First and foremost, you can never have too much power. There is an antiquated rating within the central vacuum industry on the minimum power needed to clean a certain square footage of floor space. No two central vacuum companies have the same way of determining that rating. There are examples of two different central vacuum manufactures that use the same exact motors in their motor units and yet they rate them completely different with one rating their unit for homes up to 3000 square feet and the other for homes up to 5000 square feet. Please ignore such a rating that you will see on a central vacuum manufacture’s brochure.
I am an owner of a small independent vacuum cleaner shop and I have never had anyone come in to buy a vacuum cleaner and requested the one with the least amount of power. These types of ratings probably came in to being because so many central vacuum systems are installed and sold by businesses unrelated to the vacuum cleaner business. So since the person installing has no knowledge of the central vacuum, manufactures came up with some type of guidelines for them. Consumers need to be more aware of who they are buying from and who is going to install and/or service a central vacuum system and not allow their builder to make those decisions for them when building a new home. Usually going to a small independent vacuum store in your area will give you the knowledge you need to make sure you will love your central vacuum when it comes to its performance.
Just as important as the motor unit is the attachment set that you need to choose when getting a system. If you have carpets to vacuum, no matter if it is one room or all the rooms in your home, you need to have a motorized power nozzle that has a motor dedicated to turning a revolving brush so that there is agitation created with grooming action to deep down clean. Cheaper central vacuum systems have air driven or turbine power nozzles that do nothing more than skim over the top of the carpet. I have seen tests that show the maximum cleaning effectiveness for an air driven nozzle is 35%. That means that 65% of the dirt within the carpet pile is still there. These same tests show that with the same central vacuum motor unit, a motorized power nozzle can clean up to 80% effective. That shows over 100% more effective cleaning difference can be determined with the attachment set that you choose.
If you are building a new home, it is prudent to go to your neighborhood independent vacuum shop and tell them the type of carpets and floors you will have in your home. Particularly with the popularity of frieze carpets (twisted carpet fibers that vary in thickness and length), motorized power nozzles are not all designed for such carpet piles. You need to have a manual height adjustment for frieze carpets and a few other carpet piles which most power nozzles do not have.
Consult a knowledgeable vacuum cleaner specialist that can steer you in the right direction when choosing your central vacuum system. Online reviews can be misleading. As each manufacture sells their motor units separately from the tool sets as well as each home is somewhat unique with the type of carpets and flooring they have. One person may love a system in their home and rate it favorably but the next person may rate that same system as a poor system because of these variables.
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