SoCal Vacuum & Janitorial provides complete sale and installation of central vacuum systems. This guide will help you decide which central system is for you.
There are 3 primary parts of a central vacuum system:
1. Power Unit
You must have a Power Unit that provides suction and airflow throughout your home, and the right power unit will provide that. 99% of all power units are installed in the garage, away from the living spaces.
2. Central Vacuum System Plumbing
The delivery of the airflow is done through PVC plastic fittings and pipe through the wall, along with electrical connections that power the unit.
3. Tools & Accessories
There are a many options available for use with your central vacuum system. Some people prefer a “turbo” style, which uses the airflow from the power unit to turn the spinning brush of the carpet head. Some people prefer an electrically operated power brush. Floor brushes, dust mops, and blind cleaners are a few of the many accessories that can be ordered and used with your central vacuum to clean any part of your home.
The following is a description of the different parts of a central vacuum system. Central vacuum systems can be installed by you or we can provide installation for you.
There a 2 “basic” types of power units: BAGGED & BAGLESS. Unlike a household vacuum, the difference is not as much about a leaking system and poor filter maintenance, as it is about how close you want to get to the dirt and dust you vacuum up when it’s time to empty the unit.
Bagged systems have a large paper bag that rests in a receptacle inside your central vacuum power unit. When it is full, you remove it and throw it away. It is simple and generally exposes the person changing it to less dust and dirt. A new bag replaces the old one.
Bagless systems primarily use the principle of cyclonic filtration to separate the dirt and drop it into a large dust receptacle. When it is full, you remove it and throw the dirt away and replace the dust receptacle. If you are sensitive to dust, this is probably not going to be one of your favorite jobs.
Power units are rated in a variety of ways. Air watts are often used in illustrating the power of a central vacuum system. This is useful information; however, it is not entirely representative of the information needed to design a system and should not be solely relied upon.
Keep in mind, electrical motors should be maintained regularly. However, our experience is that fewer than 10% of homeowners will actually do the maintenance themselves or have the maintenance done by a professional. As the motor(s) lose efficiency with age, we want to be certain that your system still delivers enough power to clean your home. We recommend that you have your central vacuum system serviced a MINIMUM OF EVERY 2 YEARS.
In terms of their ability to clean, neither bagged nor bagless has any advantage.
Central Vacuum System Plumbing
The plumbing system for a central vacuum is comprised of a variety of PVC plastic parts, which navigate from the power unit in your garage through the walls of your house. PVC thin wall tubing is used. DO NOT go to your local home improvement store to buy standard irrigation PVC pipe. Central vacuum pipe is specially constructed and should you use the wrong type, someday in the future you may have to open the walls of your home to unclog your central vacuum system. Electrical power is also delivered as part of the system. Most of the systems today are plumbed with both high and low voltage. A finished outlet with an attractive door covering the hole in the wall is the only thing that you will see when the system is not in use.
As a general rule of thumb, we calculate one outlet for each 600 square feet of floor space in your home. Naturally, this is a guideline and some homeowners request more and some require less. But as a means of planning, this will serve you well.
General Price range – $450 to $1500
- Low voltage system – Approximately $180 per outlet (includes all fittings, pipe, outlets and wiring)
- High voltage system – Approximately $225 per outlet (includes all fittings, pipe, outlets and wiring)
- Vacpans (a fixture usually in kitchens to sweep debris directly into the system) $225
- Single Story – Approximately $180 – $225 per outlet (includes all fittings, pipe, outlets and wiring)
- Multi Story – Quote only. Certain types of construction may require extensive modifications and work
Tools & Accessories
There are many accessories that can be purchased for maintaining the cleanliness of your home. Most people will want to have a “hose kit,” which has a 30’ or 35’ hose and is used to power the types of systems described below. This will be the part of the system that will be visible to you when cleaning your home. Generally, there are 2 choices to be made when choosing the type of system. These choices will determine whether the system will be low voltage or dual voltage (high & low).
Turbo System – A turbo system has a unit that cleans the carpets. It is driven solely from the air drawn across an internal impeller, which rotates a brush in the floor tool that grooms the carpeting in your home. In central vacuum systems the brush is usually able to clean almost all types of carpets. A system that utilizes a turbo brush will be a low voltage system only.
Power System – A power system is similar to the turbo system, but has a high voltage electrical motor driving a brush in the floor tool that grooms the carpets. Many of these units have headlights, adjustable carpet height, and options for use on bare floors. Most people find them more powerful and more convenient. This system will have dual voltage—low voltage to activate the power unit in the garage when the hose is plugged in, and the high voltage to power the electric motor on the powerhead.
We hope that this guide has been able to help you determine what type of central vacuum system is right for you and how to plan a budget for it.