Central Vacuum Questions


Central Vacuum Experts

300A South Elliott Rd

Chapel Hill NC 27514

For an estimate or service:

(919) 968-8227


Hours: M-Sa 9-6


Central Vacuum Systems Frequently Asked Questions (faq)


Q: How does a central vacuum system work?

A: The vacuum itself is located most often in the garage, basement, utility room or even in an attic. At key locations throughout the home or commercial building we install inlets connected to the vacuum through PVC pipe or in some commercial cases, metal pipe. The inlet valve may be a spring loaded door to a hose attachment valve, a handy floor sweep inlet which comes on with a foot switch or a valve that has the hose included in the valve assembly for simple extension and cleaning. The system then carries the dirt, dust, animal dander, hair and allergens out of the room into the main power unit and deposits all of the debris into a bag or a bagless canister.

Q: What are the benefits of a central vacuum?

A: (1) Ease of Use: There is no portable vacuum to carry, no need to find an electrical outlet or a portable vacuums to maintain. (2) Cleaning Suction & Power: A central vacuum provides up to three times more cleaning power by using heavy-duty, stronger motors producing more powerful, deeper cleaning. (3) Quieter: The motor, and therefore, most of the noise, is usually in the garage or some other out of the way place. The brands we sell are among the quietest in the industry. (4) Cleaner Interior Environment: dust, dirt, dog & cat hair/dander and allergens are taken out of the inside living space. This is a huge benefit to allergy sufferers. (5) Return on Investment for the home or business: the cost of installation is usually recoverable in the sale of a home.

Q: What are the frequent terms used in referring to a central vacuum?

A: Central vacuum system, central vac, whole house vacuum, ducted vacuum system, in wall vacuum system, built in vacuum.

Q: Why should I install a central vacuum?

A: A central vacuum can reduce the burden of carrying a portable vacuum and it greatly reduces dust particles and allergens that make it through the filters of portable vacuum. This is particularly true with the great majority of vacuums sold today, bagless vacuum cleaners. Additionally, it is much quieter, versatile, and cost effective. According to the EPA, indoor air levels of many pollutants may be 2-5 times higher than outdoor levels. A central vacuum removes nearly all contacted pollutants and helps you breathe better.

Q. Do I need a central vacuum if I only have hardwoods and tile in my home?

A. Yes, A central vacuum system will have a hardwood and tile floor tool. Because all the dust and dirt are being pulled out of the home, you have to dust less often.

Q: Does the vacuum's suction depend on how far away from the unit it is?

A: The motors in a central vacuum are larger and more powerful than portable and canister vacuums for consistently strong suction in all locations. Of course, our trained staff will pick the right size power unit for your home.

Q: How do I turn the system on and off?

A: A low voltage switch on the hose handle or the inlet door signals the central unit to power on or off.

Q: Does Central Vacuum Experts service all central vacuums?

A: CVE provides repair services, parts and accessories for all central vacuum brands, including, but not limited to, Cyclovac, MD Manufacturing, Beam, Airvac (both Red Series and Platinum Series) , Fasco, M & S, Vacu-maid, Nutone, HP VacuFlo and many more.

Q: Do any of your central vacuums have a wet / dry capability?

A: Yes! The Cyclovac Wave Wet/Dry system is part of our commercial line. It has an automatic rinse cycle after it reaches maximum capacity or when vacuuming is stopped to eliminate particulate and scum formation. There is no motor in the collection unit itself, it is paired with one to four HD motor heads. This creates a fully automatic, self-cleaning, and self-flushing system has never been so easy and affordable!

Q: What commercial applications is the Cyclovac Wave Wet/Dry suitable for?

A: The Wave has many applications; restaurants, veterinarian and pet boarding facilities, large scale pet clinics including emergency pet hospitals, food processing plants and many other applications. See this example at Eggland.

Q: What about clogs or possible loss of suction?

A: These are rare, but toys or other items do get sucked in occasionally and we can advise you on the phone what to do or if a service call if necessary. One of the more common problems is related to installations that are done by businesses that don't specialize in central vacuums and may simply do a shoddy installation. We have found this to be the case on many occasions. CVE has invested in a flexible, scoping camera unit which can also examine the entire pipe for leaks, cracks or obstructions. See our Servicing Page for an example.

Q: Can you install a central vacuum in an existing home?

A: Our team of installers has installed (retrofitted) central vacuum systems in hundreds of existing homes and businesses. Because each project is unique we rely on the expertise gained through lessons learned in the many installations. We can run piping and install units with virtually no need to do drywall repair. The inlet valves are usually the only holes needed. One big advantage of our expertise is the assurance of most effective airflow by proper placement of piping.

Q: I have a older VacuMaid central vacuum system. Is your equipment compatible?

A: CVE services and has parts for all Vacu-Maid products. We troubleshoot and recommend remedies to existing problems. Sometimes an upgrade might be in order and we have the equipment and the parts to do it. Visit our Service, Repairs and Parts page.

Q: Do you sell replacement bags, hoses or parts.

A: CVE has a large inventory of bags, hoses and attachments plus other parts. A frequent request is for CycloVac or MD Manufacturing bags which can be purchased online at http://tinyurl.com/CyclovacBags and http://tinyurl.com/MDBags.

Q: Do you recommend a central vacuum for an elderly or disabled person's residence?

A: A central vacuum can have a big advantage over a portable vacuum, because a portable vacuum has to be carried from room to room, and sometimes to multiple spots within one room, in order to suck up dust, dirt and debris. This can be heavy and potentially challenging for elderly or disabled users. A central vacuum with a Hide-A-Hose can easily be used to pull the hose from the wall unit at a convenient height and taken to the area needing cleaning. Central Vacuum Experts is a member of the CARE (Council For Ageless Residential Environments) which specializes in remodeling homes for aging-in-place living.

Q: How many wall inlet valves should I have installed?

A: Typically one hose inlet valve should be installed for every 700 square feet of a home. A centrally located Hide-A-Hose with a 50 foot expanding hose can often times cover an entire 2000 square foot home. Our central vacuum team can help you to determine the best plan for your home or commercial vacuum application. For example, a central vacuum with a Hide A Hose can easily be used to pull the hose from the wall unit at a convenient height and taken to the area needing cleaning. See owner Tom Proctor demonstrate a 60' Hide A Hose.

Q: Which is better, a central vacuum with a disposable bag or bagless system?

A: Both systems are efficient but over the long term, there are several advantages to bagged systems. Not only are they easier and less dusty to maintain, they protect the motor from dust, carpet fibers and pet hair that can clog motor fans. By protecting the motor, you'll enjoy many more years of stronger suction and extended motor life.

Q: Does Central Vacuum Experts also install whole house air filtration systems?

A: CVE sells and installs the IQAir Perfect 16 whole house HEPA air filtration system. We have a laser particle measuring device which measures microscopic particles both before and after installation. It will show how well it reduces the dust and allergens. In fact, the IQ Air Perfect 16 guarantees a 90% reduction in indoor air particles. No one on the market can make that claim! It has four HEPA filters which only have to be changed every three years. CVE owner, Tom Proctor installed one in his house in January 2013 (explained in this YouTube video) and recently completed a two year inspection (YouTube video).

Q: How far from Chapel Hill do you install central vacuum systems?

A: Central Vacuum Experts has installed central vacuum systems throughout North Carolina and even Virginia, however, we specialize in areas within 50 miles of Chapel Hill.

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