I have a central vac and hate it. The hose is cumbersome and the outlets were not well thought out (one is behind the armoire opposite our bed). I do have a cordless vac that I LOVE and plan on getting another one when we move (and maybe two more). Our new house is a little bigger than yours, and I will probably have one on each level.

I had plugs put in closets to charge them (they all charge differently - some have a base that they sit on and others have a charger that plugs in), so I expect I will use those mostly.

I have a regular vacuum too but always reach for the cordless. I also have someone who cleans for me once a week, so the floors get a weekly "top to bottom" cleaning.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 12:34AM
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My husband & I are going through the building process too. Had to have CV b/c of majority Hardwood on first floor. Really wanted the HAH and thankfully my husband agreed that it was okay to add this in. Yes, it is more costly, but way more cost effective to add while under new construction than later on. You will probably read mixed reviews, the majority in favor of HAH. I am so excited to use this (but we still have a good 8 weeks till completion) Our home is not nearly the size of yours, have about 2600 on first floor, 1400 on second, and basement a good 2000 that we will finish later on. With that being said... first floor - (2) 50 foot outlets and the second floor we got (1) 50 foot. I added in some dustpans to kitchen x 2 and in the laundry I added 1. got some extra attachments and also another outlet in the garage. The basement I was told to not worry about now, easy to add in later once we decide to finish it. We got MaxAir dual motor Vacuflo that is vented outside for better air quality and very good CFM (better than my Kirby that I "had to have" a few months prior to our decision to build - if I would have known we were going to build I would have never bought this Kirby. I am learning that the CV will do a much better job, which will be very impressing b/c the kirby is a workhorse, but too heavy!!! not to mention ridiculously priced!)
Anyway, if I were you, I would sweet talk your husband if possible... in the big scheme of it all...it really is not a huge price considering all of the other up-charges that you will be dealing with as you move forward. Seriously though, you have a lot of house to cover cleaning and your life will be much easier with a central vac and the HAH is a very convienent feature that you will be glad to have instead of lugging around a hose everywhere. I don't know your floor plan layout, but I believe that (1) 50 foot outlet will cover a good 1,500 sqft. -2,000, but of course your floor plan/layout will be a big determining factor. Also, I definitely would NOT want a regular hose being lugged around my new walls and woodwork. The HAH retracts back in the wall and has a sock covering the hose for more protection. I say... if you are the "cleaning lady" - you should get what you want/need to get the job done! I really thought the price was very reasonable! Good luck to you and happy building! :) - TWIN

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 12:50AM
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Athens, what brand of cordless vacuum do you have? I think that sounds much more practical than the central vac/hah.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 5:50AM
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And how often do you have to clean the filters in a conventional/cordless vac vs. the twice a year for many central units?

Give me that ole Time Cleanin'! It's good enough for me.

For those of us plebes not blessed with housekeepers, that should be a consideration. I always remember my Mom emptying her Electrolux--the one on chrome skis--into newspapers every week. Ugh!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 9:30AM
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I have the Hoover LINX cordless stick vacuum, and love it. It is used for quick pick ups. I have never had it run out of charge on me but it would if you were trying to do the whole house with it. I use it in my den and kitchen and back hall every day, and the front hall/living room probably once a week. This is in addition to the housekeeper once a week with the real vacuum.

I think if you vacuum your entire house at a time, this wouldn't work. I think it works very well, but I can't help thinking the big vacuum gets more hidden dirt ;). For me, though, I don't mind pulling out the big vacuum if I am doing the whole house. It is the dragging it out to vacuum the den that I am not a fan of ;) The cordless ones work well for this sort of thing. I do have flat pile carpet (a wool sisal rug) in my den though . . .

I am going to get the Dyson one also when we move and compare.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 10:35AM
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Wow, thanks for the very helpful responses. Those who have a HAH, or have ordered one, can you post a photo of the outlet or cabinet it goes in so I can show my husband what this will look like in our wall? The guy whose doing the central vac said HAH is no better or more convenient than a regular central vac, but this makes no sense to me.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 11:59AM
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If most of the house has hard flooring (hardwood/tile) with only a few rugs, I'd just plan to use a portable vacuum on the rugs (something LIGHT in weight), and then put some of those toekick ports throughout the house to sweep the dust into (like what you see in some fancy kitchens for crumb-sucking). Is that what your hubby is getting at?

The hoses are heavy. I remember my aunt lugging hers around in a fully carpeted house. It wasn't light. And, it banged into things.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 12:20PM
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Here's my two cents as a current and proud owner of HAH. I love it and I couldn't live without it. I think I would hate having CV without the retractable hose. I have a house half the size of the one you are building . I think a CV in your house w/o HAH would be a nightmare. It is more expensive but IMHO well worth it. It does NOT mar the wood work. The sock that covers the hose takes care of that. My old vacuum that I had to lug around did more damage.

I'm sure you will hear from other HAH owner's also. We tend to be evangelical in our enthusiasm for the device. I bought into the HAH because of the testimonials from folks on this site. I fought plenty of naysayers locally who had never used it but spoke against it in concept (including our builder). I'm glad I listened to the Forum.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 12:54PM
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Here's a link to a flyer that shows a woman with her HAH. And also a literal screen shot (taken with my camera! haha)of the images on the flyer. Sorry for the quality!

Here is a link that might be useful: HAH flyer

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 1:27PM
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I also wonder why the HAH outlets are eye level. They are much larger than a central vac outlet and much more obtrusive. My central vac outlets are about the size of a normal electrical outlet and are on the wall where the electrical outlets are in my current house. In our new house, all outlets are going in the baseboards, which makes them even less obvious. I wonder if you could put the central vac outlets in a baseboard?

The HAH ones are so large I might want to hide them in a closet (like a centrally located linen closet in a hall for example).

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 6:01PM
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I have an HAH outlet in a closet where I keep my cleaning items.....works out well.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 8:28PM
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Really? "The guy said..." That speaks volumes to me! H--- no he does not vacuum! My dear friend has a CV, but no HAH. I asked about it and she said "no problem. That is is okay and won't scratch my woodwork." Now she wishes she had the HAH.

I have two high quality HEPA canister vacuums - one for each floor. If they both were on their last legs, you bet I would have a CV with HAH!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 11:59PM
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LOVE my central vac. I use it all the time and just put the hose away in the under stairs closet. (Or I let it lie). to me, the HAH is the same thing, you have to put it away each time you use, I dont know if it has a vacuum to suck it in but you still have to put it away in each space or it too will lie. I can put my hose anywhere I want, multiple closets if I don't want to return to stairs. I have the hose bibs and really don't worry about the baseboards getting dinged once I have moved in. Yes I did think about that prior to moving in. I have outlets all over. I even put a vacuum "pan" in the kitchen and master bathroom. So I just sweep dirt into it and gone! (I have long dark hair- love the BR pan) the HAH, does each outlet have its own hose? That to me over time would be a pain to pull out a hose in each room/area, just to have it disappear once that room or area is done.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 8:23AM
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I have a CV with the HAH and only hard floors with a few rugs. I vacuum my hard floors. Sweeping doesn't get stuff up in the same way as vacuuming does and IMO stirs more crap around which I've noticed a difference in my allergies. Also vaccuming the hard floors is way faster than sweeping.

The HAH is placed higher because it is easier to pull the hose out that way than get down on your knees to do it. Mine are placed around corners where they are generally out of sight.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 9:55AM
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HAH is at eye level if you pull down (ie when hoses are in attic) and at outlet level if you pull up. If you can imagine pulling something out of the wall, the placement makes perfect sense. We have both in a closet - an upstairs hallway linen closet and a downstairs coat closet.

You definitely want them somewhat out of sight. But they are no bigger than a 3 gang light switch and more attractive - but people are so used to seeing light switches that the initial thought would be one of shock and horror at its size.

I've had CV with and without. My wife wouldn't use it without HAH but she can't imagine living with HAH now - with dark hardwood floors in a large house. I'd definitely ask that person giving the recs if they do the cleaning. While these things are somewhat expensive, the expensive part should last a lifetime. I believe we spend $4000 a year on house cleaners so this is but a drop in the bucket spread over time.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 4:51AM
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Well, my husband read all of the posts here and agreed to do the HAH!!!!! We'll have two on each floor and, thanks to the great ideas here, I'm going to have them put in closet areas. Also, thanks for suggesting the dusting vacuum pan in the master bathroom. I have long blonde hair and I think this is a fantastic idea.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 1:14PM
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I think you will be very happy. As for the dust pan vac....I have two, one in the kitchen and one in the rear foyer but I do wish someone had made the suggestion to me to install one in the master bath....it would have been sooooo handy.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 1:20PM
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Just chiming in... I think you two are making a great decision that you won't regret.

We have one HAH for our 2600 sq.ft. house. The hose is 60 ft long and centrally located. It easily reaches every part of my home.

RE: dust pan vacuums: I have one in the kitchen, but it is much more convenient (and effective) to use the HAH. I never use the dust pan.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 3:21PM
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An additional chime in that we don't use the built in dustpan in our kitchen either. I found that sometimes I am kicking around a bit to turn it on because it's hidden under a toe kick and is also loud and scares the animals, especially when I'd turn it on by accident (so if you do it, placement is key!) But mainly I think it loses some of it's convenience because you still have to go get the broom. I wouldn't put another one in, but if I did, I would install it near the broom storage. I do plan to get the HAH for our next house.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 5:49PM
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Just wondering and have not looked into this in depth...
How much do these HAH cost? and can you install them yourself or is it a vendor only deal? Our home will be around 5000 Sq feet 2500 on each floor we have an excellent placement area for the HAH

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 8:05PM
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The parts cost about $400 per outlet and that includes the hose. I did it DIY.

The dustpans are very loud when you have a powerful motor that you need with the HAH. I had a vacpan on a weaker system and it was fine. Obviously there is a fix to this but unless you cut the suction, an HAH and vacpan are not the best mix.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 5:22AM
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I have praised HAH on this site so often that I am even annoying myself! However as one of the 'pioneer' owners of HAH I have to say that I still recommend it 100%! The only negative I have ever heard from HAH owners (the naysayers usually have no real experience of HAH) is from someone with a lot of carpet. For hard floors and rugs the HAH is wonderful!
The outlets are paintable to match your decor and though we have many, many visitors to the house no-one has ever noticed the HAH outlets (they are not in closets)! For ease of use the I believe the HAH just can't be beat! The hoses are light and whoosh back inside the wall at the touch of the switch.
Each hose has it's own 'garage' inside the wall but as the hoses can be up to 60 feet long they cover a lot of real estate. The hoses don't tangle, get dirty, kink, or scratch the furniture or floors.
The HAH system is designed for convenience and that is what it delivers!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 1:49PM
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Okay, SOLD! I had told our builder to go ahead and put the ventwork in for CV, thinking I would never use it. But I think I'm convinced to go ahead with the whole deal if I can use the Hide a Hoses. One question, though - does CV have good suction? We'll have a combo of wood floors and some carpet, and I do want those carpets to be able to get pretty clean. Thoughts or opinions on this?

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 3:22PM
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We are building a 5200 sq ft house, 3 stories. After reading these posts I am now considering the hide a hose. There are so many brands of central vacuum systems, I'm hoping to get recommendations for what system to get to use with the Hide a hose. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 12:38AM
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I haven't read all the comments but I had a central vac in my old house and HATED it (not hide a hose). The hose is cumbersome and much more trouble than it is worth. The attachments and hose take up a lot of space, etc. I own 4 vacuums and am a major vacuumer:). I have two cordless vacs that stay charging in closets - one right outside our kitchen in our back hall (this is the Dyson cordless) for quick pick ups after people eat in the kitchen and for the back hall (use at least daily), and one upstairs (Hoover Platinum cordless vac). Both are EXCELLENT! They work great on tile and hardwood and almost as well on flat weave carpet (all we have in this house and last). We had plugs put in both closets so they could remain charging and this is an excellent alternative to the hide a hose.

Frankly, 7k square feet is too big to clean yourself. I have been doing it for the last couple of months and even though our basement is basically empty and only needs mopping, it takes a full day to do it right. I have decided I need a cleaning team - had one before and they moved out of town - to hit the hot spots. If you do that, you won't need to vacuum the whole house up and down on a weekly basis and the central vac makes less sense.

I think if I were to have a central vac I would do the hide a hose for sure - the vac pans sound awesome for bathrooms and kitchen - but the central vac is not worth the money. Cheaper and easier to buy a vacuum for every floor (which I did).

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 7:29PM
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We used Imperium. It works well for us and the online reviews seem to concur.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 7:45AM
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I agree, Sidney4, ours is an Imperium and is still working flawlessly after 5 1/2 years.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 4:38PM
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