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Talking Dirt at Dinnertime

It's impossible to explain how a dinner conversation with friends could meander all the way to the topic of central vacuum cleaners, but that's what happened at my house this weekend. Opinions ranged from "why bother" to "I want one" before we moved on to other equally weighty topics.

Central vac systems are usually installed when a house is being built, and they're most common in luxury homes. A National Association of Home Builders survey showed that builders put them in 30 percent of luxury homes built in 2006, and in almost 20 percent of all move-up homes. They can add $2,000 or more to the price.

Components alone, without installation, can cost almost $1,000 from Home Depot. And routing the vacuum hoses through the walls of an existing house can be terribly impractical. But central vacs are being pushed by advocates of the green building movement because they say the more-powerful motors can provide cleaner indoor air, especially if the systems are vented outdoors. The American Lung Association recommends that people with asthma and allergies "consider" a central vac that vents outdoors, or that they choose a high-quality portable vacuum with high-efficiency HEPA filters. Better yet, they recommend, "anyone with asthma or allergies may want to avoid vacuuming." Now there's an idea I can get behind.

What's your experience with central vacs? Are they a "why bother" or a "want one?"

By Elizabeth Razzi  |  March 30, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Home features  
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Although central vacs have been around since the late 1800's it's finally taking the health aspect to wake people up to their value. Clinical studies have proven their superior health issues because dust and germs are not simply redeposited in other portions of the home. Add the value of being lightweight, versatile, and powerful and you'll never buy a portable vacuum again. And you do not need to tear any walls open to install it in your existing home.
For a comprehensive study of the issues, visit M.D. Manufacturing's website at This American made product will restore your faith in the capabilities of our country.

Posted by: CentralVacMan | March 30, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

The National Association of Home Builders and American National Standards Institute recently adopted voluntary green building standards that award 5 points toward meeting the indoor environmental quality threshhold for installation of a central vacuum system.

Also, most central vacuum system dealers can install a complete system in any exisiting home without tearing out walls.

Posted by: CVSignition | March 30, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

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