Ballpark Estimate: $1,200 to $2,500
In today’s busy world, making your home the oasis of clean and calm that you would like it to be can be difficult. Installing a central vacuum system not only makes cleaning your home more convenient, but it also gives you the capacity of cleaning it more thoroughly than any standard vacuum, with minimal maintenance.
Logistics of a Central Vacuum
Lugging an old-fashioned heavy vacuum cleaner up the stairs or dragging it from room to room can be awkward and time-consuming. But with a central vacuum cleaner, the system is already in place and all you need to do is secure the hose and attachment to the outlet and turn on the power switch to activate. Built-in central vacuum systems are stronger than most portable and hand-held models, sucking up dander, dust, pollen and other allergens and debris that are located deep in your carpeting or floor. This can be good for your health and can also help to protect your home’s surfaces better than ever before.
How It Works
At the heart of a central vacuum system is a stationary unit consisting of a motor and canister that will be located in your garage, basement or some other remote location. A network of pipes runs behind your walls to connect this central base to the rooms of your home. The pipes end with a special valve or inlet in each room that you can use to hook up your hose and attachments (such as an electric broom, dustpan, etc). Some central vacuum systems even have a retractable hose built right into the pipes for added convenience.
A central vacuum system is much more powerful than a typical home vacuum unit, making it not only very convenient but also more effective than most other options. An additional perk you get with many built-in central vacuum systems is that they are usually very quiet because the motor is placed at a distance away from your living area. Some of the newer models also offer a silencing option. This makes it possible for you to carry on a conversation or even talk on the phone while you vacuum.
Inlets for Your System
In order for your central vacuum system to work up to its full potential, it’s important that you have the components located in the best configuration. The experts recommend setting one inlet for each 600 square foot area. But you’ll need to test out the locations before you commit, in order to make sure your hoses will reach to all the areas that matter.
There are two different types of central vacuum inlets you can go with. Each one will have different benefits.
Standard central vacuum inlets are appropriate for new construction and can also be integrated into an existing home as well. These have a low voltage power and therefore they require a special head in order to support electrical attachments.
Electrical central vacuum inlets are wired for power and don’t require anything extra in order to run electrical attachments. This style are normally only found in new homes as the inlets can be integrated right into the framework as the construction moves along.
You will also need to decide on the type of power unit you prefer for your central vacuum system. There are several different types and they operate differently. For instance, you can opt for a filtered central vacuum system that captures dirt with reusable fabric filters or works with disposable bags.
If you prefer no bags and no filters, you can also consider a central vacuum system that relies on centrifugal force to separate the debris from the dust. In the latter option, the dirt will be suctioned to the bottom of the canister while the dust is propelled by air through the outside vent.
Typically you’ll need to replace your bags or filters, or wash your canister, every few months, but this can vary depending on your central vacuum usage patterns.
How to Find
To find a central vacuum system, you can look at home improvement stores like Lowes and Home Depot. You can also shop online at places like Amazon , ThinkVacuums.com or CentralVacuumStores.com. Websites of some central vacuum manufacturers often offer directories of local dealers who carry their brand. These include VacumMaid, NuTone, Beam, and Vacuflo. You can also go to Consumer Reports website to read reviews of different central vacuum system models. This can be a great way to narrow in on some reliable choices that meets your specifications.
The ideal situation is to have a central vacuum system integrated right into the construction of a new home or into a major remodeling project where existing walls are being taken down. This allows for easiest placement of the piping network with the least amount of inconvenience. You can also retrofit a central vacuum system into an existing home, although this will require more work and will generally be more expensive to install.
Cost of a Central Vacuum
The cost to purchase a central vacuum system and have it installed depends on the size of your home, the style system you select, and how many attachments you want. This price generally starts at about $1,000 for a decent quality system, including the parts and installation in a new home project, where no extra work is required to put it in. On the other extreme, the central vacuum cost can go up to as much as $4,000 if you opt to retrofit a central vacuum system into an existing home.
The typical cost of adding a central vacuum system into a new or existing home is between $1,200 to $2,500, though it can cost as much as $4,000 to retrofit a central vacuum system into an existing home.
To better understand how the variables involved in installing a central vacuum system, here is an example of how the installation and cost could play out. Let’s assume that you will need 1 inlet per every 600 or so square feet. For a 2,400-foot home, you would typically require 4 inlets.
If the installation costs are about $150 to $250 for each inlet, this would cost $600 to $1,000 for the entire home, plus the price of the motor, which can cost $200 to $800. Attachments can add another $150 to $500 to the price, depending on what you select
If you spent in the middle of these ranges, you can assume it could cost $800 for installation, a price of $500 for the motor and another $350 in costs for attachments. This example of a central vacuum system would be $1,650.
If you choose central vacuum inlets that have a retractable hose built in, this can cost about $300 more per inlet, or another $1,200 in costs for four inlets, to be added on top of the overall cost. This would raise the price of the central vacuum system to $2,850, but it would add a great deal of convenience.
If you decide to add a central vacuum system to your home, you can expect cleaning your home to be easier and more efficient than ever before in return for your investment.