Congratulations on your new home and acquisition of an integrated central vacuum system. You should discover your M & S central vacuum to be vastly superior to other cleaning methods. Central vacuums offer ample power and versatility to clean anything, anywhere, with no offensive odor or distracting noise. The only real maintenance required is emptying the collection tank periodically. All components of the system can be repaired in the event of damage, and individual accessories such as tools and hoses can be upgraded as needed.
A central vacuum is a built-in appliance in which the main suction unit (also known as a power unit) is installed in another part of the house (such as the garage, basement, or utility room). From that location, PVC pipes extend through the basement, attic and interior walls and connect to wall ports, called inlet valves, located in convenient places within the house. Once the vacuum hose is inserted into an inlet valve, powerful suction starts and vacuuming can begin. Some homes have a retractable vacuum hose called Hide-A-Hose which is pulled from the valve and then returned into the valve by the powerful suction. Accessories for the M & S vacuum are available for cleaning all floors and hard-to-reach places like ceiling fans, light shades, and corners. There are even accessories for outdoor use, including garages and patios. What makes a central vacuum system most unique, is that the collected dust and debris is actually removed from the living area, deposited into the power unit, thus leaving no unpleasant odor in the home.
Central vacs are easy to use. Simply plug the hose into any wall inlet and begin vacuuming. The suction will start instantly, or there may be a switch on the hose handle to control the suction. There may be a switch on the main vacuum power unit, and it should be left "off," which is the standby position. Dirt and debris are transported into the vacuum hose, through the pipes in the house, and deposited in the main collection unit. From there, exhaust is dispersed or is vented outdoors. When you are finished vacuuming, simply turn the suction off on the hose handle or unplug the hose, leaving the inlet valve door open momentarily to allow the pressure to level off. Maintenance is also a breeze: check the filter, which is located at the top or bottom of the main unit, and clean or replace when needed (paper filters should be changed, while cloth and pleated filters may be shaken out or replaced).
User satisfaction surveys reveal the following as the top three reasons for switching from portable vacuums to a central vacuum:
When storing your hose, always disconnect the hose from any accessories, and then make 4 or 5 loops on the ground before hanging the hose up. Taking care of your equipment in this way will make the hose lasts longer. We also have storage supplies.
Basic maintenance for the filtration, motor, hose, and pipes is provided on the M & S maintenance page. The main requirement is to empty the debris, and either change a bag, or shake out the filter on a regular basis.
You may want to call a dealer to assess the system, or you can do it yourself. Use this troubleshooting guide to check the functionality of everything from the ground up. Solutions are suggested for common problems.
A proper working central vac with quality accessories has immediate returns for everyone. And from an investment standpoint, a built-in appliance will usually add around $2,000 value to your home's resale value.