What is the best central vacuum system on the market in 2020? That’s exactly what we will look into today.
Whether you need a powerful new motor for an existing installation, or a complete system with everything included to get started you will find a solution here.
We have carefully selected 5 top-rated central vacuums to cover a range of budgets and requirements.
For our findings at a glance, just head to the table below. For our in-depth central vac reviews, plus a comprehensive buyer’s guide, keep on reading.
Best Central Vacuum System 2020
4,000 square feet,
25 Year Warranty!
2 Speed, 150 CFM
12,000 square foot.
Hybrid 700 Airwatts
Plus Accessory Kit
3,000 square foot,
filter, 5 Year
6,000 Sq.ft. Capacity
35 foot hose
2 way switch
Central Vacuum System Reviews
There is a wide range of models, makes, and brands of central vacuum systems being sold today.
The 5 that we have selected have been graded based on their operational efficiency, durability, maintenance costs, and compatibility with standard cleaning accessories.
The results are what we consider to be the best central vacuum systems on the market in 2020.
1. TOP PICK: Broan PP500 PurePower Central Vacuum System
The Broan PP500 is our top pick standalone central vacuum power unit for good reason.
Not only is this a high-quality, filtered central vacuum power unit, it also comes with a 6-gallon disposable bag and powerful dual-stage high-speed motor. This is able to deliver 500airwatt of vacuum power.
Like the Prolux CV12000 and Electrolux 4B-H403 Honeywell, the Broan PP500 PurePower uses bypass cooling to prevent motor seizure in case of filter failure.
However, unlike the CV12000 and Honeywell, the PurePower does not use HEPA as one of its filtration mechanisms. Still, its high-grade filtration can remove dirt and eliminate allergens in the air.
This power unit weighs about 23.1pounds and is 14.6inches long by 13.2inches wide and 29.8inches tall. This makes it smaller than the Prolux CV12000.
High-performance thru-flow motor
The Broan PP500 uses a 2-stage, 2-speed high-performance thru-flow motor to generate vacuum power. This can clean a surface measuring up to 4,000sq.ft.
The thru-flow motor features a high-quality sound-absorbing padding material that muffles the motor noise during operation.
The unit uses bagged filtration which allows it to use disposable filtration bags to store the dirt.
The disposable bag is fitted onto the inner surface of the collection vessel that is latched to the bottom of the power unit. This collection vessel can be washed after the disposable bag is removed for emptying.
The Broan PP500 PurePower features durable, corrosion and scratch-resistant construction. The powder-coated steel body also gives it a durable frame. The unit comes with a 6-foot power cord.
The Broan PP500 PurePower is a high-quality filtered central vacuum power unit that comes with a 6-gallon disposable bag and powerful dual-stage high-speed motor.
Its power capacity is perfectly suited to homes up to 4000 square meters in size, and along with the unit’s quality build and reliability, you have a robust system on your hands if you do choose to buy it.
Just bare in mind the extra cost of the kit and installation however.
2. Prolux CV12000 Central Vacuum Power Unit
Our top pick Prolux CV12000 is a high-quality, bag-less, filtered central vacuum power unit that comes with a powerful Amtek 2-stage high-speed motor.
It uses bypass cooling to prevent motor seizure in case of filter failure, which rarely occurs as it uses high-quality and durable filters.
High-quality filtration system
The CV12000 uses 3 levels of high-performance filtration to remove dirt and allergens circulated within the house.
This is made possible by the use of a High-Efficiency Particle Arrestor (HEPA) filtration system. This helps to ensure that your home is full of allergen-free air.
A look at the chamber section
The unit comes with 3 suction ports and a black cylindrical canister. The canister contains a view window that serves as the dirt collection chamber.
This chamber has an impressive capacity of 5 gallons. You will not need to worry about emptying the unit so frequently as a result.
The power unit model is designed and manufactured by Prolux, LLC. The model number (CV12000) comes from the fact that it is able to clean 12,000sq.ft per session.
The unit uses a 2-stage, 2-speed high-performance Amtek motor to generate its power. This motor benefits from a 10-year warranty guaranteed by its manufacturer.
The high-capacity motor can also generate a maximum airflow of 150 cubic feet of air per minute (abbreviated as CFM).
The fan assembly fitted on the motor has 2 levels of fans, which in turn means that it produces more power than a motor with only one fan.
The CV12000 features bag-less HEPA filtration which allows it to use a dirt canister instead of filtration bags to store the dirt.
Its 3-level filtration system encompasses HEPA filtration, filtration through a micron filter and filtration through another high-quality filter.
The unit features a reset switch and a port for low-voltage wires. The reset switch protects the motor from overheating.
This model features durable construction with a corrosion and scratch-resistant powder-coated steel body. In fact, the manufacturer provides an incredible 25-year warranty for this steel body. That just demonstrates the level of faith the company has in their product.
The power unit is shipped alongside a Prolux 30feet long power hose, mounting hardware and an exhaust muffler for noise reduction.
The Prolux CV12000 is a high-quality, bag-less filtered central vacuum power unit that comes with a powerful Amtek 2-stage high-speed motor.
The impressive specifications provide a suction power of 150CFM, allowing for an area measuring 12,000sq.ft. to be cleaned at any one time.
It uses 3 levels of high-performance filtration, including HEPA filtration, to remove dirt and eliminate allergens.
In our opinion, the Prolux CV120000 is the best central vacuum system on the market today.
3. OVO Large Capacity Hybrid 700 Airwatts System Power Unit with Deluxe Plus Accessory Kit
The OVO large capacity central vac system features a 2-Stage Ametek Lamb motor packed inside a heavy-duty steel body providing 700 airwatts of power. (Phew, that’s quite a mouthful).
This translates to 140 inches of waterlift, which makes it one of the most powerful central vacuum power units in our top 5.
With the ability to cover over 9000 square feet of the area this is the unit to buy if you have a large, expansive home.
The OVO also features patented Soft-Start technology. This, the manufacturers claim, adds 20% to the life expectancy to the motor.
The unit also has a Soft-Stop 3-second delay feature built in to prevent debris falling out of the hose after you have closed down the power unit.
As with all good systems, filtration is a big part of the functionality.
The OVO doesn’t disappoint here with its highly efficient, cyclonic filtration. The unit uses disposable filtration bags which purify the air twice. This, of course, improves the air quality by escaping the unit.
Furthermore, the triple-layer filtration bags dispose of waste without stirring harmful dust.
The unit also features a one-piece, air-containment gasket. This is designed to prevent air loss and reduced suction over time.
There is also a very handy LED status indicator that tells you exactly when you need to empty the debris container.
The package comes with an installation bracket, equipped with rubber vibration and noise-canceling inserts.
The OVO also has heat protection safety to stop the motor from overheating during excessive use.
Overall, the OVO Large Capacity Hybrid 700 Airwatts central vacuum system is a formidable piece of kit. Capable of covering 9000 square feet of space this unit isn’t for every household.
However, with its powerful motor, bagless filtration and added features such as LED status reports this is a high quality system that will appeal to many. One of the best central vacs currently available.
4. Electrolux 4B-H403 Honeywell Central Vacuum System Power Unit
The Electrolux 4B-H403 is a bag-less filtered central vacuum power unit system.
It comes with a powerful 120-volts, a dual-stage high-speed motor that can deliver airpower of 500airwatt. This is equivalent to 38.7CFM as the suction power is rated as 110″ of water.
The Honeywell uses bypass cooling to prevent motor seizure in case of filter failure. It also uses high-performance filtration to remove dirt and allergens from the air.
Its filtration efficiency is improved by the permanent self-cleaning (and hence clog-free ) HEPA triumph-air filter. It comes with a dirt receptacle with a capacity of 4 gallons. The unit can clean a surface of 3,000 sq.ft per session.
As the name suggests, this power unit model is designed and manufactured by Electrolux.
A look at the power unit
It is a sturdy and well-designed power unit that weighs about 22.8lbs and its cylindrical body has a diameter of 11″ while its height is 33″. This makes it slightly smaller than our number one pick, Prolux CV12000.
The Honeywell features durable construction. Similar to our top choice system it features a corrosion-resistant, scratch-resistant powder-coated steel body.
The use of bypass cooling protects its motor from being flooded with organic particulate matter that can create a sludge within the motor housing.
Like the Prolux CV12000, the Honeywell uses a 2-stage, 2-speed high-performance motor.
The unit is also UL-certified and (indirectly) an OSHA-approved product.
Its dirt receptacle is latched to the bottom of the power unit using metal latches. This dirt chamber must be washed immediately after it is emptied. The receptacle features a viewing window which allows the owner to know when the canister is full so that it can be readied for emptying.
The system benefits from a 5 year warranty.
The Electrolux 4B-H403 Honeywell is a high-performance, bag-less filtered central vacuum power unit that comes with a powerful 120-volts, dual-stage high-speed motor.
Overall, a reliable mid-range system at a suitable price point; highly recommended.
5. Allegro MU4500 Champion – 6,000 Square Foot Home Central Vacuum System
The Allegro features a heavy-duty all-steel construction, packing a 2-Stage, 5.7″ Fan System Ametek Lamb Premium class Blower Motor. The specs on this are great coming in at 600 air watts, with 140.8 inches of water lift suction power.
The end result is a system capable of covering an area up to 6,000 square feet. This firmly puts the central vac in the mid-range of our top 5 as far as square feet capacity goes.
Tangential bypass system
The OVO features a tangential bypass motor that includes double ball bearings and a 10 mm shaft for increased structural rigidity.
The Bypass system is a much sought after feature as it allows the motor and fan to be totally segregated meaning no harmful debris can damage the motor.
Self-cleaning Micro-Fibre Filtration
The Allegro is also built with patented, self-cleaning Micro-Fibre Filtration. This never needs to be replaced so you do not need to worry about expensive filter replacements.
For better air quality, the unit can be fully vented to the outside with approximately 12 Ft exhaust line using standard PVC Central Vacuum Pipe.
A 35′ electric hose and carpet powerhead are included. The head features a 3-way switch in order to operate the motor from the handle.
The package also includes a telescopic Extension Wand and Cleaning Tool Set, (more accessories are included, see sales page for more details).
As a complete central vacuum system with all accessories, the Allegro really does represent good value for money. While it doesn’t have the power and added features of some of our other picks, the 6000 square feet coverage is still more than enough for most homes.
Overall a worthy addition to our top 5.
Central Vacuum System Buyer’s Guide
The different types of vacuum cleaner
There are different types of vacuum cleaners which can be broadly classified into 2 groups; portable vacuum cleaners and the central vacuum system.
Portable vacuum cleaners are very familiar. These compact wheeled devices can be moved around the house to clean room-by-room. Most of us own one of these.
For a large apartment block with many housing units, a viable option for managing cleaning is to install a central vacuum system.
This allows all the housing units to enjoy the benefits of vacuum cleaning at the most affordable cost. So, what exactly is the central vacuum system?
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The central vacuum system
A central vacuum system is a specialized form of a vacuum cleaner that is installed as a semipermanent fixture inside a building. It is also called a ducted or built-in vacuum cleaner.
It has 5 main components;
- the power unit,
- cleaning accessory (usually a brush)
- and dirt collection canister(or bag).
The power unit contains the motor unit, dirt filtration unit, and the vacuum head. The motor powers the large fans in the vacuum head, providing suction to draw in dirt and dust.
This power unit is permanently installed at a remote place in the building, usually the basement, garage or utility space.
Attached to the vacuum head is a duct, usually made of durable metal piping or the more affordable plastic piping. These connect to inlets within the wall of a living room.
Cleaning accessories are then connected to these inlets.
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Things to consider when buying a central vacuum system
The reviews above will have given you an idea of what a top-quality central vac system needs to make the grade.
However, buying one of these units is no easy task. They do not come cheap and the choices available can make it all seem a bit too daunting.
Now we will look at some things you should keep in mind when buying a new central vacuum system for your home.
1. Choose a reputable manufacturer
With such a wide range of systems available, why take your chances with a brand that has little following and next to nothing in the way of customer reviews to back up their product.
That was an important aspect in selecting our top 5 choices above, the companies behind the central vacs had to have a reputable track record.
With larger companies such as Electrolux, OVO, Beam and Nutone you can be assured that the manufacturers have a known reputation for creating solid products.
You should also be able to expect good customer service and support should any problems arise.
A small, unknown company selling their systems through a drop shipping website will not give you the same peace of mind, (or after-sales support).
2. Don’t allow the specifications to confuse you
Here we are talking about Air Flow (CMS), Air Watts, or a stated amount of Water Lift.
These are all ways of measuring the power of the central vacuum motor and it is easy to get caught up in it all.
Manufacturers love to go on about the high specifications of their models and this can get confusing. It can also be a big waste of time trying to get your head around
The main number to pay attention to is the square foot capacity. All central vacuums will state this and it will give you an idea of whether the unit is suitable for your home.
Know the square footage that you wish to cover within your house and then choose a vacuum accordingly.
One tip would be to take the manufacturing specification and then divide this by half. Central vac installers do this to ascertain the best fit for a home.
In other words, a 9,000 sq.ft power capacity, would actually work best in a home of 4,500sq.ft. or less. That way you know your chosen motor will have more than enough suction power for your building.
Cleaning a house, office, or factory floor creates a healthy dirt-free environment. There are different ways of cleaning the floors of houses, offices, and factories. One of the most efficient cleaning methods is vacuum cleaning.
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3. Types of Filtration, choosing the best for you
There are 2 main types of dirt collection units used in central vacuum systems; the cyclonic and filtered dirt collection units.
Central vacuum systems are also classified into 2 types depending on the dirt collection unit that is fitted. Therefore you can buy cyclonic systems and filtered central vacuum systems.
a. The cyclonic system
In the cyclonic dirt collection unit, there is a detachable cylindrical canister that collects the dust and dirt. In this unit, the duct is fitted at a right angle to the walls of the collection vessel.
When dust, air, and dirt are sucked in at a high speed, they create a fast-spinning vortex which causes the heavy particles to be spiraled outward by centrifugal force so that they hit the vessel wall. After deceleration, they drop down by gravity into the collection vessel.
This mode of dirt separation is called cyclonic separation. This prevents the system from losing suction power as a result of airflow restriction.
Unless of course the canister is filled with dirt at which point there is less volume in the power unit for vacuum generation.
b. The filtered dirt collection unit
In the filtered dirt collection unit, filtration bags are used alongside a filter.
Most of the filtration bags are cloth bags which are permanently fitted and need to be cleaned or disposable paper bags. Filters are made from cloth, foam, paper, or any other proprietary material.
In this filtered system, the dirt-air mixture from the ducts go through the filters where the particles are captured.
4. Issues with clogging
Usually, the filter becomes clogged with time, and sometimes the filter can be torn and this reduces the operational efficiency of the vacuum system. This is more pronounced in systems where filtered air is used to cool down the motor in the power unit.
Unfiltered air brings in dust that can stick to the motor, causing it to seize up and fail to generate adequate suction power.
To avert motor failure, some filtered systems use ambient air (and not filtered air) to cool their motors, and this process is called bypass cooling.
5. The hose, powerhead, and accessories
Central vacuum systems very often come with long vacuum hoses (ranging from 30′ to 50′ long) and standard cleaning accessories.
In some systems, a hide-a-hose mechanism is used to store the vacuum hose, and this is done by causing the hose to retract into the vacuum inlet with the suction power pulling it into the duct.
The powerhead will have buttons so that you can switch the main motor on and off while you are cleaning.
It is important to realize that not all systems will feature the necessary accessories to get started. You will find that the main system will contain the suction motor and filter/dust collection components and the hose and powerhead will need to be bought separately.
This all has an impact on the budget so you need to know in advance exactly what will be delivered to your door.
How to operate a central vacuum system
The operation of a central vacuum system is quite simple for the house-owner as all they need is the vacuum hose and cleaning accessory.
In some models, fitting the vacuum hose to the vacuum inlet automatically turns on the motor in the power unit, while in other models, just opening the cover/door of the vacuum inlet powers on the motor.
This allows one to easily clean patches of dirt from the floor and walls.