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Home l Central Vacuum F.A.Q.'s
Central Vacuum Shopping.com has years of experience with central vacuums as well as customer service, so we put together this list to try and help answer some of the more common questions we get.

Central Vacuum F.A.Q.'s
We answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding central vacuum systems

What is the difference between air driven and electric central vacuum carpet brushes?
Air driven carper brushes, also referred to as "Turbo" or "Turbine" nozzles run solely on the suction of your central vacuum. Being that this type of nozzle does not have a motor to continuously drive it, it is not as strong as an electric carpet brush and should only be used on bare floors or low pile carpeting and area rugs. An electric brush or "powerhead" has an electric motor which constantly drives the belt and brush roller for a much deeper clean. Electric carpet brushes should be used on medium to high pile carpeting or when pet hair is a concern.

Do I have to buy attachments that are the same brand as my central vacuum unit?
In most cases you do NOT. One common misconception is that the attachment kit you buy needs to be made by same company/brand as your vacuum unit, this is simply not true. Almost all central vacuum manufacturers do not manufacture their own Attachment Sets or accessories because they rely on suppliers in the industry whose specialty it is to study and develop better quality cleaning tools. Just like General Motors and Ford do not manufacture tires, they too rely on the technology available from the tire companies and focus instead on the engineering automobiles, not tires. The most important factor for your attachment kit, vacuum hose etc.
is the type of wall inlet you have installed and/or size of tools.

What does a "Limited Lifetime" warranty really mean?
A "Limited Lifetime" warranty means that parts of the vacuum are warranted for a lifetime, and other parts are not. The most common meaning defines the canister or casing has having a lifetime warranty while the motor carries a 3-20 year warranty depending on the vacuum brand.

Do all central vacuums have to be vented outside?
No, however we would recommended it if possible. When using a cyclonic style central vacuum you MUST vent to the outside, other filtrations are optional. If asthma and/or allergies are a concern in your home, you should definitely vent your central vacuum to the outside to guarantee no harmful air returns to the living area. If you cannot vent to the outside, or simply wish not to, we highly recommend using an exhaust filter.

What is the difference between Pigtail and Direct Connect?
A "Direct Connect" set up means that your wall inlet is wired with BOTH low voltage wire and 110v electric. A Direct Connect hose will have two small prongs that will plug into the inlet to pull electricity when vacuuming. A "Pigtail" set up is when the hose has a 6 - 8 foot electrical "Pigtail" cord on the end that plugs into a near by electrical outlet. The 110v electric pulled from a Direct Connect or Pigtail hose is used to operate electric carpet

What is the best way to measure the suction power of a central vacuum?
The best way to measure the suction power of a central vacuum is by "Airwatts". Airwatts is the bottom line power, taking into account your piping, fittings and hoses. Although other forms of measurement like "CFM" or "Waterlift" are a factor and have some importance, Airwatts is the truest measurement of power.

How do I know if a central vacuum is quiet?
When shopping for a central vacuum, one key factor in deciding may be the vacuums quietness. Quietness is measured in decibels. The lower the decibels the quieter the machine. Mufflers also help quiet a machine by up to 6 decibels.

Can a central vacuum only be installed in a newly constructed home?
Absolutely not. A central vacuum can be installed in any new construction and almost all existing homes. This is another common misconception. Not only can they be installed in almost any home, but the installation is easy and affordable. A great DIY project!

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