Sunday, September 16, 2012

Progress photos - central vacuum

If you've been following this blog from the beginning, you'll remember the fire sprinkle debacle.  Since we ended up revising the total square footage by eliminating half the basement, we were able to redistribute some funds to cover a central vacuum system. 

While I'm definitely partial to my beloved Dyson, a central vacuum appealed to me for several reasons:

  1. Less exposure to dust and grime.  UC Davis did a study on the benefits of central vacuum systems.  As a long time allergy sufferer, I quickly bought into the benefits of having a central vacuum.  The vacuumed waste will go directly into a big container, mounted in the garage.  Since we have a man door in the garage, we'll be able to carry the waste directly from the garage, out to the trash can that sits on the outside of the house.  This eliminates the need to unlock a canister from my conventional vacuum and carry a dirty canister through the house, dumping who-knows-what throughout the house on my way out to the garbage can. 
  2. Overall cost.  My Dyson Asthma & Allergy vacuum cost well over $400 when I purchased it several years ago.  Since that time, we've gone through one canister and I'm probably way overdue to bring it in for maintenance.  While the upfront cost of a central vac is much higher than a conventional vac, in theory we won't be buying another vacuum ever again. 
  3. Easy to use.  We elected to go with the "Hide-A-Hose" central vacuum system, which eliminates the need to coil the hose after vacuuming.  The vacuum port on each floor of the house contains a 50ft hose which then retracts into the wall/pipe after each use. 
  4. VacPan.  If you've never seen a crumb sweeper before, prepare to fall in love.  The VacPan is a small device, mounted into the cabinets or baseboards.  Flip the switch with your toe and the VacPan sucks up crumbs, dirt, dust and hair right into the garage canister.  Since I'm the world's worst dustpan user, putting in VacPans is a dream come true!  We'll have a VacPan downstairs in the workshop, one in the kitchen, one in the master bath and one in the guest bath.  "Why put one in the bathrooms?," you might be wondering.  One of my colleagues suggested that we put them in to suck up all of the hair that collects on the bathroom floor. As someone who seems to be constantly "Dry Swiffering" the bathroom floors,  his suggestion made complete sense to me.  (DC, if you're reading this, thanks to you and your wife for your thoughtful suggestions and advice!  I'm sure that we'll enjoy the VacPans in the bathroom - such a brilliant idea.)
The central vacuum has been installed and we're getting ready to close up the walls.  Here are a few shots of the vacuum installation so far:
VacPan stock photo.  Hit the switch with your toe to turn it on.
The VacPan port in the kitchen, which sits in our kitchen island.  The installer kindly boxed it in to protect the pipe as we continue work in the kitchen.  Eventually the box will be taken off, once the cabinets are installed.

Hide-A-Hose central vacuum port.  There will be 50 feet of retractable hose sitting in the pipe just below the port.  We'll end up painting the housing the same color as the wall. 


  1. A lot of people prefer using a central vacuum system for its ease of use, especially when it comes to cleaning larger spaces. There's also no need to lug a corded vacuum all over the place or worry about the limited reach of the cord. Another great benefit is that a central vacuum can actually help improve indoor air quality with the combination of filters it uses.

  2. Do you still like your central vacuum system?

  3. HI Sara! We LOVE our central vacuum system. In fact, we just recently got rid of our old Dyson, since we love the central vac so much. The canister is mounted in the garage and we empty it about every 3 months. We have a unique system called a "hide-a-hose," where the actual hose is 50ft long and retracts into the wall. That way you don't have to wrestle with the hose and coil it up when you're done. We have one on the main floor of our home, which serves the main floor and the basement and a second 50ft hose on the second floor of our home. You can also buy attachments that fit on to the canister in the garage if you want to use it to vacuum your cars. We've had our system for about 18 months and have had no issues. If you're in the Seattle area, call Omar's vacuum in Woodinville. They were fantastic to work with. Let me know if you have any other questions.