How a Central Vacuum System Works

The central vacuum system is made up of individual components. Each component plays an important role in terms of reducing the owner's workload. Because the motor is stationary, the owner is not lugging around a bulky appliance. In addition, dirt, germs, and debris are removed from the living area and are emitted outside, so there's no unpleasant smell or re-circulated dust. Simply take the lightweight hose, plug it into a vacuum inlet on the wall and begin cleaning. The components of a central vacuum system are explained below:

The Core: Vacuum Unit

Central vacuum power unit tanks install in the basement or garage.
  The Control: Vacuum Hose

Control suction with the hose.

At the center is a Central Vacuum Power Unit. The powerful vacuum motor provides suction and the filter separates debris.

How it Works

The vacuum unit's motor pulls air through the pipes and hose. All the debris such as dust, dirt, paper, hair, coins and even small toys accidentally vacuumed are retained in the filter. The exhaust air is quite clean and can be vented within the area or vented to the outside. The filter should be changed or cleaned every three months to a year depending on the filter type and capacity. The vacuum is powered on when the vacuum hose is inserted into an inlet on the wall within the home. See MD's Power Units.

       A.  Filtration. Disposable or permanent filters.
       B.  Power. 110 or 240 volt. Units available for every size home.
       C.  Quality. Metal or plastic, name brand components or not.
       D.  Sound. Ranges from loud to conversational noise level.

The long, lightweight hose is the only part of the vacuum system taken in hand throughout the home and is used to vacuum up anything, anywhere.

How it Works

Traditional Vacuum Hoses: The long hose has two ends. The wall end gets plugged into one of several vacuum inlet ports throughout the home. Some hoses are designed to cause the suction to start immediately when plugged in. Other hoses are fitted with an on/off switch for the suction on the handle end of the hose.
Hide-A-Hose: This hose is contained in the pipes of the system until it is pulled out for use. When done vacuuming, the hose retracts back inside the pipe, the suction alone pulling it back in.

       A.  Traditional and Hide-A-Hose available in many lengths.
       B.  Traditional hose systems can use a variety of hose types.
       C.  Electric hose (traditional style) powers electric vacuum head.
       D.  Hide-A-Hose available with and without on/off handle switch.

The Connectivity: Pipe and Inlets

Installation pipes and inlets to walls
  The Cleaning: Vacuum Tools

Accessories are used to clean every surface.

Vacuum Pipe connects the main unit to the wall Inlet Valves. The inlet valves, or ports, connect to the hose and enable the suction to be turned on and off.

How it Works

The two-inch diameter PVC pipe begins at the main unit and splits off into different areas of the house. It goes into a wall and connects to the back of an inlet. One inlet can cover a lot of area, sometimes over 1,000 square feet. A Hide-A-Hose inlet with a 50-foot hose can cover 2,300 square feet. Traditional inlets are available with 110 volts for the use of powerful carpet cleaners; Hide-A-Hose is not. All inlets have a low voltage wire connected that turns the suction unit on-and-off.

       A.  Traditional inlets come in a variety of colors and styles.
       B.  Traditional inlets available with a 110-volt connection.
       C.  Hide-A-Hose inlets come in three colors.
       D.  Hide-A-Hose inlets are typically mounted higher.

Connecting any of the numerous specialty Vacuum Accessories to the hose allows deep and efficient cleaning on all surfaces of the home.

How it Works

There are a variety of accessories that can be used throughout the home for various purposes, such as de-shedding pets, mopping floors, cleaning blinds, vacuuming cars, and more. These accessories can be attached to the hose itself or to extenders if more length is needed. In addition, there are two styles of carpet heads: one is air powered, meaning the suction spins a turbine in the head which in turn spins a belt and roller brush. The other is electric powered, in which a motor spins the brush and the air is free to penetrate deep into the carpet.

       A.  Central vacuum accessories for specific tasks.
       B.  Complete vacuum accessory kits with vacuum hose.
       C.  Combination kits of just accessories alone.
       D.  Electric and non-electric accessories.

Central Vacs are Green Central Vacuums: Clean Air, Green Appliance


More Information:

7 Reasons Why to Buy

Installation Options, Price Range

FAQ on Central Vacuums

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By MD Manufacturing