Recently I installed a central vacuum system in our house. I was a bit hesitant at first, but after several frustrating (and expensive) experiences with regular vacuums I figured it was the most practical and economical option.
We have a 2000 square ft. home with carpets on the top floor and with previous vacuums we noticed the floors weren’t coming as clean as we would like.
Why I Chose a Central Vacuum System
We tried a couple different vacuums in the past and noticed that they appeared to be working well, but they weren’t picking up all the dust and dirt that was on the carpets. We invested $200 on one vacuum and it did a good job at first but eventually stopped working well.
I tried cleaning the filters, inspecting the different parts and keeping it as clean as possible but it still didn’t work as well as it should.
Finally, after one frustrating weekend of trying everything (and failing) to make our vacuum work I decided to have a central vacuum system installed instead.
Central Vacuum System Cost
The cost of a central vacuum unit varies between different areas and depends on whether the house is roughed in (has the piping already in place) or not. If it is, lucky you! All you have to do is buy a central vacuum kit at any major retailer (Costco usually has good ones in stock) and install the wall outlets.
If your home isn’t roughed in already you’ll need to install the pipes that feed from the individual wall outlets and eventually to the central vac unit. Installation costs vary – if you do it yourself it could cost around $200 in piping and materials. If you have someone install it for you, it could cost $600 (or more).
Central Vacuum Kits – What’s Included
A typical central vacuum kit sells for $500 at major retailers and includes the hose, head unit to vacuum over the floors, individual attachments to reach corners of the rooms and obviously the main central vac unit itself which all the pipes connect to and holds all the dirt.
Roughing In Your Home for a Central Vacuum System
Fortunately our home was already roughed in for a central vacuum system so we only had to install the wall outlets and central unit (which I installed in the garage).
If your home isn’t roughed in, you’ll need to install the piping system which leads from the wall outlets to the central unit. I would definitely recommend getting a book from your local library for specific instructions but here are the basics on what you will need to do:
- Create a layout on where the wall outlets will be and where the piping will go. I would recommend putting wall units in central areas and using only interior walls and avoid plumbing pipes
- Measure how much piping you will need for each outlet (from the outlet to the central unit) and buy PVC piping from your local hardware store (Home Depot has lots to choose from)
- Install the outlets by cutting holes in the interior walls where the outlets will be and run the pipe through the interior and eventually leading out to the central unit
- For wiring you will need to ensure the central unit is connected to each wall unit using low voltage wire
As I mentioned, we were lucky because our home was already roughed in but if you have to rough it in yourself I would recommend getting a book for specific instructions. The total supplies for roughing in the system should be around $200 and can vary depending on the size of the house and the number of outlets required.
Overall we are very happy with our central vacuum system and would recommend it to anyone considering it. The rough-in process could be a bit tricky and if you’re not handy I would consider having someone install it.
We bought a Hoover central vacuum kit and it comes with a 7 year warranty, so we are hoping it will last a while. When deciding between buying an expensive vacuum or installing a central vacuum unit, I would recommend the central vacuum because it does a better job, it’s affordable and adds value to any home.
Do you have a central vacuum system installed? If so, how do you like it?