Saturday, February 16, 2013

Central Vacuum

One item I wanted to get for the house was a central vacuum. There is a surprising selection of brands and types of vacuums out there. From my research, there are basically two approaches one can take:
  • Standard power vacuum, many outlets (or inlets?), and a relatively short hose
  • High power vacuum, few outlets, and a long, retractable hose per outlet. 
I ended up going with pursuing the second option. It uses the locally-made Hide-a-hose system, which is really convenient. I like that it requires fewer outlets, so there's less attaching and and detaching of endings. I also think that fewer outlets mean that there is less clutter and less to break. The only disadvantage is that it is more expensive because the valves cost more, you need separate hoses, and the vacuum needs to be powerful enough to be able to suck the hose back into the wall once you're done with it. 

For a house of my size, I was quoted about $1800 for option 1 (main unit, garage kit, kitchen dustbin, and 6 outlets throughout the house), and $2500 for option 2 (main unit, garage kit, kitchen dustbin, and 3 hide-a-hose outlets with 40ft hoses). 

central vac in the kitchen with part of the hose coming out of the wall

vacuum in the garage

The main unit is a VacuFlo FC650. It's a filtered cyclonic vacuum cleaner, so there are no vacuum bags. All the dust and debris falls into a 6 gallon removable bin. When I briefly tested it out, I was pleased with how powerful and quiet the system was. With the main unit in the garage, most of the noise I heard was just the sound of air flowing into the hose. I'm looking forward to using it!


  1. That hidden hose is very cool. Made by a local compay too! We just got the carry hose. We love central vacs!

  2. Thank you for writing this blog! We're planning a house in the Central District and this will be a good resource.

  3. I just want to add that this central vac system has been a huge help in cleaning up after messy toddlers. I absolutely love the thing and it was well worth the investment. It's especially funny to use it to suck up flies that sneak in the house.