The Trust Issue
As we all know, the Internet can be a valuable place to find products and information. When we as consumers evaluate something, we look for trust — trust in the product, the person, the words, the manufacturer, and our own personal feeling we get when we take it all in. This trust factor is huge when we walk into a store we've never been in, or when we are looking online at things unfamiliar to us. When it comes to finding the best central vacuum, credible ratings and reviews are difficult to find online. Manufacturers put their best features forward. Online resellers rate their favorites over other brands because they make more money selling them. Central vacuum installers are partial to their selective inventory. And some brands, such as ours (SilentMaster, ModernDay, and Flo-Master), are not sold anywhere online and are not available through all central vacuum dealers. Trust in MD products can be assured though. These products have all genuine customer reviews online (on this website) and our dealers can tell you why MD Central Vacuums are some of the best manufactured today.
The Local Issue
Installing or buying a central vacuum using a credible, long-term, established local business is probably the best choice one can make. As a manufacturer of central vacuums, and knowing the superiority of them over portable vacuums, we can honestly say that every central vacuum sale, no matter the brand, is a win for the customer and the industry. MD was founded on the premise that central vacuums make life better, and they do. Buying local supports your economy and assures you of getting the service you may need down the road. Local, established dealers are well versed with their products and the manufacturer. They can help give you the trust you are looking for and find the best central vacuum.
The Credibility Issue
At present there does not exist a database comparison of central vacuums and their manufacturers by an independent source. However, in 2004, Consumer Reports ran a test on some of the top brands, including our SilentMaster (see Consumer Reports below).
Vacuum Dealers Trade Association (VDTA) (www.vdta.com)
The VDTA publishes a business-to-business magazine on vacuums and central vacuums. The circulation of the VDTA Magazine is to manufacturers, distributors and dealers. They don't evaluate central vacuums, but they can validate that a manufacturer is legitimate. They do not provide central vacuum reviews or ratings.
American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)
The ASTM creates standardized tests by which all vacuums are measured. However, it is not mandatory for a manufacturer to subject themselves to these tests or standards and they do not publish the results of those tested. They do not provide central vacuum reviews or ratings.
Consumer Reports (www.consumerreports.org)
In 2004, Consumer Reports ran central vacuum tests and reviews on some of the top brands (including our SilentMaster). Sorry to say, the results are not available on their website. Nearly 10 years later, few things have changed in the industry, so overall, much of what was evaluated back then stands now. Unfortunately, central vacuums where a totally new concept to the organization so they ended up testing and rating central vacuums along with portable vacuums. The published report had many great things to say about central vacuums and we were thankful for the effort. However, we were led to create a MD Vacuum Clarification of the 2004 Consumer Report Study (PDF) from our point of view.
Customer Reviews (SilentMaster Central Vacuum Reviews)
Placing some of our trust in a multitude of central vacuum reviews gives us some sense of security. The Internet has created a powerful societal voice. It is interesting to note that studies show most often reviews are given more by users who are very happy with their product or service, or very upset at the same, and that the most likely person to comment on a product is the most happy with their product or service.
The Determining Issue
What details should you focus on when looking to find the best central vacuum? Here are some ideas:
Filtration type and capacity (Please read our Filtration Analysis Article)
Need for electronic display
Motor Location within Vacuum
When installing a new system, it should be done with care. See our installation standards to be sure your installation is top notch.
When it comes to the central vacuum hose and power brush ratings, please note that the main differences are found in the power brush. Take a look at our industry acclaimed Stealth Power Brush. In fact, our competitors buy it for its quality and install it with many other central vacuum brands.
Note that warranties can be very confusing as some manufacturers put in bold letters that they have a LIMITED LIFETIME WARRANTY. This sounds impressive but unfortunately the fine print may say it does not cover "normal wear and tear" and you have to meet certain qualifications. Please take time to read all of the fine print. Often the manufacturer will not provide warranty information on its website but rather states "see dealer for details." Our SilentMaster Warranty is excellent and if you find a better one you can send it in with your registration card and we will honor that warranty instead.