Central Vacuums have been around for years in more expensive homes and in commercial applications. Basically the central vacuum power unit is located away from the areas to be cleaned in a central location hence the name central vacuum. The central vacuum unit is usually located in the basement or garage and occasionally in a separate structure out side the house or building. Aluminum or reinforced plastic ducting is installed throughout the house providing strategically placed inlets in each main room. Installation of a central vacuum system is normally done during new house or building construction. Retrofitting a house or office with a central vacuum is normally cost prohibited. When it comes time to clean a centrally located switch is thrown and the remote unit creates a strong suction. A cleaning unit comprised of a hose, wand and power head is attached to the inlet. Usually there is an electrical outlet adjacent to the inlet providing electricity to the power roller or beater bar in the tool head. Cleaning then done in a similar manner to that of using a canister vacuum. When the room is clean then the process is completed in the next room until the whole house or office is cleaned. Then the central vacuum is turned off until needed again.
A major benefit of the central vacuum is that the unit dust, mold, allergens and pathogens are not reintroduced to the room being cleaned. All vacuumed materials are transported to a central location where they are deposited. Many new central vacuum units exhaust directly to the outside which further removes the airborne contaminants from the building. Units that do not exhaust to the outside are also efficient in removing contaminants through the use of HEPA filters. One disadvantage to installing a central vacuum is comes in the form of duct maintenance. Ducts will need to be cleaned every couple of years depending on the level of use. Normally cleaning done using a brush on a snake that is run down each duct while the system is running. This assures that the suction remains strong throughout the house. In generally central vacuum systems are relatively quiet during operation. This is important if cleaning activities must be done in office spaces during work hours. Most people who have used or own central vacuum units feel they are the best way to clean.