Cyclonic central vacuums? Hide-a-hose? Brand?

infohound2006October 31, 2008

Hi folks,

Your posts have convinced me to get a central vacuum; we have huge asthma and allergies at our house too.

Cyclonic vacuums sound the best, avoiding clogged filters. But which one?

Can someone write why you decided for / against the


Vacu-Maid, or

Electrolux / Imperium? (I don't even know if anyone local installs Imperium).

Or ???

Vacu-Maid claims that they're best because their air channel allows dirt and debris to be collected in a disposable liner bag. And that the air doesn't go through the motor and reduce its life, unlike other brands' airstream. Haven't talked to other dealers yet.

What about external exhaust?

Vacu-Maid does that. Some websites claim that's great, but another central vacuum site says it's terrible: fine dust & dirt blown toward nearby windows or kids playing outside.

What about the Hide-a-Hose (HAH)?

Has anyone noted reduced suction after installing the HAH? The Vacu-Maid dealer really discouraged HAH, that it doubles the cost, and the ridges really add turbulence and reduce suction effectiveness. But if the ridges are those of the hose itself, the air has to go through the hose whether part of the hose is inside the ductwork or it's all outside, right?

I really look forward to a central vacuum; I just hope I choose the right one. Thanks!

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We had a HAH installed in our new home. I absolutely think it's the greatest thing ever! I have to disagree with your vacu-maid dealer, our HAH is an unbelievably powerful vacuum. The canister is so powerful we had to get a special plug-in installed for it (like a dryer plug in just the smaller version - 240 I think?)

Not only does it do a great job of vacuuming, but having the hose suck into the wall is SO convenient, I don't have to be lugging a great big pain in the butt hose down in to the basement for storage. Love it! I never thought I'd see the day where I was gushing over a vacuum...but here I am...maybe I need to get out more :)

Anyway, it wasn't cheap but I do think it was one of the most worthwhile upgrades we made!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 1, 2008 at 10:38PM
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Chinook73, I'm so glad you love the HAH. The idea sounds wonderful.... I'm guessing the dealer just wasn't experienced with them. And, even if we have to buy a more powerful canister, that's just fine.

So, which brand and motor did you purchase? Ours is a 3000 sq foot house on four levels (split-level x3), and I'd rather get too much power than not enough.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 12:46AM
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Sorry for the delay! I just checked this site out again today.

Anyway, we have a vacuflo maxair canister (model #88100). We're in Canada where Vacuflo is the only dealer of the HAH. It's their biggest, most powerful canister and the only one that requires the special wiring. I also really like their powerheads which run on the suction rather than a motor. Much quieter than our old one and work really well. I also got the "rug rat" for stairs, it was the first I'd heard of it - good lord whoever invented that deserves a nobel prize!

We have 2700 sq. feet and a hose on each story. The basement's currently undeveloped so we just put a regular outlet down there.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2008 at 4:47PM
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My last house, built in 2001, had a VacuFlo system with a dust pan in the kitchen. I said that if I ever built another house, that would be my #1 non-negotiable item. I would never have another house without it!! Of course, I thought I'd never build again, but here we are . . . and I'm doing another VacuFlo.

I intended to have the HAH feature but didn't get it -- neither of the two installers here have ever done one, so they're very sceptical and negative. Their attitude, along with the fact that it almost doubled the cost (putting it quite bit over what we had budgeted) meant we gave it up.

But I am getting a hose and an accessory kit for each floor, and two Vrooms -- one in the kitchen and one in the laundry room, which will be my dog's headquarters.

I wish I could have had the HAH, but I'll be happy with what I'm getting!! I can't imagine going back to a non-central vac!


    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 9:33PM
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Yup, when you empty a cyclonic, "stuff" flies. However, I don't do this in the house -- I'm outside over the garbage can, and it just blows away. I do think it's wise to have the unit in the garage rather than a basement, because you don't have to carry the canister through the house. Of course, you could just hold a piece of cardboard over it, but near a garage door is best.

Sorry, harold, I don't consider myself "lazy" for liking a cyclonic.

My BF steered me to the VacuFlo. She's had one in every house but one since the late 60s. That one house couldn't be retrofitted with a VF -- and after a year, they sold it. Why? Because without a VF, her allergies were so bad she couldn't live there anymore.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 9:46PM
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I loved my Vacuflo. I had a 960 in my last home and it was the best of the 3 systems I had installed in my former homes. It was a pain to clean but no worse than the Silent Master. Dust will fly no matter what! With the VUF, U have to clean the screen, there is a sharp metal suround, around this and then the inverted funnel. U can cut your hand. Once U have done it once U will know about this. U have to clean this with another vac or it will fall on the floor. With SM, in the event U let the bag gets too full , it will split at the top of the ring. The paper bag gives way and all of the dirt goes into your cloth bag and U still have to bang the 3 filters on a tree, or what ever. The dust will fly no matter what so just get 1 as they are great! ! !

    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 4:13AM
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Cyclonic central vacuums are the best. I grew up in the industry and have had all three of the major brands, Vacuflo, Imperium, and Vacu-maid. You can't go wrong with any of these three brands. If you want to do it yourself there are great deals to be found online. The HAH is great so is the Vacuflo vroom for small spaces like bathrooms or kitchens. centralvacuumstores has a coupon code at the end of the youtube vroom video 10% off.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 9:35PM
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We bought a luxury condo several months ago and feel like we're living in a shoebox (we're use to room) so we're in the process of finishing renovations on our new "McMansion".

Since I'm vacuum obsessed I had to have a central vacuum (There was NOT one, believe it or not) and we're going with Vacuflo and HAH. For 9706sqft we ended up needing eight outlets.

I've already got to play with it and I'm in love!

On another note, though... Retrofitting a house that DIDN'T have a central vacuum, that is three stories and has almost ten THOUSAND square feet. Well... Expect it to cost not several hundered but several thousand dollars.

Oh, and did I mention you have to have power nozzles and tools for all this stuff? :)


    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 3:58PM
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tobybul2 - Zone 6 SW MI

I have a vacuflo cyclonic in my house. I picked this several years ago thinking that it would save me from changing and buying bags. Well, that is true. However, I will probably get a bagged system if I were to do it again. This bagless system is quite messy when cleaning the canister. Its quite a production. I asked Vacuflo during the warranty period if I could return or swap the unit but they were not receptive to it.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 1:49PM
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