Common Problems With a Central Vacuum


With growing allergy concerns, today's homeowners are becoming more aware of the quality of the air inside their homes, and central vacuum systems are becoming more popular as a result. It is said that, unlike other household vacuums, a central vacuum system vented to the outside removes 100 percent of the dirt, including dust mites, pollen, pet hair and other allergens from the inside of the house. However, their large efficient motors can create some unexpected problems.


  • The larger motors of central vacuum systems create greater suction power than traditional, portable vacuum cleaners. Things which are not intended to go into the hose sometimes do. "You have to be careful, " says Grant Olewiler of M. D. Manufacturing in Bakersfield, California. "I've had people vacuuming out a bird cage get too close to the bird." For this reason it is not recommended that children use the central vacuum. Be aware that broken glass pieces sucked into the hose can damage the unit as well.


  • Noise can be a factor if you are standing next to the motor. This is why it is best to install the motor in your garage so that the walls will insulate against its sound. At the nozzle end, noise is minimal and generally not a problem.


  • "Before buying any system, take a close look at how easy it is to remove and clean all the filters." says Peter Pavlick of Ametek, a motor manufacturer. It is imperative that you keep them clean so the motor does not burn out. Any filter you install (screen, fabric, foam, paper, etc.) will hinder airflow in some manner. The system must have the ability to keep dirt away from the motor while maximizing airflow for greatest vacuum power.

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