When choosing a central vacuum power unit there are many features to take into consideration. While most people only take suction power, air watts, water lift and amperage into account, it is also important to evaluate the best suction system for your specific needs. In this blog we will discuss the four main types of power units for your central vacuum system: the paper bag system, bagless unit with an inverted filter, filtered cyclonic unit with a cartridge filter and a true-cyclonic unit exhausted outside.
Paper Bag System
Perhaps the easiest system to maintain is the central vacuum which uses a disposable bag. Contrary to popular believe, most central vacuum units are compatible with a bag. Bags can be found with holes on the side that connect to the intake on the inside of the unit so that dirt is emptied into the bag instead of directly into the canister. For units where this option is not available, a liner similar to a trash bag can be used. For users who suffer from allergies or asthma, this is the best option because dirt can be contained into one area and easily transported when emptying. If a bag is not used, a plume of dust and dirt can be formed when dumping the container into a trash receptacle. This lets excess dirt into the air which can aggravate allergy and asthma symptoms and cause breathing difficulties. For this reason, we recommend using a power unit that utilizes vacuum cleaner bags or exhausting your central vacuum outside.
Bagless Unit With Inverted Filter
One of the more common types of central vacuums today, the bagless unit with an inverted filter utilizes a self-cleaning Gortex filter material that keeps dirt and debris from entering the motor. When the power unit is turned on and suction is activated, the filter material inverts in the shape of a cone towards the motor. Conversely, when suction is turned off, the filter falls towards the dirt receptacle shaking any dirt into the bin and removing it from the filter material. While machines of this style are usually marketed as bagless vacuum models, bags can still be used in most models. Power units of this type are advantageous to homes with no exhaust option because they use a permanent self-cleaning filter.
Cyclonic Unit With Cartridge Filter
The main advantage to this type of vacuum unit is that bags are not needed. However, depending on the brand of vacuum, the cost of changing and maintaining vacuum filters can be just as expensive as replacing bags. The majority of these cleaners use a pleated cartridge filter or in some cases a foam filter found between the motor and dirt receptacle where the intake is located. In this system, dirt is suctioned into the receptacle. Air then moves through the cartridge filter removing particles as small as 0.3 microns, and finally travels out of the exhaust where it is blown either into a garage or storage room or outside depending on where the unit is exhausted. With this type of central vac, it is best to exhaust outside especially if you have asthma or allergies.
True Cyclonic Unit
True cyclonic units utilize a tornado-type motion to separate dirt from airflow without the use of bags or filters. True cyclonic central vacuums should be exhausted outside your home to prevent particles from escaping into the air of your home. In some instances, a filter screen may be used to keep large particles from entering and damaging the motor but this is only found on certain models. If a true cyclonic vacuum is not exhausted outside, it is not recommended for users with allergies and asthma. However due to the low maintenance cost, these units can be beneficial to your home.
Vertical Bag Filtration
Vertical bag filtration is a system in which the motor is located on the bottom of the unit while dirt fills into a bag at the top of the machine. The main issue with this type of vacuum unit is that if the bag were to break, all of the dirt and debris would fall directly into the motor. This is because there is no filter used in this system between the bag and motor. If the bag were to break and the debris fell into the motor, it could seize and stop working which would require costly repairs. For this reason, we do not recommend a vacuum unit with vertical bag filtration.
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