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The Best Central Vacuum Systems of 2022 

Updated
It’s time your house pulled its own weight. Try central vacuum systems.

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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Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the Imperium CV300 Central Vacuum Power Unit
Best for Medium-Sized Homes
Imperium CV300
  • Quiet at 58 decibels
  • HEPA compatible
  • Durable with a 10 year warranty
Product Image of the OVO Heavy Duty Powerful Central Vacuum System, Hybrid Filtration (with or Without Disposable Bags) 35L or 9.25Gal, 700 Air watts, Large Vac, White & Silver
Best for Large Homes
OVO Heavy Duty
  • Heat protection
  • Anti-clogging
  • Sound-proofing foam
Product Image of the Prolux CV12000 Red Central Vacuum Power Unit w Powerful 2 Stage Motor
Most Durable
Prolux CV12000
  • Strongest suction
  • HEPA filter
  • 25-year warranty
Product Image of the Nutone PurePower 550 Air Watts Central Vacuum System Power Unit (PurePower 5501)
Best for Small Homes
Nutone Purepower
  • Disposable bags
  • Soundproof to be quieter in your home
  • Strong suction
Product Image of the Electrolux QC600 Quiet Central Vacuum System (QC600)
Most Quiet
Electrolux QC600 Quiet Central
  • It’s quiet at 72 decibels
  • Bagless or bagged option
  • Safe for allergy sufferers

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.


The Best Central Vacuum Systems of 2022

If the shoe fits, wear it, and if the central vacuum system fits, buy it. Check out these five fantastic options.

1. Imperium CV300 Central Vacuum Power Unit

Best for Medium-Sized Homes Central Vacuum System

This vacuum system is suitable for homes up to 7500 square feet. It gives you 740 air watts of power and a dirt capacity of over 23 liters. One of its best qualities is that it’s surprisingly quiet, running at only 58 decibels.

It comes with pre-packaged micro-lined filters, but it’s compatible with HEPA filters. This, complemented by its low noise level, makes it ideal for pet owners. One function enables vacuuming directly by it, which is handy if you don’t have a garage or basement to mount it in.

It’s suitable for two-story homes and is coated in a rust-resistant finish that won’t easily degrade. Upon purchase, the 10-year warranty you receive is a testament to how durable this unit is.

Photo of the Imperium CV300 Central Vacuum Power Unit

The Pros

It’s Quiet at 58 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 58 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 switch out this unit’s standard filters and upgrade to HEPA. With many other vacuums, you’re stuck with the filters supplied. This unit gives you a choice, and we like that.

Bear in mind that it will cost extra, but if you need a HEPA filter, they’re readily available to suit your needs.

It’s Durable With a 10 Year Warranty

All central vacuums are designed to last for a few years, but this goes the extra mile in its coating. It will resist rust and other wear and tear for longer than other units.

We also like that it comes with a 10-year warranty, which is more than enough for most homes.

The Cons

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.

Additional Specs

Power 740 air watts
Square feet 7500
Capacity 23.6 liters
Filter Micro-lined/HEPA compatible
Special features Utility for direct use by unit, rust-resistant finish, quiet

2. OVO Heavy Duty Central Vacuum

Best for Large Homes Central Vacuum System

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.

Photo of the OVO Heavy Duty Central Vacuum

The Pros

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.

The Cons

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.

Additional Specs

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

3. 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.

Photo of the Prolux CV12000 Central Vacuum Power Unit

The Pros

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.

The Cons

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.

Additional 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

4. Nutone Purepower 5501 Central Vacuum System

Best for Small Homes Central Vacuum System

If you live in a smaller space, this unit will work well. It can handle up to 4000 square feet and has a large capacity in both suction and dirt collection. This model delivers 500 air watts and has a 22-liter disposable bag.

Sound-proofing material is built in to reduce noise from the motor. The quiet muffler system reduces noise so you can relax while you’re vacuuming.

It’s a bagless option that might require more maintenance, but the good news is that it also features a clear window. This lets you see when the tank is full, and you need to empty it.

Last but not least, it comes with three filtration levels. The washable pre-filter and HEPA filters give you clean air and save you money on replacements in the long run.

Photo of the Nutone Purepower 5501 Central Vacuum System

The Pros

Clear Window in Bagless Canister

While it is a bagless option, the transparent window almost makes up for that. You can see when the tank is full of dirt and when to empty it, which saves you some guesswork.

Soundproof Muffler System

An interesting fact about this unit is that it’s built with sound-absorbing material. Other vacuums include sound-proofing foam or mufflers to reduce noise. In this case, none of that is necessary.

Convenient Design for Ease-Of-Use

Almost everything about this unit is there to make your life easier. It has strong suction, a large capacity, and it’s quiet. We like that it saves you any hassle — even maintenance is significantly reduced.

The Cons

It Might Not Be Sufficient

This is an excellent example of a central vacuum system. However, it only covers 4000 square feet, so it may not work well in larger homes.

No Bagged Option

This model used to be a bagged option that customers liked, but now it only accommodates being a bagless design.

Additional Specs

Power 550 air watts
Square feet 4000
Capacity 22.7 liters
Filter Bagged
Special features Sound-proof, disposable bags

5. Electrolux QC600 Quiet Central Vacuum Power Unit

Best Quiet Central Vacuum System

The Electrolux QC600 is the best quiet vacuum system. So, you can tackle morning chores while your family is relaxing and without annoying neighbors.

It’s ideal for smaller homes such as condos and townhomes, but it’s more than capable of cleaning living spaces exceeding 8,000 square feet.

The sound foam in the motor ensures that it remains quiet and unobtrusive. Also, the integrated exhaust pipe has a muffler connection for even less noise.

Photo of the Electrolux QC600 Quiet Central Vacuum Power Unit

The Pros

It’s Quiet at 72 Decibels

As mentioned, this is a quiet product. It has a unit sound level of 72.3 dBA, similar to your dishwasher or washing machine. It has a patented insolation system, so it boasts an unmatched sound level compared to other brands.

Go Bagless or Bagged

This hybrid central vacuum system allows you to go bagged or bagless. Every family has a different preference, especially when cleaning out the unit. But with this product, you can choose your preferred method. Without a bag, it can hold up to four gallons of dirt.

Safe for Allergy Sufferers

This is a safe system, especially if you have allergies. This product comes with a self-cleaning HEPA filter, which removes 99.97% of the home’s dust, dirt, and allergens. So if safety was an issue for you, now it won’t be. Lastly, it comes with a 10-year parts and labor warranty. It’s definitely worth the investment.

The Cons

Stops and Starts

A few customers have found that this isn’t the most reliable vacuum. Some say that it will randomly stop after a few minutes of use. The machine won’t give any details as to why. Sometimes, customer service will say it needs a deep clean, which isn’t covered in the warranty.

Additional Specs

Power 600 air watts
Square feet 8000
Capacity 15 liters
Filter Bag or bagless option
Special features Self-cleaning HEPA filter

Central Vacuum System Comparison Chart

Product Award Power Square feet Capacity Filter
Imperium CV300 Best For Medium-Sized Homes 740 a/w 7500 23.6 L Micro-lined/HEPA compatible
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
Nutone Purepower Best For Small Homes 550 a/w 4000 22.7 L Bagged
Electrolux QC600 Quiet Most Quiet 630 a/w 12000 26 L Bag or bagless

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.

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.

Headshot of Amy Anthony

About the Author

Amy Anthony

Amy is a stay-at-home-mom, seasoned writer, and a home cleaning and organization aficionado. Amy enjoys having an absolutely spotless home and has worked hard to develop strategies to keep it that way, despite having 2 kids and 3 dogs!