Need to purchase a vacuum cleaner AGAIN. Considering changing to a central vac system. Looking for the pros/cons

and what brands/models to consider. Suggestions, feedback? Thanks!
  16 answers
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Feb 20, 2012
    I've seen people go in two directions with this problem. In the first camp are the "dyson" types...those that will spend 500 bucks for a vac thinking it will clean better or last forever. The other camp is the get something decent and type not to abuse it. I inherited a Bissell Clear view from a client a number of years ago...he said it did suck any more. This was a basic bag-less and After I got it home I discovered some internal "filters" that were clogged with fine drywall dust...once those were cleaned the thing ran fine...and did so for another 5 years or so. It finally succumbed to a failure in the plastic motor mount. I replaced it with another pretty much like it. The new machine I got was about the same $99 prime. it has been running fine for almost a year. If this lasts 5 years or so...that only comes out to $20 a year...compared to a dyson that may run $100 a year...assuming a 5 year lifespan

  • Spiffed-up Spaces Spiffed-up Spaces on Feb 20, 2012
    Purchased a dyson canister vac in Sept. 2010. Worked pretty good for awhile, then it's been one issue after another. While the main suction is good, the rest of the unit is poorly made and falling apart. Plastic pieces started breaking and the carpet head stop working properly forcing me to use the bare floor attachment on carpets - back-breaking work with the amount of suction. I've been told that a Miele is a good brand, but for the cost, I'm wondering if a central vac system makes more sense for the long term. I was also told that it adds to resale like a sprinkler or alarm system.

  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Feb 20, 2012
    Installing a central vac as a "remodel" is very invasive...and will cost big bucks. Most of these systems are installed during original construction as many tubing and wiring runs are required.

  • Agree with can do it but the cost will be high and most clients I work with aren't happy with the performance anyway. Check first to see what kind of chases you may have built into the you have a basement?

  • Spiffed-up Spaces Spiffed-up Spaces on Feb 20, 2012
    No basement, but a decent crawl space. A rough estimate they gave me was between $2400-2700 installed. But, I've already spent probably $900 in last 10 years on (3) vacuums. But, concerned if the performance is sub-par.

  • Ana M Ana M on Feb 20, 2012
    Try an ORECK vaccum cleaner, they have a great service maintenance program, it is free for first couple of years I think, but they are a great price for the quality, my MIL is the one that showed me her Oreck she had had for more than 30+ years! So when we went thru a vacuum a year, we finally went Oreck, have had is serviced twice since I bought it in 2003 and never had any problems, they changed the belt once but that was included in the warranty and service, it is TOTALLY worth it! Especially if you have an Preck store/service place near you.

  • There are two things to consider when using a central vac system. One is the location of the connection points and two if the vacuum head is powered or not. All good vacuums built today rely on the beater bar on the floor unit. With a portable unit it contains the power in the hose from the vacuum which is plugged into a wall socket. You can get this feature with the central vacuum built in but it costs a lot. If you want you have another choice in which the wire that powers the power head is run externally from the hose and then must be plugged into a wall outlet. The latter makes it a bit more difficult as the plug in point must be near a outlet in order to run the unit. Also the plug in points for the vacuum needs to be in locations where regardless of how you set your room up the hose will reach all locations within the area it was designed to access. I have seen countless times where the plug in points were set to reach all areas when the house was empty, but as soon as they put furniture in the room the hose did not reach some outlining areas Many people thing that the central vacuum system does not work as well as the stand along unit. This is understandable as they do not hear all the noise, which they relate to power. Those who have used stand along vacuums tend to worry that the central unit is not working as well as it should. But the central system has a much larger motor and does draw a much greater suction then most of the stand alone units sold today. So as long as your central system has the ability to supply power to the vacuum head beater bar device you will find that the central system cannot be beat. The last thing that is very important is to make sure the discharge pipe is located outside. I have seen where they install central systems and do not pipe the outlet outside. This results in lots of dust collection in and around the area of the vacuum system itself.

  • 3po3 3po3 on Feb 20, 2012
    I would also lean toward a quality new vacuum rather than a central system. I have all hardwood and tile, so I just use a shopvac for rugs and spills, etc on the wood and tile. Works great for me, and has for years, but doesn't really help you. However, I can tell you that Consumer Reports highly recommends a couple of Hoover models and a Eureka model. They all cost less than $200, and perform well, according to CR.

  • Charlene S Charlene S on Feb 21, 2012
    In doing some research, I found that the "Rainbow" sweeper system rates the best. It is quite pricey, but does "so much"! If it is taken care of the way the instructions tell you, it will last for many years!

  • Spiffed-up Spaces Spiffed-up Spaces on Feb 21, 2012
    Thanks for all the input. Still weighing my options, so keep the feedback coming :)

  • We have a Rainbow vac., Wife loves it, I hate it. You fill the tank with water that becomes the filter media. And as you vacuum the dust and garbage picked up moves through the water. Leaving behind a muddy, gunky mess that you need to dump in a toilet or somewhere outside as the water is still in the tank. That is my job by the way. Then once done using it, you need to keep the vacuum apart so it dries out or otherwise the motor will begin to squeal over time as the bearings begin to rust. Its heavy, cannot be used very well on stairs for fear of falling over and getting water all over the place. But again my wife loves it and after 35 years of marriage I guess so do I. (not).

  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Feb 22, 2012 need to find a way for this thing to come to an early demise...wink wink. Perhaps a critical part can come up missing or broken.

  • Charlene S Charlene S on Feb 23, 2012
    In addition to the Rainbow being a superb suction unit, it is also an air filtration system & room fragrancing device all in one. You can refresh your pillows, stuffed animals, and comforters with this system which keeps things fresh smelling and reduces unavoidable dust in these items. You can buy many different attachments; from dryer vent attachments to keyboard/computer attachements, to powered apolstry attachments and much more. I have used many different kinds of vaccums in my life but the only inconvenience of the Rainbow was that I had to dump the water after use. However, you have to dump the bagless type vaccums too and they don't hold up as long as the Rainbow. I'm talking 20 yrs or more with proper care. No..I don't work for the company but in reading back over my statement, maybe I should! Hahaha! Good luck Spiffed-up Spaces. BTW..the cost is about $2000.

  • Sherrie S Sherrie S on Apr 28, 2012
    I had a central vac in my first new home. I didn't like it because it did not really clean the rugs. Woodbridge mentioned "vacuum head is powered or not". I chose NOT to have central vac in my next home and now I think that was a mistake. Too bad I didn't have hometalk at that time. I do have the "Dyson Animal Vacuum" that does a great job and has many functions I really like.

  • Stephanie Stephanie on Feb 20, 2015
    I have not heard good things about central vacs. The major thing I keep hearing is that you lose suction the further you get from the unit. People I know who have them ALL ended up purchasing 2 vacuums---one for upstairs and one for downstairs.

  • Pat880866 Pat880866 on Mar 07, 2015
    After seeing the repair guy demo this product, we bought a Panasonic! Love it.