5 Reliable Central Vacuum Systems — Keep Your Home Clean without Any Fuss!

31 Models Considered
65 Hours of Research
7 Experts Interviewed
159 Reviews Analyzed

While everyone likes their homes looking sparkling at all times, only a few numbers of people are ready to put in the effort it requires. Apart from the all too familiar frustration it comes with, not everyone can actually exert the time and effort it requires to lug a traditional vacuum from one room to another, especially if your house is large. A one-size-fits-all solution is to install the best central vacuum system in your home, and thereby reduce the time you need to spend each day to clean the floors of your house.  This system utilizes a central hub and ventilation ducts to deliver the vacuum power required in every room.

However, selecting the ideal central vacuum system for your home can be a daunting task. With a myriad of features and specifications to look at, not to mention a lot of false and misleading advertising strategies adopted by various companies in the industry, you can quickly get confused. In order to prevent it, we have gathered the top central vacuum systems on the market, considering several critical factors in the process, such as air watts of the unit, its coverage area, capacity, cubic feet per minute, and the overall dimensions.

Top 5 Central Vacuum Systems Review 2018

We didn’t just come up with random products, we invested a lot of hours to compile this article. From our very deep research, we were able to learn everything necessary about the best central vacuum systems. From our comparison table to our products reviews to our enlightening buying guide, we are confident that this article contains everything necessary to help buyers choose the right central vacuum system for their respective needs.

Name and Features Image Rating Price
1. Prolux CV12000 (Editor’s Choice)
This reliable model from Prolux features a five-gallon dust bin capacity, 150 CFM of air flow and an impressive warranty for your peace of mind
Prolux CV12000 image
2. Honeywell 4B-H803 (Best Home Central Vacuum System)
A unit that boasts 630 air watts and a permanent self-cleaning HEPA filter can effectively cover up to 12,000 square feet of space
Honeywell 4B H803 image
3. Ultra Clean Central Vacuum Power Unit (Best Central Vacuum System for Pet Hair)
A powerful unit that can cope with most of the dust types and offers several methods for gathered garbage, including a filter bag, the metal pail type, or a disposable paper
Ultra Clean Central Vacuum Power Unit image
4. Nutone PP500 PurePower (Best Quiet Central Vacuum System)
Operating at only 70 dBA this unit is perfect to use in small homes of up to 4,000 square feet
Nutone PP500 PurePower image
5. HP Products 9880 Dirt Devil Central Vacuum System (Budget Pick)
A highly-compact and portable vacuum system that can be built into your RV and provide you with superior results without taking too much space
HP Products 9880 Dirt Devil Central Vacuum System image
Features
  • Air watts: not specified
  • CFM: 150
  • Coverage area: up to 12,000 sq. ft.
  • Capacity: 5 gallons
  • Dimensions: 38 x 12 x 12 inches
  • Warranty: 10-year limited on motor; 25-year limited on all steel body parts

More features: wall mountable; micron and HEPA filtration; view window

OVERALL RATING: 9.8 out of 10

Prolux is one of the fastest-growing companies in the business, and their rapid growth is mainly due to the high-quality products they manufacture. A lot of research has been put into producing appliances with high value for money, which has given the company a lot of popularity. Therefore, it is not surprising that one of this company’s vacuum features in this article. With a total coverage of around 12,000 square feet, the Prolux CV12000 Central Vac System is one of the most powerful options on this list.

Thanks to the outstanding inbuilt 150 CFM dual-stage motor of this unit, this whole house vacuum enables you to eliminate dirt, dust, and other allergens from your home. Besides, the system has powder-coated steel construction for optimum longevity. Keep in mind that your house doesn’t necessarily have to be 12,000 square feet to see the result, as it even performs more efficiently when used for smaller homes. However, some users claim that this vacuum system has a weaker suction power, unlike the description says. That’s why it’s even more advisable for homes smaller than the stated 12,000 square feet.

Furthermore, the Prolux CV12000 uses no vacuum bags and has three filtration levels. Featuring a bagless dirt chamber with a Micron Pre Filter, a HEPA filter, and a clear viewing window, this central vacuum system is capable of eliminating allergens along with the regular dirt. Besides, it has a kit that includes a wide range of accessories, which include four deluxe attachments, an electric power nozzle, and two tool caddies. The three-feet electric hose that comes with the vacuum has two-speed switches, which enables you to turn the unit off easily.

PROS:
  • Uses HEPA filtration
  • Enormous coverage space
  • Long warranty
  • Excellent price-performance ratio

CONS:
  • Average suction power when used in larger homes

Features
  • Air watts: 630
  • CFM: 125
  • Coverage area: up to 12,000 sq. ft.
  • Capacity: 7 gallons
  • Dimensions: 40 x 14 x 14 inches
  • Warranty: 5-year limited

More features: permanent self-cleaning HEPA filter; durable steel construction

OVERALL RATING: 9.7 out of 10

In case you’re looking for a very powerful cleaner with super-quiet operation, then you might have to consider the Honeywell 4B-H803 Quiet Pro Central Vacuum. This vacuum system will make sure that you get optimum value for your money invested. And since it operates quietly, there is no perturbing your neighbors or family members when cleaning your home.

When it comes to durability, the Honeywell Vacuum System will deliver years of high-quality service, owing to a motor protection mechanism and the super sturdy, heavy-duty steel construction. Besides, this unit has a permanent HEPA filter that is self-cleaning. Therefore, buying costly filter replacements are now a thing of the past.

Featuring a remarkable, 15-Amp, 120-volt, 630-watt motor which produces a suction power of 135 inches, this unit is actually capable of removing any sort of dirt and debris from your home. It comes with a big seven-gallon dirt container which decreases the frequency at which you have to evacuate the vacuum. In addition, the unit features a viewing window which allows you to monitor the level of the dirt.

Your neighbors and family will no longer be disturbed, owing to the re-designed muffler and noise-reducing technology incorporated in this vacuum system. This makes sure that the process is as smooth and as quiet as possible. The only complaint we’ve come across is that the motor isn’t that reliable and fails often. However, the responsive Honeywell customer service is always ready to help you out thanks to the five-year warranty that comes with the product.

PROS:
  • Powerful operation
  • Large dirt container
  • Quiet operation
  • Useful viewing window
  • Comes with a 5-year warranty

CONS:
  • Unreliable motor

Features
  • Air watts: 525
  • CFM: 121
  • Coverage area: up to 7,500 sq. ft.
  • Capacity: not specified
  • Dimensions: 47 x 19 x 19 inches
  • Warranty: 5-year limited

More features: allows options for collection in filtration bag or in the sturdy metal collection pail

OVERALL RATING: 9.2 out of 10

Made by a company with a decent reputation in the vacuum manufacturing industry, the Ultra Clean Central Vacuum Power Unit is deservedly one of our picks for the best central vacuum systems on the market. Featuring a durable steel case with an anti-corrosive epoxy coating, the durability of this product is unquestionable. The vac can conveniently clean up about 7,500 square feet, which is quite decent. Also, it comes with different collection methods for gathered garbage, including a filter bag, the metal pail type, or a disposable paper, making this a very flexible unit.

The Ultra Clean model uses a supply cord that has a long plug with an American standard operating voltage, thereby saving you from the hassle of hard-wiring during installation. Besides, this unit can be either mounted on the wall or on the floor since it comes with a mounting bracket. However, the shortcoming with this vacuum system is its noise-reduction. This unit can be fairly louder when compared to the other models on our list. You can, however, fix this by adding an external muffler.

The Ultra Clean Central Vacuum comes with a high-quality filtration system which uses HEPA filter to remove dirt and allergens from your home. It also has a stunning suction power that cleans efficiently and quickly enabling you to get rid even of your pet’s hair placed all over the place. Apart from its loud operation, this is a unit with many ups but few downs.

PROS:
  • Strong suction
  • Durable construction
  • Requires no hard wiring
  • Includes mounting brackets

CONS:
  • A quite loud operation

Features
  • Air watts: 500
  • CFM: not specified
  • Coverage area: up to 4,000 sq. ft.
  • Capacity: 6 gallons
  • Dimensions: 29.8 x 14.6 x 13.2 inches
  • Warranty: 5-year limited

More features: sound suppression reduces noise to 70 dB

OVERALL RATING: 9.5 out of 10

For good reasons, the Nutone PP500 PurePower is one of our favorite options on this list. Apart from being a premium-quality, filtered unit, this vacuum also features a powerful high-speed dual-stage motor that is capable of delivering a vacuum power of 500 Watts.

The vacuum system has a coverage capability of up to 4,000 square feet, which is a lot smaller than some other models on this list. However, this unit doesn’t require much maintenance as it has a self-cleaning filter. All these mouth-watering features are packed into a compact case.

The Nutone PurePower has a suppression system that muffles the operating noise to a recommendable 70dBA without needing to install a muffler. Another benefit offered by this vacuum is the pail handle which makes opening and emptying the bag easier, although, this has to be cleaned every six months, which is not a big deal, however.

Additionally, you can easily attach it to the wall with the aid of the included mounting brackets. It also has a multi-direction feature that allows for simple installation, regardless of how confined the space is. The construction is a combination of both plastic and metal, which makes it quite durable due to its scratch- and corrosion-resistant features.

PROS:
  • Powerful suction
  • Requires very low maintenance
  • Can eliminate noxious odors and allergens
  • Large six-gallon disposable bag
  • Quiet operation

CONS:
  • Not impressive coverage area
  • It has to be cleaned every six months

Features
  • Air watts: 500
  • CFM: 100
  • Coverage area: not specified
  • Capacity: 1 gallon
  • Dimensions: 6.25 x 7 x 14.5 inches
  • Warranty: 5-year limited

More features: overload/overheat protector with automatic reset (when cooled)

OVERALL RATING: 9.0 out of 10

If you are looking for a decent vacuum system with an attractive price tag, don’t look any further than the HP Products 9880 Dirt Devil Central Vacuum System. This unit is one of the most versatile vacuum systems on this list. Not only does it offer you an incredible amount of durability, but it cleans diligently as well. Most significantly, the motor of the vacuum system has an overheat/overload protector which resets automatically after cooling. It also has an all-metal construction which makes sure that it lasts for several years to come, making this a very reliable option.

Furthermore, many buyers claim it to be ideal for their RVs since it’s one of the most compact products on the market, yet powerful enough to cover the small vehicle area. Also, it comes with every necessary accessory you require for simple installation and convenient cleaning. However, this product isn’t really powerful, which is understandable since it was designed primarily for small area use.

In general, if you live in an RV or you just love going on trips in your recreational vehicle, you can’t go wrong with this vacuum. In addition to being very compact, it is also easy to install and does the job well. It utilizes a HEPA bag filtration for the elimination of dust, dirt, and other allergens. Moreover, it comes with a variety of tools and accessories to help vacuum different sorts of surfaces. These include a dusting brush, an upholstery tool, a mesh tool bag, crevice tools, and a floor/rug tool. All the above features make it the best RV central vacuum system you can find on the market today.

PROS:
  • Expandable hose
  • Compact construction
  • Comes with several accessories
  • Affordable price point
  • Durable construction
  • The motor has an overheat protector

CONS:
  • Only suitable for small spaces, RVs in particular
  • Not that powerful as other models
  • Needs to be used manually

Buying Guide

These days, the market has been littered with a wide range of options when it comes to central vacuum systems, not to talk about the several deceptive marketing gimmicks adopted by various companies. Consequently, finding the right model can become a daunting task for you, except we have prepared a comprehensive buying guide like this to help you make the right decision.

Advantages of installing a central vacuum system

index image

Easy to use

Nobody would argue with the fact that central vacuum systems are one of the easiest domestic machines to use. With a central vacuum system, you don’t need to log a large vacuum unit around your home again in the name of cleaning. Most individuals who use these machines in their houses even enjoy the fun that comes with them. You can easily vacuum a 12,000 square feet house utilizing this sort of system.

Minimal noise

Central vacuum units utilize a noise-reduction system to guarantee quieter operations while vacuuming. With this, you can rest assured that your cleaning tasks won’t perturb anyone around you.
Versatile central vacuum units are capable of cleaning even the most confined of spaces. If you buy the best central vacuum system with retractable hose, you’ll be able to clean tight corners and various kinds of surfaces that you can only dream of with portable vacuums. Moreover, this kind of vacuum system is perfect for every type and size of homes.

Deep cleaning

Central vacuum systems are also three times more powerful than traditional vacuum cleaners when it comes to deep cleaning. Besides, central vacuum systems last longer since the motor is static in an inaccessible location.

Cost-effective

Besides increasing the value of your property, these vacuum systems are also cost-effective in the long run. Since most units come with a great warranty, you don’t need to worry about replacements and repairs.

Cleaner air

Central vacuum cleaners are capable of cleaning large areas without recycling dust and dirt back to the areas that have already been cleaned. This makes sure you get to breathe in cleaner, allergen-free air.

Features to consider while choosing a central vacuum system

central vacuum cleaner hose attached to a wall inlet image

Before going ahead to pay for a particular model, ensure it is the ideal one for your needs. If you are unsure about how to determine the right model, just read further. Below are some critical factors you need to take into consideration before shelling money on a particular model.

Air watts

Actually, air wattage is otherwise known as suction power, and it is really the combination of two different specifications, water lift, and CFM. As indicated by the American Society of Testing and Materials, the air wattage is the most precise indicator of a vacuum’s efficiency. The conclusion you should keep in mind is that the higher the number of air watts, the higher the central vacuum system’s suction power.

CFM

Another important factor you need to consider is the CFM of the unit. The CFM is actually one of the main elements that measure the airflow of a central vac system. CFM along with water lift will determine the total air watts of the central vacuum.

Bear in mind that while a CFM of a unit can be high, it may still deliver higher or less suction based on its design.

Filtration system

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There are several kinds of filtration systems, and none can be explicitly stated to be superior to the others. In the end, this factor will be determined by your inclination, whether you want to be replacing or cleaning the filter. Of course, self-cleaning filters are always preferred since they are permanent.

Coverage area

The coverage area is another important consideration you need to make. It is the total area of space that your central vacuum system is capable of vacuuming. This factor is especially important if you have a large house since you wouldn’t want to buy a model that is inadequate. With a coverage area of up to 12,000 square feet each, the models with the largest coverage area on our list are the Honeywell 4B-H803 Quiet Pro Central Vacuum and the Prolux CV12000 Central Vac System.

Noise

This is dependent on the personal taste of each person. If your house is small or the unit will be installed in a region where people assemble, then you need to go for a model with quieter operation. If you have a larger house and the unit can be installed in a basement or a corner, then this shouldn’t really be a concern. The quietest model on our list is the Nutone PP500 PurePower.

Motor type

There are two categories of motors – Bypass and Thru-Flow motor. The Bypass type is actually the best due to how it separates its motor from the collected debris. The Thru-flow type has a very quiet operation, but it can have issues with wet debris and water lift because of its design.

Warranty

The warranty is a significant consideration to make when buying a central vacuum system, which is understandable when you take the expensive price tags of these machines into account.

Always check the warranty terms when looking to buy one of these vacuums, as you don’t want to be investing so much money without any sort of security.

With a ten-year limited warranty on motor and a twenty-five-year limited warranty on all steel body parts, the Prolux CV12000 is the product with the best warranty on this list.

Extra features

You also need to check if the product comes with some key accessories such as filters and hoses, among others. Of course, you wouldn’t want to make additional spending on accessories after you’ve bought your vac, so make sure the model you’re looking at comes with some or all the accessories you require.

FAQ

Apart from new and existing homes, you can also install a central vacuum system in your offices and recreational vehicles, for people who like going on long trips with their RVs.  However, keep in mind that RV models aren’t usually as powerful as home models.

The power, efficiency, and overall performance of a vacuum usually relate with the square footage it is rated for. In fact, it makes complete sense to buy a unit that has a coverage area that doubles the square footage of your house. Since you want constant, powerful suction, installing a vac that has a coverage area that doubles your house’s footage will guarantee excellent performance, and will not be an overkill.

It is recommended to empty your vacuum’s collection bags when they’re 1/2 to 2/3 full. Your failure to follow this tip means your filter can clog up quickly, which will hamper airflow. Apart from decreasing the cleaner’s efficiency, the same airflow also cools the cleaner’s engine and can result in failure and overheating.

Our Verdict

For people looking to ensure their living spaces stay shiny at all times, the best central vacuum systems offer us an all-encompassing solution. Having reviewed five high-quality options in this article, you should be able to find an ideal model for your needs.

Our favorite product is the Prolux CV12000, which doesn’t only have great features, but also comes with the best warranty term on this list to prove its reliability. With a vast coverage area of up to 12,000 square feet, you can’t just bet against this model.

Coming up at a close second is the Honeywell 4B-H803, which alongside the Prolux CV120000, has the widest coverage area on this list, at up to 12,000 square feet. Not only that, but this model also has the largest capacity, making it a very worthy choice for the second place.

Our third-place choice is the Ultra Clean Central Vacuum Power Unit. Even though it’s a loud machine, it has some other features to make up for it. It’s sturdy all-steel construction, micro-fiber patented permanent filter, and 550-air watt motor can help you get rid even of the tiniest particles, like pet hair, and make it a perfect choice for any medium-sized house.

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