What to Pay Attention to When Buying a Central Vacuum Cleaner?
Each quality project begins with an appropriate choice. And what does an appropriate choice in terms of central vacuum cleaners mean? What to pay attention to ensure that the installation works well in your home?
To be honest, there are always two options ‑ you can do something cheaply or well. Don’t trust people who promise you spectacular results at incredibly low prices, it doesn’t happen in real life. Quality has its own price. Why? Because it’s a long term investment that someday starts paying off.
You have only one heart. Well, maybe sometimes you can have two hearts
The motor is the heart of every vacuum cleaner. The longer and more efficient it works, the greater the probability that the system will work smoothly for many years. The cheapest units are usually equipped with flow through motors that are quiet, sometimes even quite powerful, however, they don't serve for a long time. These motors are prone to breakdowns although there’s one very positive thing about them ‑ they are much more compact than more complex designs. When flow through motors are concerned, it’s almost impossible to talk about long years of reliability. This results from the operation system ‑ the air from the dirt tank is sucked in through a filter, then passes through the motor and is discharged through its chamber. In a nutshell, the motor is cooled with some filtered but still dirty air. A little like asking for trouble, right?
When choosing a central vacuum cleaner, it is worth remembering that such an installation usually costs about 100% more than traditional solutions. Therefore, people deciding on this purchase care about quality, comfort of vacuuming and reliability.
Bypass motors have a completely different design. Although they resemble the flow through models, they are equipped with more advanced fan cooling systems. Here, the dirty air, sucked in by the filtration system, isn’t directed at the engine but discharged through holes located around the turbine. These motors are also relatively quiet, turbines can operate smoothly for much longer than in the case of the flow‑through models.
Tangential bypass turbines, equipped with a side channel air pump are the most advanced designs. These motors are the most reliable, they have a commutator fan cooling system and a side tube that discharges all the cooling air directly outside the machine. There is also a second, very important criterion that should be taken into account when selecting the motor: the number of stages of the turbine. Here, the principle is very simple ‑ the more, the better (as in the three‑turbine Aspilusa models: IZZYY 400, TORNADO 400, AQUA MATIC 400). Dynamics of individual motor models, filtration systems and control plates whose quality makes the device less vulnerable to voltage surges and lightning are other relevant parameters.
Filtration systems are so important that it’s crucial to devote them a moment. The division itself is a piece of cake, usually models are categorized into cyclonic, inverted sack or water cyclonic ones. Also in this case higher filtration quality means higher price of the system.
Standard cyclonic vacuum cleaners with different types of filters enjoy the greatest popularity. Usually, the filters that are fixed directly in the dirt tank are the most difficult to empty, moreover, they also get dirty faster and may clog the motor. The cyclonic water vacuum cleaner (e.g. Aspilusa Aqua Matic wet & dry), which is basically maintenance‑free, doesn't require emptying or cleaning ‑ it's constantly clean, empty and ready to use.
An example of true power: IZZY 600 is a unit equipped with two motors with the highest performance and a total power of 3600 W. This gives a vacuum pressure of 33 kPA, a flow of 400 m³/h; it's dedicated to be used at two points simultaneously.
The needs of buyers are the most important factors that decide about the filtration system and motor parameters. If money is of utmost importance, you can get more budget solutions but it needs to be borne in mind that they will have to be replaced in the near future. If you are looking for intuitive operation, solid power and reliability ‑ then you will need to accept the idea of spending more money on more advanced technologies.
How to tailor a vacuum cleaner to a building?
There are several methods to calculate the minimum parameters of a vacuum cleaner. The most accurate calculator is based on the dimension of the longest installation element. First of all, calculate the length of the pipeline. Then count all nodes and tees and add the length of the vacuum hose. Each 90° node is an additional 2 mb of installation, the safety node is 2.2 mb, the soft tees or 45° nodes or tees are 1.2 mb. With two separate threads in one building, estimating the required power will require summing up their total length.
Example: the length of the pipes is 18 mb + 7 nodes (14 mb) + 9 mb hose with a telescope 1 mb which gives 35 mb installation. Meanwhile, some brands, also units with the smallest motors state it’s possible to install the system even in an up to 300 m2 building, however, the maximum installation length is still only 25 mb. 25 mb are very short installations in small single‑storey houses. With an area of 250‑300 m2 you need a unit with a power of 1800/1900 W or even a two‑motor unit.
If you care mainly about the quality, consider buying a two motor device for bigger facilities. If the purchased unit is equipped with a water cyclone (thanks to which the dirt tank is always clean and empty, which makes the vacuum cleaner as powerful as the newly purchased model), you can consider getting a lower power motor as the dirt simply won’t reduce its power. On the other hand, we all know that there is never too much motor power.
When it comes to hide‑a‑hose installations, it is worth remembering that in order to keep the hose clean and to hide it in the installation without any problems, you need a lot of power and vacuum pressure generated by the vacuum cleaner turbine. Otherwise, the device may simply get clogged. You shouldn't even consider buying vacuum cleaners with power smaller than 1900/1800 W. For 12 mb hoses, it’s a good idea to use a two‑motor unit. And last but not least: hoses of this type should never be combined with standard installations; even if the socket is from such an installation.