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Central Vacuum Installation Methods

Installation options available for new and existing homes, how much it costs to install a central vacuum installation, and which is right for your home.

You have two main installation options, along with supplementary accessories that will enhance the system. These affordable installations are applicable for newly constructed and even existing homes, and a professional vacuum installer can complete them in only one day. In this article, we outline the main ways to install a built-in vacuum with price ranges, features, and the pros and cons for each type of system.

Main Methods of Installation

Standard Installation Method

Price Range: $1,200 - $2,800*

Traditional Central Vacuum installation
1 - Standard Inlet

A typical standard installation has two to four inlet valves spaced out around the home to cover all areas using a 30-foot plug-in hose.

Pros
  • Quickest installation
  • Small inlet footprint on wall
  • Can use any number of universal hoses
  • You have the option to include an electric carpet brush
Cons
  • Hose storage and management
  • Usage involves carrying hose to multiple inlet locations

Hide-A-Hose Central Vacuum Installation

Price Range: $2,400 - $3,900*

Hide-A-Hose Central Vacuum Installation
2 - Hide-A-Hose Inlet

For most homes, two Hide-A-Hose Inlets cover all areas using an integrated retractable hose, which is typically 50 feet long. Hose are available in 30, 40, 50, and 60-feet lengths. The hose is pulled out from the wall inlet where it is stored.

Pros
  • Fewer inlets to install
  • Pull the house out to any length needed, and instantly retract the hose when vacuuming is complete
  • No additional hose storage required
Cons
  • Cannot use an electric vacuum brush for carpet
  • More difficult installation

Standard and Hide-A-Hose Installation

Price Range: $2,400 - $3,000*

Hybrid Central Vacuum Installation
1 - Standard Inlet, 2 - Hide-A-Hose Inlet.

A hybrid installation in a typical two story home would include approximately three inlets. The diagram above shows a 50-foot retractable hose that covers the first story, and standard style inlets for the second story.

Extra Installation Options

Extra Installation Options
3 - VacPan Automatic Dustpan, 4 - Stretch Hose, 5 - WallyFlex.

VacPan Automatic Dustpan

Price Range: $250 - $500

With a VacPan you simply sweep, activate the foot switch, and watch the dirt disappear into the vacuum system. Requires installation of a kick plate in a cabinet or wall.

Stretch Hose

Price Range: $55 - $80

Used in existing inlets, a Stretch Hose kept near high-traffic areas provides quick and convenient clean-ups using a hose that stretches from 7 to 28 feet. Only the hose is needed and accessories can be attached to the handle end. You can optionally add extra inlet locations, which will cost more money.

WallyFlex

Price Range: $250 - $400

The WallyFlex is an auxiliary hose that mounts on a wall and stretches up to 14 feet. Great for the pantry, laundry room, garage, or bathroom. Requires traditional inlet back plate installed higher up on wall.

Installation Notes

The pipe layout is basically a trunk line that branches out to inlet locations via the basement, attic, soffits, and hidden spaces in the home. The length of the pipe and the number of stories is not a problem for the suction of a central vacuum. A traditional inlet with a 30-foot plug-in hose will cover 700-1,000 square feet, and a 50-foot retractable Hide-a-Hose will cover around 2,300 square feet. Either central vacuum system can be installed in new construction and existing construction homes. Homes that already have a central vacuum can be updated with a new vacuum unit, including accessories and products such as Hide-a-Hose, VacPan, and WallyFlex.

*The goal of these price ranges is to show that central vacuums are affordable. Price ranges are for average 1,800-3,000 square foot homes. Prices are set by independent local installation companies, and each job will have factors that influence pricing.