The Best Central Vacuum Units Under $550

power units

Central Vacuum Power Units On A Budget

Whether you’re shopping for a brand new installation or looking to replace your existing system, the central vacuum power unit will likely be the biggest expense – but that doesn’t mean it has to be expensive! In today’s blog, we’ve catalogued our top three favorite power units under $550. You may be surprised by just how much power you get for such a value!

First Up – Know Your Systems

Part of our goal was to choose a favorite, inexpensive unit from each of the three main vacuum styles: Bagged, Filtered, and True Cyclonic. Before you choose a unit for your home or business, it’s imperative you have a full understanding of these three options and which is right for your installation and needs. To read up on bagged vs. bagless styles, we suggest you read this article first. Below is a very basic analysis of the three types…

bag_lgBagged –

A central vacuum power unit that features a disposable paper bag for waste collection. These units require the owner to remove, discard, and replace the bag and waste regularly. The frequency depends on use.

It’s important to note that bagged units are often suggested if there is a health concern involved with emptying the waste. In the scenario where the person responsible for cleaning the waste should not be susceptible to an open dirt canister, a bagged unit is necessary.

inverted_bag_lgFiltered –

A central vacuum power unit that features a filter that keeps debris from entering the central vacuum motor and workings, but no bag. The waste is collected at the bottom in a dirt canister. The canister will require regular removal and emptying. The filter will also require semi-regular cleaning. Many of these units also accept paper bags if the owner so chooses.

cyclonic_lgTrue Cyclonic –

A central vacuum power unit that features neither a bag nor a filter, but instead uses cyclonic separation to distribute waste. Recognized as the best form of filtration, these units boast maintained suction as there are no obstacles to restrict airflow. True Cyclonic units must be exhausted to the exterior. Waste is collected in a canister that will require regular removal and emptying.

True Cyclonic has gained in popularity due to the fact that there are no additional expenses involved once installed, i.e. no bags or filters to purchase and replace.

Our Top Vacuum Power Units Under $550

1) Imperium CV280 Bagged Power Unit

Under $400

0081160_imperium-cv280-central-vacuum-power-unitThe Imperium CV280 Bagged Central Vacuum Unit is a truly, unbelievable value. It’s not only the least expensive option on our list, it’s one of the most affordable central vacuum power units manufactured. But don’t be skeptical, this little gem is a real powerhouse!

One of the ways the Imperium CV280 is so cost effective is because it’s from Central Vacuum Stores’ private label, Imperium. The Imperium brand is made in the USA and designed by a company that has sold, installed, and maintained central vacuum systems since their inception.

The CV280 is a no-frills work-horse. The 5.7″ 2-stage, flow-thru motor packs a ton of power and the all-steel construction of the canister means it’s built to last. The CV280 is powerful enough for up to 3,000 square feet and features a utility inlet directly on the body. This may save you money, as it may allow you to skip an additional inlet for the space where the power unit will be installed.

Key Stats:

  • Max square footage – 3,500
  • Voltage – 120
  • Air Watts – 561
  • CFM – 117
  • Water Lift – 142″
  • Sound db – 58
  • Filtration – Sealed Paper Bag
  • Dirt Capacity – 6.25 gallons
  • Utility Inlet – Included
  • Dimensions – 23″H x 13″D
  • Warranty – 5 Years

***If 3,500 square feet isn’t enough for your installation, one step up from the CV280 is the Imperium CV300. While more expensive than the CV280, you get an incredible 740 Air Watts of power by upgrading to the next unit. To learn more about the CV300, VISIT HERE.

2) Rhino Vac 399R-L Filtered Power Unit

Around $500

0053421_rhino-vac-399r-l-power-unit.jpegThe Rhino Vac 399R-L Filtered Power Unit is a really powerful unit that we love to recommend. The 15-year warranty should really put your mind at ease. This thing is built like a tank or, if you’re familiar with your extraordinarily powerful animals, like a rhino!

The HEPA Membrane Filter ensures superior air quality. But what’s really fabulous about the Rhino Vac 399R-L is the ability to use paper bags if wanted. If you’re looking for the versatility of trying both a canister and bag waste disposal, this is a great feature

Key Stats:

  • Max square footage – 8,000
  • Voltage – 120
  • Air watts – 520
  • CFM – 96
  • Water Lift – 136″
  • Sound db – 57
  • Filtration – Filtered Unit w/ paper bag
  • Dirt Capacity – 5 Gallons
  • Utility Inlet – Included
  • Dimensions – 39″ H x 12″ D
  • Warranty – 15 Years

3) Imperium CV7200 Cyclonic Power Unit

Under $550

0090421_imperium-cv7200-power-unit.jpegWe saved the best for last: The CV7200 True Cyclonic Power Unit from Imperium. This is the best kind of filtration at the lowest price in the US. So, yea…it’s something to be excited about!

The Imperium CV7200 features an extra powerful, 5.7″, 2-Stage, Tangential Discharge motor that produces an unbelievable 112 CFM. But what really makes this unit so powerful is the true cyclonic technology. Unlike the bagged and filtered units above, the suction power in the CV7200 has zero interruptions. The waste is filtered and disposed of using the principles of a cyclone. It’s pure suction, all the time, without any hinderances.

A standard power unit will require maintenance, such as bag replacement and filter cleanings. But with the CV7200, there’s nothing to clean and, because there’s nothing to get clogged, nothing to slow down your suction. The CV7200 must be exhausted to the outside, so the unit must be installed on an exterior wall.

Key Stats:

  • Max square footage – 5,000
  • Voltage – 120
  • Air Watts – 440
  • CFM – 112
  • Water Lift – 111″
  • Sound db – 75
  • Filtration – True Cyclonic
  • Utility Inlet – Included
  • Dirt Capacity – 25 Quarts
  • Dimensions – 37-1/2″ H x 12″ D
  • Warranty – 10 Years


Whatever your central vacuum needs, there’s an inexpensive power unit for you! These three are just the beginning. You can narrow your search by filtration type, square footage, brand, and more! For even more options and personal help, visit or call 1-800-221-8227.

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