Recently, my parents sold our family home in search of that dream waterfront property. It was a little bittersweet, packing up memories of all our years spent there, but they’ve earned their retirement and we’re happy to see them start a new page. Now, while most retirees seek out the typical downsized, low-maintenance lifestyle, my folks went a slightly different route. They chose to buy a completely dilapidated house, even larger than their current, and jump into a whole-home renovation. No sense getting lazy now, I suppose.
In discussion over the new bathrooms, new kitchen, new roof, new electrical, and new plumbing, my father asked whether or not they could install a central vacuum system. This question caught me off guard. You’d think my having touted the aspects and benefits of installing a system in a home all these years would have sunk in, but apparently there was still some confusion as to the logistics of actually making it happen. Even from my own family! It got me thinking…
Are other people out there asking if they can install a central vacuum system?
Our own installers here at the shop have over a hundred years of combined experience. In short, they’ll tell you absolutely any home can have a central vacuum system installed, it just comes down to different levels of effort. So with that, I’ll try to break down the different types of customers we serve in hopes that you will likely fit into one of the below categories and discuss just how we’d go about a central vacuum install.
I’m Building A New Home
Difficulty Level: So, So Easy!
If you’re in the process of building a new home, don’t hesitate another second. Adding a central vacuum system into the plans is practically a non-issue. Your builder will easily incorporate the vacuum piping and power unit into the design, just like they would air conditioning or plumbing. As the framing for the walls go up, the vacuum piping will too (likely along with the electrical.) You’ll even be able to select exactly where you’d like your inlets to be placed because the sky is truly the limit in this situation. You’ll also have full access to cool central vacuum additions like this HolsterVac or a Vac Pan.
I’m Doing A Renovation In Our Home
Difficulty Level: Easy
Like my parents, many people take on a large scale renovation to an existing home in order to better make it theirs. This is a GREAT time to install a central vacuum system. As walls, ceilings, or floors are opened up, whether to be removed or repaired, you’re given the opportunity to easily install an inlet and vacuum piping in that location. And because vacuum piping can be run through an attic, through the basement, or even outside a home, connecting that inlet to a power unit is easy. You may not be able to install the inlet exactly where you would want it, as you’ll be limited to the area that you’re working on. However, the inlets today are very discreet, so even visible installations don’t tend to bother most homeowners. Additionally, vacuum hoses come as large as 50 feet long and even feature extensions so you should be able to reach any attached room.
One customer even started their central vacuum piping while they were remodeling their kitchen. The following year, as planned, they tackled their master bedroom and installed the second necessary inlet and finally connected the piping to a power unit. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
My Home Is Intact, But I Want A Central Vacuum System
Difficulty Level: Moderate, But Not Impossible!
I can speak from experience here because this is exactly the situation my husband and I were in. Our home features a crawlspace, so we were able to run vacuum piping below the home and install inlets in the floor. You could very easily do this same technique with a basement installation. We even ran piping along the exterior of our home, hidden under our backyard deck. Another option is to run vacuum piping through the attic and then do some light drywall/plaster work to install an inlet in the wall.
We even have an employee here who wasn’t able to install piping or inlets, as she was renting a home, so she simply uses the inlet that is attached to the power unit itself and an extra long hose! No piping needed!
So What Should I Do Now?
- First things first, call 1-800-221-8227 and speak with one of our central vacuum specialists to get started. They’ll walk you through the particulars of your installation and any troubleshooting tips you may need. We encourage our customers to give a DIY install a try and you wouldn’t believe how often we hear, “That was a lot easier than I thought it would be!” If you’re really unsure, though, you can contact a professional. A handy-man, a contractor, or even an electrician can install central vacuum system for you.
- Next, determine the needs of your home to select the correct power unit and attachments. The square footage of your home will decide how powerful a vacuum unit you will need and the type of flooring will guide you to the right tools. For example, if your home is going to have carpeting, you’ll know you will need to purchase electric powerheads and attachments to allow more power for deep cleaning. You’ll also need to decide what kind of filtration you want. Here’s a really helpful article on that topic. When you call to speak with one of our representatives, they’ll also go over all of this with you.
- Lastly, map out where you’d like to place your inlets. Keep in mind the length of hose you’ll be purchasing (15 ft, 30ft, 40 ft, 50 ft) to make sure you can reach your whole home. Consider areas like the garage or basement as well. Check out this handy installation guide for more help.