Central vacuum

jscozzDecember 18, 2011

I built my home a few years ago. Roughed it in for central vac. I installed the inlets with the 120 connector above the opening.

Now I am getting around to buying and installing a power unit and hose/head. We have rugs in two rooms... area rugs in a few others... and hard wood everywhere else. About 5000 sq ft.

My wife really wants a Dyson 25. I have read all the poor reviews on them... am convinced the central vac can be better and more convenient. But, I need to make sure the central vac I install performs similar to or better than a good upright... and the power head works on all surfaces.

I would appreciate any suggestions on power unit and powered head/hose brands/models.

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I only knew one person with a central vac and she hated it. I recently purchased a Shark Liftoff Vacuum on-line (Christmas present) and I love it. It comes with lift-off vacuum, straight floor vacuum that handles any surface (wood,linoleum,tile,carpet), two crevice tools (long and short), a soft brush and a special pet-hair head. Very satisfied at $179. Recently used it when my cat knocked over a plant near my dining room window. Quel mess!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 8:40AM
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I had a house with a central vac and I thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. It was the only thing that would tear me away from my Dyson. But, honestly, the person who is going to do the work should pick the appliance.

So if you are the vacuum-er in the house, go with the central vac. If your wife does the vacuuming, go with the Dyson.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 9:26AM
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I have the Vacuflo system. Seriously, unless I was renting, I would never go back to another system. When my Mother moved close to me, that is the first thing we did to her home. With the Vacuflo you don't need to plug in a power cord to run the head on the vac. I don't know if it's the company or the installer, but the motor is warrantied for a lifetime to the original owner. So other than buying a new sock hose I haven't spent money on a vacuum in over a decade. Eventually I'll probably have to buy a new brush for the power head.

This vac was originally put in to help with an allergy ridden child. So when he was small the downstairs was vacuumed once a day. I also have outlets in the garage and use it to vac out the garage and autos. So the machine gets quite a workout.

When it was originally put in I had vacuummed the entire house with what was then a so called top rated machine recommended by Consumer Reports. It was amazing just how much dust, etc. was picked up by the new vacuum. The installer had warned me that they had actually went back to a home because the owners thought the vac was sucking up their white carpeting. No, it was actually pulling the white dog hair (two german shephards) that their old machine was leaving behind.

My opinion, is if you get an in house vac look for one that doesn't have a bag. The tornado type seem to not lose their sucking ability like the type that uses a bag. With mine you have to be wary of sucking up stuff. Lets just say I've spent a little time retrieving stuff out of the dusty canister in the garage. I think this is also why the Dyson work so well.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 11:25AM
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Varying opinions here.

I own a Beam CV and after a few years realized how much I hate it - lugging a 35' hose around plus separate tools - yuck.

I have two small children so need to vacuum on the fly a lot - lugging out 35' of hose for a quick pick up is not convenient.

When I came to the realization of my CV hatred, I did a lot of research. In the end, I picked a Miele S7 upright and a Miele S5 canister. I know two is extravagant but I got them both for a really good price so ... not so bad.

I have broadloom upstairs and hardwood/tile/area rugs/laminate (basement) everywhere else. I use the S7 upstairs and the S5 every where else. I do occasionally pull out the CV but for on the fly jobs I LOVE my Mieles. Both Mieles have on board tools too so everything I need is right at hand. My S7 has a hose the strecthes to reach very far.

My BIL owns a Dyson and I think they are gross. When you have to empty the canister is disgusting. You have to go outside and here in Canada in winter ... no thanks. I find the Mieles work better than his. They groom the carpet beautifully and have plenty of suction.

I will say if you go for the CV to invest in good quality tools. I mean, most CVs have great suction but the tools make all the difference. You need a good quality power head for rugs and a good natural hair floor brush for hard surfaces.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 3:25PM
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I don't go outside to empty my Dyson.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 10:24AM
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My BIL has the stow away and it's just too messy to not take it outside. I also don't think the Dyson is completely air tight which makes it not the best choice for allergies. Just my opinion.

My CV is exhausted to my garage which is the most "clean". I do believe my Mieles are also very clean running. They are completely sealed systems with Hepa filtration for the exhaust.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 10:33AM
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I agree with you, livebetter, that if you have allergies, a bagless vac is not a good choice. I don't have allergies and I have a heavily shedding dog, so a bagless vac that I can empty repeatedly makes sense for me. Like your BIL, I have a canister version of the Dyson (as well as an upright).

I miss my central vac.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 8:47AM
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I love mine I have electrolux,I had 2 one set up stairs one down,one upsdtairs was about 30 years old finally got a new hubby got a deal ,he thinks I hate it.So now I drag the electrolux upstairs but I want to get new set for downstairs.Its great for everything.love it,love

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 9:09AM
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I did not want a central vac, but my builder all but insisted on roughing in for it when we recently built our addition. I love it! It is a vaculflo. I have several different size hoses and multiple areas to plug into. It is nothing like the CV I had years ago.

The power head works on the suction. I only use it on carpet and rugs. I have special floor attachments for the hard floor surfaces - wood and tile.

I would have to agree though, that the one doing the majority of vacuuming should be the one making the choice.

I hate our dyson.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 5:37PM
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Another happy owner of the Vacuflo system. I have had occasion to use two other central vacuum systems and, hands down, Vacuflo is the best. I think someone already mentioned that you don't have to have a power outlet with it.

I have very bad allergies, and I do think a central vac makes a big difference. But even if I didn't have allergies, I'd want it. When/if we eventualy downsize, I don't want to buy a house unless it can be retrofitted with the Vacuflo.

Incidentally, my Vacuflo is twenty years old and still going strong.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 11:02PM
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When we bought this house 32 years ago, a central vac was included. We need an electrical outlet by the vacuum outlets so that we can get the power to run the power head brushes. However, it is still working and used weekly. I have a little electric broom for quick pick ups in the kitchen and family room. I remember when we had babies that I could vacuum without scaring them, though the power brush head is noisy and might scare a baby.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 5:51PM
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No electrical outlets are necessary for the VacuFlo system.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 1:59PM
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I love my vacuflo. In my last house I had the same problem with the huge hose.....I am short. In this house we installed more outlets so I can use a smaller hose. I love it.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 1:39PM
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I have a Beam Central Vac, and I would never want anything else. We have 4000 sq ft, mostly hardwood with a couple oriental area rugs. The beater bar head for doing rugs does a great job. I pull the hose out in the back yard to clean up my cars too. My recommendation would be to get one hose per floor of your house, and absolutely get the crumb vent for the kitchen. You can now get hoses that are self-storing. Thumbs up on that one too. My canister is located in the basement, and I only have to empty it about twice a year.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 5:58PM
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