Keeping your house free of dirt, dust, pet hair, pollen … the list goes on, is an essential part of everyday life. Many new houses come equipped with central vacuuming that makes the job easier. But what are the pros and cons to having this system? Does an upright vacuum work just as well … or maybe a broom?
• A central vac just makes like easier. There is no heavy unit to lug around. All you need to carry is the hose which is plugged into several outlets spaced throughout the house.
• It will add value to your house even though the initial cost of installing the unit is high.
• Central vacs have stronger motors than their portable cousins so their suctioning power is strong. It works particularly well for deep cleaning wall-to-wall carpeting and sucking up pet hairs.
• Easy to use. All you need to do is flick a switch and swoosh the hose and floor brush toolhead. No electrical cords to trip over.
• It is relatively quiet in the house since the motor is in the garage.
• Dirt and debris is shunted directly to the main unit located in the garage, so the air is cleaner.
• Cleaning the bag is a snap. Dirt can be directly upended from the garage canister into a garbage bag and disposed of in the trash. Since the canister is large, this only needs to be done infrequently.
• Central vac systems must be professionally installed. Pipes are run through the walls and under floors. Because of this, the initial cost is high.
• It is easier to install when the house is being built versus an older home.
• When and if your central vac gets clogged (which it will) maintenance calls are expensive.
• If you have wood floors or a small living space a central vac system is probably not worth the money.
• Loose items like change and small items can be inadvertently sucked up. They are not easy to retrieve from the canister.
• Because of its strong suction power large items can get sucked up and damage the unit.
Cleaning your home is something that must be done on a regular basis and vacuum cleaners, whether central or upright or robotic, are practical and save time and energy. There is no doubt they are a blessing to the person who is doing the cleaning. The best way to decide whether you should spring for a central vac system or one of the many different upright vacuum models is to determine how large your home is and whether you have wall-to-wall carpeting.
If you have multiple floors and a fair amount of carpets, a central vac system is probably a good idea. If you have a pet that sheds it makes even more sense.
For a small house with wooden or laminate floors, an upright vacuum or a robotic version will work just as well.
In the end the choice may simply come down to what works the best for you.
By: Beverley Burgess Bell