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How Does a Central Vacuum System Work?

central vacuum system unit and hose

Are you building a new home and considering including a central vacuum system in the plans? Do you want to retrofit your current residence with a powerful built-in cleaning system? If so, here’s a breakdown of how central vacuum systems work to ensure you understand the ins and outs.

How Central Vacuum Systems Work

Central vacuum systems are made up of five main components. Here’s an overview of each:

  1. Power Unit The power unit houses the motor, which delivers strong suction and deep cleaning power. Since the unit is stationary, it has a lot more power than a corded or stick vacuum. The power unit also contains a filter system and canister to collect the dirt and debris that gets vacuumed up. It’s usually mounted in an out-of-the-way location, like your home’s utility room, garage or basement.

  2. PVC Piping The PVC piping is located within the walls of your home and is connected to the power unit. This piping carries away all the dust, dirt and allergens from your living areas to the canister on the central power unit.

  3. Inlet Valves Inlet valves are about the size of a standard electrical outlet. They’re strategically installed throughout your home, so you can move the central vacuum hose from inlet to inlet instead of lugging around a vacuum cleaner from room to room. Typically, one inlet can cover 50 to 95 square metres of living space.

  4. Hose This is the part that gets carried around your home. Central vacuum hoses are flexible, lightweight and crushproof. Standard models are between nine to 10 metres long. The hoses often have built-in on/off buttons that can be used to activate the motor when plugged into an inlet valve. Retractable hoses are also available.

  5. Attachments You can purchase numerous tools and attachments to tackle various cleaning tasks. For example, you can purchase extension wands, crevice tools, dusting brushes, mattress refreshers and more. These tools can be electric- or air-powered.

Don’s Heating and Cooling offers central vacuum installation and replacement services. All our technicians are trained, certified and insured to service your central vacuum.

Central Vacuum Installation and Maintenance

At Don’s Heating and Cooling, we strongly believe in the superior cleaning power of central vacuum systems. We carry top brands like Cana-Vac, Beam and Electrolux and will fit your home with the perfect system. We also sell and service various HVAC units, including air conditioners, furnaces and heat pumps. Contact us today to learn more, or visit one of our showrooms in Orangeville and Alliston.


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