How Much Does A Central Vacuum Cost?

SERIES: If Only People Knew…

Recently, Central Vacuum Stores’ owner, Renee Ambrose, was on the phone with her daughter-in-law, Lindsay, talking about the central vacuum system Renee’s son was installing in their new home. Newly married and a first-time homeowner, Lindsay was very excited about the prospect of a new system. She mentioned that she had shared her excitement with friends and family and was surprised by the number of people who didn’t know what a central vacuum system was. She said, “If only people knew how great they were, everyone would want one!” That phrase really got Renee thinking.

“If only people knew…”

With that as our motivation, we’re launching a new campaign to educate folks about all we wished they knew about a central vacuum system. We’ll be addressing some of our most frequently asked questions and simplifying some basic facts. This blog will focus on something we wish EVERY person knew: Is a central vacuum system expensive?

Here’s Valerie explaining how affordable a central vacuum system really is:

Isn’t It Expensive?


People assume that because a central vacuum system is a built-in, custom product that automatically means it’s expensive. That’s just not the case! You’d be shocked just how affordable a brand-new system can be.

Purchase #1 – Power Unit

0081160_imperium-cv280-central-vacuum-power-unitA power unit (the vacuum) is the primary expense. But it’s just not that expensive! This Imperium CV280 is powerful enough for a 3500 square foot home. It features a 5.7″ 2-Stage Flow Thru motor, 117 CFM, and a 5-year warranty. Best of all, it’s made in America. This one accepts paper bags, so changing the dirt canister is easy and safe for those with allergies or asthma. You can choose from tons of power units here.

So, surely it’s a fortune, right? Nope!

Cost: Under $400

Purchase #2 – Inlets & Piping

0081660_2x2-pre-packaged-standard-inlet-kit-for-use-with-sch-40-plumbing-pipe-white.jpegHere’s a complete inlet kit featuring almost everything you need all in one purchase. It includes (1) – Inlet Mounting Bracket, (1) – 2×2 Adaptor, (1) – Short 90 Elbow, (1) – White Standard Inlet, and (1) – Central Vacuum Installation Guide. The only additional step is to simply run to your local hardware store and pick up some regular PVC plumbing piping.

All that must come at a pretty penny, right? Not even close!

Cost: $15 / Kit

Purchase #3 – Attachment Set

0053684_centec-92365a-easy-clean-attachment-set-35ft_200The final need is the attachment set suited for your home. This is where you can save money, or spend more for quality. If you’re on a budget, there are plenty of options. This Centec Easy Clean Attachment Set includes a Straight Air Crushproof Hose, Plastic Curved Handle w/AFR, Custom Fit Banded Cuff, Plastic Telescopic Wand, Combination Tool, Deluxe Upholstery Nozzle, Slide-on Brush, Deluxe Crevice Tool, Deluxe Dusting Brush w/Natural Fill, Hose Hanger, and Clip-on Tool Caddy.

Think it’s out of your reach? Think again!

Cost: Under $75

So How Much Can I Expect To Spend?

Using the above products and estimating the need for 3 inlet packages to span your home, your cost would be around $600. Let’s put that into perspective…

Factor #1 – The cost of a regular vacuum cleaner vs. a central vacuum system

A quick search of a big-box store’s website shows that the best-rated vacuums for sale range between $100 and $200. The higher quality vacuums range between $400-$500. So let’s meet in the middle and assume you may spend about $300 on a standard vacuum. That’s about half the cost of a central vacuum system. But wait…

Factor #2 – The life of a regular vacuum cleaner vs. a central vacuum system

The average lifespan of a regular vacuum cleaner is about 2-4 years. A better quality vacuum will usually last longer, maybe between 5-7 years. For our example, let’s once again meet in the middle and say the life of our theoretical $300 vacuum is 5 years. Compare that to a central vacuum system which has a lifespan of 15 years! That’s 3x’s longer!

You’re essentially getting 3x’s more use for 2x’s the cost. We’re vacuum specialists, not economists, but we know that make good financial sense.

But then you have to spend a fortune on installation, right?

Again- this is where so many people are mistaken. Central vacuum systems are a very real DIY project. So much so, we built our website about helping folks who are installing systems themselves. With free technical advice, an entire YouTube channel with helpful videos, and step-by-step tutorials included with your purchases, it couldn’t be any easier to install a system. Central Vacuum Stores is all about saving you dollars!

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