1- Choosing the best suction power
The goal behind any vacuum cleaner purchase is definitely to pick up dust more easily and efficiently. We could use a broom and clean the house by hand, but it would be much less efficient and a lot more time consuming. Besides, without a vacuum cleaner, it would be impossible to pick up the micro-dust and allergens. A vacuum cleaner with a powerful motor will also help you save time since it saves you from vacuuming the same area 2 to 3 times.
It is for these reasons that the power of the engine is of major importance. It is indeed THE most important criterion! Buying a central vacuum cleaner allows you to have the best suction power on the market, normally 3 to 4 times more powerful than a portable vacuum and 5 to 10 times stronger than a wireless vacuum. The central vacuum cleaner is therefore the ideal cleaning tool, with the superior suction power which picks up large, small and micro debris. Your house will be cleaner and your cleaning will go a lot faster.
Please note that central vacuum cleaners do not all have the same power strength. Some have a more effective engine and are of better quality which makes a big difference.
How to choose the right suction power?
The first thing to know is that there is no clear regulation in relation to the measurement of power in vacuums. Resellers and manufacturers often display whatever they want which more often than not tends to be a major exaggeration. There are two ways generally used to determine the strength of a central vacuum cleaner; either by its Air Watts or by the number of square feet of your home (surface that can cover the device).
Air watts: 500, 600 or 700 watts. One may think that the higher the number, the better the strength of the vacuum cleaner. However, the problem is that it's not always true. Several companies (often selling in supermarkets) use small motors with a single fan that they will push to the maximum to create air watts. The problem is that in your home, the vacuum cleaner will not have enough strength to cover its full surface and since the engine is being pushed to the maximum, its life will be reduced. These small engines placed in large tanks are an excellent strategy used in supermarkets to make us believe that the device is powerful. The worst is that for the customer, it is very difficult to know whether they are buying a vacuum cleaner with a small engine, a fan or a big engine with two fans. This is generally not indicated and surely wanted by resellers of cheap devices.
In the characteristics of the product, we can often read “suitable for a house up to 5000 ft2’’. In theory, this allows the customer to evaluate whether the vacuum cleaner will be powerful enough for his home. The problem with this method, is that often, the number of square feet is exaggerated. In fact, almost all retailers and manufacturers have, in recent year, pushed their number to ridiculous levels. Five years ago, a powerful central vacuum cleaner could go up to 1500ft2, but now, the same vacuum cleaner will be billed as suitable for a 6000ft2 house. Pure and simple exaggeration that makes this characteristic unusable to determine the power of a central vacuum cleaner.
Since the strength of the engine is the most important criterion, if your budget allows you, buy a central vacuum with a powerful engine. Regardless of the size of your home, you will need a powerful engine to clean adequately. Ideally, choose a model with at least 650 air watts.
Finally, instead of models with small engine attached to a fan, choose a model with two fans engine. It will offer you much more suction power and will last up to 20 years.
Here are the recommended devices for those who are looking for a vacuum cleaner with two fans engine ;
Quality/price recommendation :
2- Should I buy a central vacuum with a bag or without a bag?
Nothing is more unpleasant than emptying a vacuum cleaner. Emptying the tank, cleaning the filters, replacing the bag - truly not the most pleasant and hygienic thing to do.
Once again, the advantage of a central vacuum is not negligible. The tank is 5 to 10 times larger than that of a portable vacuum cleaner. The emptying is 5 to 10 times less frequent. In fact, most central vacuums need only to be drained 1-2 times a year.
Also, with good central vacuums, the filter is washable in the washing machine once a year.
Finally, if your central vacuum uses disposable bags, the maintenance is even simpler because you simply need to change the bag without even touching or touching your old dust and debris. The bag protects your filter which does not require annual washing.
Recommendation: Buy a model with bag (see next point on filtration unit-level for recommendations).
3- Picking the right filtration system
It is a recognized fact that the quality of air in homes is often far from being optimal while many people have allergies or sensitivities to dust. The air aspirated by a vacuum cleaner will be filtered before being released into back into the house. The superior filtration of a central vacuum cleaner makes it actually possible to get rid of micro particles such as allergens, mites, and others more efficiently.
In addition, since the central vacuum cleaner is usually installed in the basement or the garage, the release of air and its filtrated particles do not take place in the same room that you are cleaning, which is a significant advantage over portable and wireless vacuums. Many of these vacuum cleaners have very low quality filters with some having none, allowing for unfiltered micro particles to be released in the air that you breathe.
Finally, in order to maximize the quality of the filtration, some central vacuum models use disposable bags to accumulate dust. The use of disposable bags is really an excellent source of filtration and helps to keep the particles inside of the vacuum cleaner. Some models also have a HEPA filter installed at the air outlet of the unit. This extra filter provides ultimate filtration for those who have allergies, are sensitive to dust, or own pets. Those additional filters allow multiple filtration and therefore significantly increases the air quality of your home. Note that central vacuum cleaners do not all have the same filtration quality. Some allow the installation of bags while others do not. The external HEPA filter is not always included and is often sold as an option.
To facilitate the emptying of the tank and to maximize the quality of the filtration, we recommend the purchase of a bagged central vacuum as well as a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA outlet filter. With these two filtrations, there will be no more allergens and micro dust.
Here are the recommended devices for those seeking for a filtration with bag and HEPA output filter:
How to choose the right filtration system?
It is a recognized fact that the quality of air in homes is often far from optimal. Many people have allergies or sensitivities to dust. The superior filtration system of a central vacuum makes it possible to get rid of micro particles such as allergens, mites and others more efficiently as the air aspired will be filtered before being rejected in the house.
Which model to choose if I have pets?
Those with pets at home know that it can quickly become a household challenge as their hair, food, bedding, litter, etc., make vacuuming more difficult at all levels.
The multiple qualities of a central vacuum really make a difference for homes with animals. The power of the motor makes it easier to pick up hairs and other debris often hard to dislodge. Also, the quality of the filtration system easily filters allergens and odors. Finally, the size of the tank and the use of a disposable bag makes emptying very easy and enjoyable.
Please note that not all central vacuums are suitable for houses with animals. Some systems are not powerful enough while others will not be able to use disposable bags.
Here are the recommended devices for those who are looking for a vacuum cleaner suitable for homes with animals:
Central Vacuum vs Hand-held Vacuum (portable vacuum) vs Wireless Vacuum (or cordless)?
Recommendation: Purchase of a central vacuum
A central vacuum is less bulky, easier to keep out of sight and a lot quieter.
Hand-held vacuum cleaners, often called "sled vacuums", are rightly named as they have to be dragged from one room to another. That being said, many people are affected by the weight and bulk of this type of vacuum cleaner.
A centre vacuum cleaner means no more clutter. The unit is usually installed out of sight, such as in the basement or in the garage. This means no heavy equipment lifting is required.
In addition, the fact that the central vacuum is in an isolated room ensures that the noise pollution is much less than a hand-held vacuum that follows us everywhere. This makes chores a lot more enjoyable.
Finally, a good central vacuum cleaner is often the most economical, sustainable and ecological option.
A good central vacuum can last more than 20 years. We are therefore talking about a long-term investment. Buying a centralized system saves you money due to its sustainability which directly translates into a more ecological good. Indeed, portable devices and wireless vacuum cleaners (with batteries that need to be replaced frequently) leave tons of trash that’s hard to get rid of in our landfills.
Furthermore, maintenance with a central vacuum is less expensive as the bags are much larger than those of a hand-held vacuum cleaner (they do not have to be changed as often) and the filters can generally be washed in the washing machine.
If you do the calculation over 20 years, the price is substantially lower compared to a portable vacuum or a battery-powered vacuum.
It is also important to mention that a central vacuum will increase the resale value of your home. The purchase of such a system then becomes a long-term investment rather than just an expense.