Central Vacuum System Installation

Vacuuming can be a pain- it’s noisy, inconvenient, and costly when you find yourself back at the store every few years for a new vacuum. Portable vacuums are usually heavy, smelly, and often leave you wondering how clean your carpet is.

Installing a central vacuum is the answer to all these complaints, so why haven’t more people installed one? Many homeowners aren’t even aware central vacuums are an option, and there are many misconceptions about how they work. Big name vacuum manufacturers make more money selling portable vacuum cleaners at more regular intervals than selling their central vacuum systems, so they do not heavily market central vacuums.

One of the most common misconceptions surrounding central vacuums is that installing a system in an existing home requires a significant renovation and tearing down walls. This is not true- the only hole required is covered with an inlet backing plate, and the pipes are usually fed through an attic, basement, or crawlspace. Keep reading for seven more reasons to consider installing a central vacuum in your home.

#1 Minimal Vacuum Noise

Most people are familiar with the loud noise caused by portable vacuums. Talking on the phone, sleeping, and watching television are all next to impossible when a person is vacuuming. With a central vacuum, you’ll be amazed at how quiet they are. The main source of the noise, the motor, is located in the garage or basement, so the only noise comes from the air flowing through the vacuum and the vacuum head itself. You’ll find that life can finally coexist with vacuuming when you have a central vacuum.

#2 Super Easy to Use

We can all agree that very few love to do household chores. However, central vacuums make cleaning as painless as possible (some may even call it fun!). With a central vac system, you can say goodbye to hauling around a heavy canister or upright vacuum. Those tough to reach spots that sit there and collect dust? Central vacuums have a wide range of accessories that allow you to clean places no vacuum has ever been able to get to before. Clean every nook and cranny in your home, even those cob-webby ceiling corners and the dusty corner behind the refrigerator, with a central vacuum. There isn’t any other vacuuming system that will let you clean as efficiently and effectively as a central vacuum system.

#3 Goodbye Portable Vacuums

While most portable vacuum cleaners have to be replaced every few years, you only have to worry about basic maintenance once a central vacuum system is installed. In a direct comparison, a central vacuum will always beat out a portable or canister vacuum. Consider these advantages to owning a central vacuum system:

  • No power cords or extension cords
  • No re-circulated dust particles that trigger allergies (see #4 below)
  • Large trash capacity
  • No filter troubles
  • Longevity of all the parts
  • Costs less than portables bought over time
  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Never awkward, bulky or off balance.

#4 Cleaner Air, Reduced Allergies – PROVEN Central vacuum owners often remark how much cleaner the air is inside their homes, and allergy sufferers typically notice a reduction in their allergies. UC Davis actually did a study on this phenomenon, and proved that central vacuums do in fact keep the air cleaner than portable vacuums. The reason is simple: central vacuum systems extract the dirt, dust, and debris out of the house and into the main power unit in the garage or the basement where they are then exhausted outside. Portable vacuums recycle vacuumed allergens back into the air through the exhaust. 

#5 Versatile

Central vacuums have the ability to reach different places and types of surfaces than the typical portable vacuum thanks to the extensive selection of accessories available for central vacs. Long hoses and a number of tools makes easy work of cleaning vehicles, boats, and RVs. It even makes cleaning your garage easier than ever. It doesn’t stir up dust like a broom, and is a lot less troublesome than trying to use a portable vacuum outside. Men also prefer central vacs to portable vacuums and are 80% more likely to vacuum with a central vacuum, because “It feels more like a power tool than a household appliance.”

#6 Powerful Deep Cleaning

Central vacuum motors can be up to three times stronger than the motors in portable vacuums, and because they are stored in a stationary location in the garage or basement, they stay much cooler. Since the motor stays much cooler, it is able to last much longer than portable vacuums, allowing it to do its job- provide strong suction through the network of pipes and through the hose. This allows central vacuums to not only remove the surface dust and debris, but also the deep grit and particulates that age carpet.

#7  A Smart Investment

Purchases such as household appliances are investments into your home, and installing a central vacuum is a smart one. Central vacuums save money over time and add value to your property, because the money spent on the installation will come back when the property is sold. They also last much longer than portable vacuums which need to be replaced every few years. Central vacuum owners can usually go ten years before having to replace major accessories or worry about maintenance.

Which tools do I need to install
my central vacuum system?

The connections to the piping system will require some basic tools: a mitre box and small saw or a pipe cutter. To simplify matters, installation kits, including necessary fittings, pipes, glue, low voltage wiring, and a detailed instructions booklet, are available, as well as a complete installation DVD that can serve as a step-by-step guide.

Do I have to install an exterior exhaust
from my central vacuum system?

If your unit has a bypass motor and is installed in a room of less than 8’ x 10’, exterior ventilation will be absolutely necessary. However, it is best, when possible, to install an exterior exhaust for your central vacuum system. This exhaust considerably decreases the central vacuum sound level and allows, if there are any tears or punctures in your bag or filters, to evacuate bacteria and mold outside. It also allows the heat, produced by the power unit’s motor(s), to be redirected outside and not in the room where your central vacuum is.

What do I have to verify before operating
my central vacuum cleaner?

Before operating your central vacuum, we recommend you read the whole owner’s manual and proceed with a quick verification of your unit’s installation, as detailed on page 17. For instance, you must verify that your central vacuum is properly connected to the piping system and to a grounded electrical outlet, and that the low voltage wires are connected to the unit. Then, check the bag/filters to be sure they are properly installed and not damaged, and finally, check the rubber seals in each vacuum inlet.

Can I safely vacuum liquids with
my Cyclo Vac central vacuum?

No. Your vacuum cleaning system is designed to collect everyday dry matter (dust). It is approved by authorized testing agencies for dry use only. Do not use on wet surfaces. Should you accidentally vacuum liquids, immediately unplug the unit from the electric outlet, then empty and wipe the dust receptacle with a dry cloth. After that, operate the system from the vacuum inlet through which you had previously vacuumed the liquid, in order to eliminate all moisture in the piping system.

Besides liquids, are there some materials
that my central cleaning system cannot vacuum?

Yes. We strongly recommend against vacuuming abrasive materials such as cement, plaster and gyproc dust. This fine dust could work its way into the motor, causing considerable damage. Should you do so inadvertently, immediately clean the filters and, as a precautionary measure, contact your authorized service center to determine the extent of the damage to the unit. Remember that in order for your warranty to remain valid, maintenance of the motor and repairs to the unit itself must be carried out by an authorized service center, using original Cyclo Vac or Trovac parts.

What should I do if I notice a decrease
of my central vacuum’s suction strength?

There are a few possible causes that could explain a decrease of your vacuum’s suction strength. To find out what to do for each possible cause, please consult the Cyclo Vac owner’s manual, pages 28 and 29. If none of the suggestions restore the suction strength, contact your local authorized service center.

How do I restart my vacuum once the bag
has been changed or the filters cleaned?

For the HX, GX and DL series, equipped with the DataSync technology, simply press and hold the reset button for one second. For regular models, the unit should function normally as soon as it is reconnected to the power outlet.

Glossary – Technical Terms

Water Lift (H2O)

Water lift (H2O) mainly measures the central vacuum’s engine strength, that is to say the strength with which the air is moved. The speed at which the air moves is a good indicator of the suction power. This data indicates, among other things, if the chosen power unit will be able to suck up larger debris of a certain weight. It is therefore an important element to consider when choosing a vacuum cleaner, especially if you intend to use an air driven powerhead: the greater the suction strength, the faster the roller will turn! This data is also crucial if you want to use the retractable hose system because it is precisely this force that will make the hose retract into the piping system.

Airflow (CFM/CMH)

This data measures the quantity of air that is moved at the same time, in cubic feet per minute (CFM) or in cubic meter per hour (CMH). A high airflow creates an important air movement, thus considerably increasing the capacity to vacuum dust and dirt within a larger range. This data is more important if you intend to use an electric powerhead: since it’s the electricity that will make the roller turn, the air movement created is of greater interest.

Water lift (H2O) or Airflow (CFM/CMH)?

Having understood the respective functions of these two technical terms, it is important to know that these two characteristics ensure a maximal power altogether. It is therefore essential to analyse both of these data as a whole, and not independently.


Airwatt is a measurement that represents the motor performance, taking both these technical data into account. It is in fact calculated with a ratio between the airflow (CFM/CMH) and the water lift (H2O). It is therefore a major technical data that must be considered, although it is very sensitive to other factors, and so it would be inconvenient to only consider the Airwatt.

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