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5 Best Central Vacuum Systems of 2024 

Updated
Central vacuum systems make it easier to vacuum the whole house without lugging around a vacuum.

Have you got a large home that takes immense effort to vacuum? Do standard machines just add to the hassle rather than solve it? Then we’ve got a solution for you.

Central vacuum systems may not be much to look at, but they sure are the most efficient machines you can find. With them, it’s almost as though your home helps you clean. They make vacuuming as quick, easy, and accessible as possible.

We’ve done the research, so you don’t have to. In this process, we have concluded the five best central vacuum systems. Keep reading to find your true match.

Our Top Picks

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the Allegro MUA50
Best for Medium-Sized Homes
Allegro MUA50
  • Quiet at 69 decibels
  • HEPA compatible
  • Durable with lifetime warranty
Product Image of the OVO Heavy Duty
Best for Large Homes
OVO Heavy Duty
  • Heat protection
  • Anti-clogging
  • Sound-proofing foam
Product Image of the Prolux CV12000
Most Durable
Prolux CV12000
  • Strongest suction
  • HEPA filter
  • 25-year warranty
Product Image of the Imperium CV300 Central Vacuum Power Unit
Best Steel Unit
CV300 Central Vacuum Power Unit
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • Galvannealed steel construction
  • For homes up to 7500 square feet
Product Image of the Nadair 700 AW, Heavy Duty, Central Vacuum System, Hybrid Filtration (with or Without Disposable Bags), 32L or 8.5Gal, Spun Aluminum
Quiet Sound Level
Nadair Central Vacuum System
  • Spun aluminum build
  • LED indicator
  • Covers up to 10,000 square feet

Review Methodology: At Oh So Spotless, we take pride in providing you with a comprehensive analysis of the best central vacuum systems on the market. Our experienced professionals conduct thorough research, hands-on evaluations, and data-driven assessments to compare products based on key decision-making factors. We examine the performance, design choices, and user experience of each system, and rank them according to established benchmarks and criteria. Our article shares first-hand evidence and quantitative measurements, such as suction power, filtration efficiency, and noise levels, to help you understand what sets each product apart from its competitors. Trust our expert review and findings to guide you in choosing the ideal central vacuum system for your home.



The Best Central Vacuum Systems of 2024

Check out these five fantastic central vacuum options, rated by their power, capacity, filter quality, and bonus features.

Allegro MUA50 Central Vacuum Power Unit

Best Central Vacuum System for Medium-Sized Homes

This vacuum system is suitable for homes up to 6000 square feet. It gives you 600 air watts of power and a dirt capacity of over 18.9 liters. One of its best qualities is that it’s surprisingly quiet, running at only 69 decibels.

It comes with permanent self-cleaning micro-fiber filter, but it’s compatible with HEPA filters. This, complemented by its low noise level, makes it ideal for pet owners. One feature is its large collection capacity which requires minimal maintenance.

It’s suitable for two-story homes and is powered by ametek lamb with three-stage fan system bypass motor. Upon purchase, the lifetime warranty you receive is a testament to how durable this unit is.

What We Like

It’s Quiet at 69 Decibels

Most other central vacuum systems use mufflers or other sound-proofing devices to control the noise. This unit, however, does not require any unique installations or components. It runs at only 69 decibels and is perhaps the quietest central vacuum system on the market.

This is excellent for homes with children or pets who might be frightened by other systems’ excessive noise.

HEPA Compatible

If you need air purification, you can be confident that this unit has a built in HEPA filter. Therefore it is convenient for those suffering with allergies against pet hairs and danders.

It’s Durable With a Lifetime Warranty

All central vacuums are designed to last for a few years, but this goes the extra mile. Moreover, it has seven years motor warranty from its manufacturer.

We also like that it comes with a lifetime corrosion perforation warranty, which is more than enough for most homes.

What We Don't Like

Growing in the Industry

This model isn’t as popular or widespread as others are, so more time is needed to gauge how well it holds up against competitors. For now, buyers have only had good to say about it. However, perhaps in time, more criticism will emerge.

As far as we can see, though, those who have given it a chance can’t find fault with it. Customer satisfaction is extremely high, and we think it will remain that way.

Product Specs

Power 600 air watts
Square feet 6000
Capacity 18.9 liters
Filter Micro-fiber/HEPA filter
Special features Lifetime warranty, quiet

Our Ratings

Suction Power
4.5 / 5
Filtration System
4 / 5
Size & Capacity
4 / 5
Noise Level
4.5 / 5
Total Rating
4.25 / 5

User Experience

I've recently switched to the UA50 and I'm extremely satisfied with its performance and durability. This Canadian-made vacuum easily outshines competitors like Shark, and its powerful suction even managed to clean up live mice in my garage effortlessly. The easy-to-change bucket and thick metal construction demonstrate its high quality, making it the best vacuum I've ever owned.

OVO Heavy Duty Central Vacuum

Best Central Vacuum System for Large Homes

This unit features a 2-stage motor, cased in steel. It can provide suction for up to 9000 square feet, so it’s a fantastic choice for larger homes. The system implements Soft-Start and Soft-Stop technology that preserves the unit’s lifespan while preventing clogging.

It uses hybrid filtration, combining high-efficiency cyclonic filtration and triple-layer disposable bags for more efficiency. It’s efficient for those with allergies, and the permanent filter is washable.

This unit has a heat protection feature that guards the system against overheating. Air-containment gaskets prevent suction loss, and an LED screen allows easy monitoring. Plus, soundproofing reduces noise to 65 decibels.

What We Like

Heat Protection Prevents Overheating

Given that central vacuums use up more energy, overheating is a reality, even if it’s rare. It’s better to be safe rather than sorry, so we appreciate the heat protection in this unit. It could save your system from damage and spare you money in repairs.

Anti-Clogging System Included

The soft-stop function in this unit stops dirt and debris from re-entering your home and prevents clogging. Combined with the soft start that eases you into cleaning, it preserves the condition and lifespan of your system.

It’s Quiet at 65 Decibels

The sound-proofing foam incorporated into this unit drops its noise to only 65 decibels. It’s one of the quietest central vacuum systems you can find, and it makes a significant difference in your sessions. It’s also better for pets who might be frightened by louder systems.

What We Don't Like

For Larger Homes

This is more of a warning than a drawback. This high-powered machine is intended for heavy-duty cleaning throughout larger homes and may be unnecessarily large in smaller settings. If you don’t need its range, you could save money by using a better-suited system.

Product Specs

Power 700 air watts
Square feet 9000
Capacity 35 liters
Filter Bag or bagless
Special features Sound-proofing foam, heat protection

Our Ratings

Suction Power
4.5 / 5
Filtration System
4.5 / 5
Size & Capacity
4.5 / 5
Noise Level
4.5 / 5
Total Rating
4.5 / 5

Personal Perspective

If you're looking for a powerful and quiet central vacuum power unit, this one's a winner! I installed it myself and saved a ton of money compared to a professional installation. The suction is so strong that it pulled out years' worth of forgotten toys and even a long-lost car key remote from the pipes. After months of use, it's still working flawlessly and I couldn't be happier with my purchase.

Prolux CV12000 Central Vacuum Power Unit

Most Durable Central Vacuum System

Like our first choice, this machine can cover up to 12000 square feet. It has 400 air watts of suction and is a strong contender in the world of central vacuum systems.

It implements a 2-stage motor, and sound-proofing reduces noise throughout your home. A great feature is the washable HEPA filter alongside a washable Micron Pre Filter. Matched with the high suction power, it’s recommended to those with allergies.

This durable vacuum will work well if you want to deep clean. However, what’s most notable about it is that it comes with a truly whopping 25-year body warranty. There is also a 10-year warranty for the motor.

What We Like

Strongest Suction for Deep Cleaning

12000 square feet is a lot, and this vacuum is powerful enough to manage it. Its 2-stage motor supplies an immense amount of suction that makes a big difference in how you clean.

HEPA Filter for Those With Asthma

The washable HEPA filter added to this model will help pet owners and people who struggle with allergies or asthma. Whether or not you need one, it’s a lovely addition that will go above and beyond in improving the air in your home.

25-year Warranty

The 25-year warranty should tell you that Prolux built this unit to last. It’s rare to see such an extended deal. Over the decades, you’ll save a lot of money. And, the 10-year warranty on the motor is just as impressive.

What We Don't Like

Higher Cost

You’ll pay a little extra for this model, but think about what you’re getting out of it. It’s a small price to pay for a unit that’s meant to last for decades.

It’s Bagless

One flaw is that it doesn’t support the desired design in central vacuums. You may have to spend more time on maintenance, and routine inspections are recommended.

Product Specs

Power 400/500 air watts estimated
Square feet 12000
Capacity 18.9 liters
Filter Bagless
Special features Sound-proof, washable HEPA filter, 25-year body warranty

Our Ratings

Suction Power
4 / 5
Filtration System
4 / 5
Size & Capacity
4.5 / 5
Noise Level
4 / 5
Total Rating
4 / 5

Community Feedback

I've recently replaced my old vacuum with the Prolux central vacuum system and I couldn't be happier with the results. The installation was a breeze and the suction power is impressive, easily handling pet hair and daily dirt from my 3000 sq ft house. This unit is significantly quieter than my previous vacuum and has a sleek design that saves space in my garage. For the price and quality, I believe this vacuum is an amazing investment for any home.

CV300 Central Vacuum Power Unit

Best Steel Unit Central Vacuum System

If you’re looking for a durable U.S.A.-made unit, this steel central vacuum system from Imperium might be right for your home. It’s backed with a 10-year motor warranty, so you can rely on its high performance. It’s designed for homes up to 7500 square feet, making it great for larger homes.

It’s also a great price point, coming in cheaper than many handheld or portable vacuum options. It also includes an extra paper bag, mounting hardware, and a utility inlet. Customers find it extremely easy to install, too.

What We Like

Galvannealed Steel Construction

The unit is made from galvannealed steel, which means the unit has a matte finish, hangs easily in a home, is durable, and is rust-proof. Overall, this assures the unit is built to last for years to come.

Made in the U.S.A.

Made in America, this unit is an excellent option for families that love to buy U.S.A.-made products only. Plus, it’s backed by a 10-year motor warranty, so you can rest assured of the quality of the product.

For Homes up to 7500 Sq. Feet

Whether you live in a large or small home, this vacuum is built to vacuum your space. It works for homes up to 7,500 square feet, so you can be confident in every speck of dirt being sucked away.

58 Decibels Quiet

This vacuum is one of the quietest on the market. At only 58 decibels, it’s quieter than people having a normal conversation. This is excellent if your family is watching the TV, your kiddos are napping, or you just dislike loud vacuums.

What We Don't Like

Questionable Suction Power

Although the suction power is advertised as 740 air watts, there is some speculation that it might be less than expected.

Product Specs

Power 740 air watts
Square feet 7500
Capacity 23.65 liters
Filter Cartridge
Special features 10-year warranty, super quiet

Our Ratings

Suction Power
4 / 5
Filtration System
3.5 / 5
Size & Capacity
4.5 / 5
Noise Level
5 / 5
Total Rating
4.25 / 5

Nadair 700 AW Central Vacuum System

Quiet Sound Level Central Vacuum System

The Nadair 700 AW is the best quiet vacuum system. So, you can tackle morning chores while your family is relaxing (and without annoying neighbors).

Running at 70 decibels, this is one of the more quiet options available. While it’s great for smaller condos and townhomes, it can clean areas up to 10,000 square feet.

You can actually install it with eight inlets (or more if you wish) and three retractable hose systems, making it a great choice for multi-story homes.

What We Like

Spun Aluminum Build

This vacuum system features a spun aluminum construction, ensuring rust resistance and a lightweight build. Not only is it super classy looking, but it’s also very durable and ensures fantastic suction.

LED Indicator Keeps You in the Loop

A small but significant detail — this unit features an LED light system to let you know whether you need to change the bag or if the unit is experiencing issues. The color-coded chart is easy to decipher, meaning you’re never clueless.

Covers up to 10,000 Square Feet

With a 10,000-square-foot coverage and the ability to install eight or more inlets and three retractable hoses, this is a great choice for small, medium, and larger homes.

Lasts 20 Percent Longer Than Others

Say hello to durability! This system is designed to last 20 percent longer than other central vacuum systems. Thanks to the soft start and stop technology, this is kinder on the motor, meaning it will last a few more years.

What We Don't Like

Price Doesn’t Include Hoses

While the initial cost appears reasonable, be aware that it doesn’t include hoses. These need to be purchased separately, adding to the overall expense.

Product Specs

Power 700 air watts
Square feet 10,000
Capacity 32 liters
Filter Bag or bagless option
Special features Soft stop-start technology, integrated muffler, LED status indicator

Our Ratings

Suction Power
4 / 5
Filtration System
3.5 / 5
Size & Capacity
4.5 / 5
Noise Level
4.5 / 5
Total Rating
4 / 5

Product Comparison Chart

Product Award Power Square feet Capacity Filter
Allegro MUA50 Best For Medium-Sized Homes 600 a/w 6000 18.9 L Micro-fiber/HEPA filter
OVO Heavy Duty Best For Large Homes 700 a/w 9000 35 L Bag or bagless
Prolux CV12000 Most Durable 400-500 a/w 12000 18.9 L Bagless
CV300 Central Vacuum Best Steel Unit 740 a/w 7500 23.65 L Cartridge
Nadair Central Vacuum System Most Quiet 700 a/w 10,000 32 L Bag or bagless

How Do Central Vacuum Systems Work?

It might sound like rocket science, but understanding central vacuum systems is relatively straightforward. Instead of carrying a vacuum unit with you every time you need to clean, one of these will turn your house into a vacuum.

In a central vacuum system, a power unit — comparable to the motor of a standard vacuum — is installed permanently. These are typically placed somewhere out of sight, like in a garage or a basement.

This unit sends suction to wall outlets across your home through pipes in your walls. On your side, all you have to do is connect a vacuum hose to the outlet, and you’ll have suction when and wherever you need it. The power of the suction is controlled by a switch on the hose’s handle (1).

As you vacuum, dirt and debris are drawn into the pipes and through a filtration system. The collected dirt is deposited into a large canister or container, much like a standard vacuum. Finally, contaminated air is sent out of your home while fresh air is circulated into it.

When you’re ready to vacuum the next section of your home, all you have to do is unplug the hose, move it to your preferred outlet, and fire up the system again.

Why Invest in a Central Vacuum System?

We won’t pretend that central vacuums are the most popular way to clean, but more people should know about them. They have benefits that moveable vacuum units will never be able to match. If you don’t believe us, see for yourself.

They’re the Most Convenient

The most appealing aspect of a central vacuum system is how easy it is to clean with them. The biggest drawback to traditional vacuum units is that you have to carry (or push) them to where you need them to be.

Fair enough, this effort is reduced in handhelds and stick vacuums, but in that case, you sacrifice range and suction power.

However, with a central vacuum system, the only components you have to move are the hose and wand, which are easy to connect. Store them near the outlets for even faster access.

This means that you will exert less effort in cleaning, and you’re less likely to strain your muscles. In heftier machines, there’s a possibility that they’re limited to one floor and could potentially cause injury if you carry or drop them. But these threats are removed with a central vacuum system.

Less Maintenance

Traditional vacuums have smaller capacities than central ones, and you waste so much time cleaning them out.

Central vacuum dust canisters, in comparison, can hold as much dirt as possible. On average, you’d only have to empty them every three months. Again, this is easy to do, and you won’t have the hassle of dismantling your entire vacuum.

One more benefit is that central vacuums are built into your home, making them last. You don’t have to worry about replacements nearly as much as you do with a single unit. This means that central vacuums save you time and money in the long run.

Improved Air Quality

Though HEPA vacuums are great, they’re still single-unit vacuums that can be a hassle to clean and require more maintenance. The suction in these models is also weaker than in central vacuums. Plus, their capacities are smaller, as we mentioned.

Additionally, HEPA vacuums aren’t as perfect as most people think regarding filtration.

They aren’t inefficient, but they are limited. Central vacuums, though, because of their size and capacity, purify your space better. They flush polluted air right out of your home, so the air inside will be much cleaner.

This is a significant advantage for pet owners, those with allergies, or asthmatics. You’ll be exposed to fewer allergens because of how little maintenance these systems require.

Increases Your Home’s Value

If the above benefits haven’t won you over yet, this one is sure to. A home with a central vacuum system is worth more than one without. It’s suspected that this is because of the convenience, which compels buyers to pay more for the property (2).

It might not apply to everyone right now, but it could serve you well in the future. It’s worth considering if you are putting your home on the market. Central vacuum systems are a small investment that could significantly impact your property’s worth.

They’re More Efficient

Central vacuum systems have superior suction power to traditional vacuums. The latter are typically limited by size and electrical capacity. Their motors are much smaller, generating less energy and having weaker suction.

Central vacuums don’t have these restrictions. The suction power of one will be significantly stronger and more effective when you clean. This is especially helpful in carpeted homes and compliments the air-purifying capabilities we mentioned.

At the end of the day, a central vacuum system cleans more. Isn’t that why we buy vacuums, to begin with? So if you want what can be considered the ultimate cleaning power, you should look into having one installed.

How to Choose a Central Vacuum System

Buying a central vacuum system will be quite different from shopping for a traditional vacuum. The premise is the same — you want a powerful, value-for-money system that suits your needs. However, the considerations are different.

For one, you won’t have to look at your central vacuum system, so style isn’t a priority. Storage isn’t a problem either because the components you use (the wand, hose, or other attachments) won’t take up much room.

Still, investing in a central vacuum system will require some technical focus. To ensure you aren’t wasting your money, think about the following.

Is It a Trusted Product?

It’s not the end of the world if you buy a cheap standard vacuum cleaner, and it gives in not long after. There are thousands of models to choose from, they’re easily replaceable, and you can try them before buying them.

But central vacuum systems don’t work that way. They’re built into your house, so if they are faulty, flimsy, or just don’t work, it could cause irreparable damage. You’ll also waste a lot of money.

Quality is not something you want to skimp on here. It’s far better to pay more for a reputable brand than settle for less to save money.

Do Your Research

Look up the manufacturer you’re interested in to make sure they’re respected. If they’re not doing the installation for you, check the installers’ credentials as well.

Who’s Installing It?

Whoever installs your central vacuum system will do serious work on your home’s structure. The last thing you want is to compromise the integrity of your walls, electricity, or plumbing.

A lot could go wrong if a central vacuum system isn’t installed correctly. If you don’t trust the ones responsible for this, it’s not worth the risk.

Some people who have the knowledge and experience install these systems for themselves. We don’t recommend this unless you are qualified. Don’t even bother trying to figure it out.

Do the Specs Match Your Home?

This is where things become just a little bit complicated because you will have to figure it out on your own. You must ensure that the central vacuum system you buy will fit in and throughout your home. This directly affects how much suction you get from it.

The most important thing you will have to determine is if the square footage covers the area of your home. Central vacuum system manufacturers typically list the maximum square footage for the system. Your home should fall well within this range, or the system won’t work well for you.

Quick Tip

Once you know the measurements for your home, double it and base your purchase on that. This will ensure that your system covers more than enough of your home. It would be a shame to go by your square footage, only to find that your system falls short or struggles.

How Much Electricity Will It Consume?

It’s great that central vacuum systems have so much suction power, but it’s made possible by consuming more energy. Don’t be surprised by the hidden cost, and make sure you have budgeted accordingly.

Some central vacuums come with plugs that may not be standard in the USA. You can still use them, but you’ll have to buy adapters.

Also, check if your vacuum system will run constantly or if you will have control over when it uses power. It shouldn’t be common for one to run perpetually, but make sure, just in case.

Conserve Energy

Save money and preserve your central vacuum by shutting down when you don’t use it. The trip to the basement is worth the energy you’ll save.

Is the Design Optimal?

Not all central vacuum systems are made equal. Some of them have design flaws. You could save money going for one of these, but they might cost you effort to compensate.

The best central vacuum systems use bags to collect dirt and have their motors placed above both the bag and filter. These are the least likely to clog and therefore last the longest and work most efficiently.

Standard models are often bagless, and users still enjoy them. It only means that you have to invest a little more time into maintenance and monitoring its status.


Considerations Before Buying a Central Vacuum System

Central vacuum systems are life-changing in their efficiency, and we completely understand if you’re eager to install one. But before you do, you must take a few things into account. There are some drawbacks to central vacuum systems, and they could influence how well one will work for you:

  • Installation is necessary: You can’t just buy a central vacuum and have it up and running as soon as you bring it home. Your home will have to be renovated, and installation will involve drilling.
  • Not everyone can install them: Installing a central vacuum system into a pre-existing home is possible. In fact, it’s easier than you may realize. However, the problem is that if you’re renting your property, you will need permission to do so. So make sure that you can install one before you spend your money.
  • They use more electricity: These systems aren’t the greenest option. If you’re environmentally conscious or hope to save money on utilities, you may want to settle for a less complex cleaner.
  • There are extra costs: Central vacuums don’t necessarily cost more than standard ones. But bear in mind that installation might cost you extra. Plus, if you ever need repairs or replacements, it may cost more. Also, consider that routine maintenance is something you may have to spend on.
  • Potential re-installation: If you have one installed and decide to move house, you could take your system with you. The catch is that if your new home isn’t set up for one, you’ll have to repeat the installation process. Alternatively, if your new home is larger, you might have to replace the entire system.

FAQs

How Big of a Central Vacuum Do I Need?

How big of a central vacuum you need depends on your home’s size. For medium properties of 6,000 square feet, we voted this Allegro Champion as our favorite.

For smaller homes between 1,000 and 4,000 square feet, we liked this Nutone PurePower, and we rated this OVO Heavy-Duty central vac for dwellings of 9,000 square foot.

How Much Does a Central Vacuum System Cost?

Knowing how much a central vacuum system costs comes down to several variables: the system size, the brand, the number of ports, and the property size. Generally, you should expect your new central vacuum to start at $1,000 for a quality system.

How Long Should a Central Vacuum Last?

A central vacuum should last 20 years plus with the proper maintenance and servicing. Every vacuum needs TLC to stay in working order, so remember to change worn parts and clogged filters.

Can Central Vac be Installed in the Attic?

A central vac can be installed in the attic if you have the space to accommodate the system. It is incredibly challenging to retrofit a central vacuum system in a two-story house, so seek professional help before spending any money.

How Often Should You Change Central Vac Bags?

On average, you should change central vac bags every two to four years. However, it depends on how frequently the vacuum gets used and whether you have pets or kids.


Built-In Cleaning

Central vacuums are worth considering, but they will require some thought. Buying one is a bit different because you have to plan to make sure that it will fit in your home.

Once you’ve conquered the technical stuff, you’ll see that central vacuums are the most straightforward, most efficient models you can find.

They’re well worth the money, and we strongly recommend them. We’ve showcased five of our favorites, and we’re sure one will tick your boxes.

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About the Author

Amy Anthony

Amy Anthony is a cleaning expert, author, and contributing writer for Oh So Spotless, a leading online resource for all things related to cleaning, organizing, and maintaining a spotless home. With over 15 years of experience in the cleaning industry, Amy has gained extensive knowledge and expertise that have made her a trusted authority on best practices, efficient techniques, and innovative cleaning solutions.