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Central Vac - Filtration Types


When shopping for a central vacuum system, the one thing you will notice right away is all the different filtration types and how they all will benefit you. While in certain situations one particular filtration type might be better for a persons individual needs, most of the time this is simply a matter of preference. Of course manufactures will only tell you about the benefits of their central vac filtration type, and a lot of dealers will steer you towards their best selling vacuum regardless of your needs. We want to educate our visitors and let them make a decision for themselves. So on this page we will best explain the difference between these main central vac filtration types and the pro's and con's that come with them.

Paper/Cloth Disposable Bag Style

The is perhaps the most popular of all the different central vac filtration types. With it's clean and easy way of disposing the dirt and debris, a bagged style central vacuum unit is the most common. If allergies or asthma is a concern, this is the only way to go. This also holds true if you want the convenience of not having to clean your canister after each change. Something else to keep in mind are certain things commonly found in a central vacuum canister. Things such as mold, food particles, dust mites, pet dander etc. are easily caught and removed using a bag. Without a bag these things will stay in the canister until emptied, and may stay there unless the canister is thoroughly cleaned. With the bag catching all the dirt, dust and debris the main filters on these units are able to go longer between changes and cleanings. With this style, it is also optional to vent outdoors unless allergies or asthma is a concern.

Now that you've heard the good, lets talk about some of the bad. As with any vacuum that uses a bag, when the bag starts to get full it will loose some suction. It is sometimes beneficial to change a bag when it is 3/4 of the way full to maintain maximum performance.

Bagless with a Secondary or Main Filter Style

This style system is also very common because it gives customers a lot of benefits along with being a lot cleaner then a cyclonic style central vacuum unit. The main benefit of purchasing this style vacuum is not having to purchase replacement bags. Although the canister of the vacuum can still contain nasty things such as dust mites, mold, pet dander and more it is not as messy to clean up as a cyclonic unit. This style also features a permanent "self cleaning" filter or permanent washable filter. This will save you plenty of money over the years that would normally go to purchasing replacement filters. If allergies or asthma is NOT a concern, this system may be vented indoors.

Although there are plenty of benefits with this central vac filtration type, it is also far from perfect. While you will save money on replacement bags and filters, you will have to wash or shake off the filter a lot more often. This procedure along with the normal dumping of a canister can be very messy. If the canister is not thoroughly cleaned all those nasty things mentioned above will stay in the canister and fester over time.

True/Filtered Cyclonic Style (Also Bagless)

Although this style unit is common, their seems to be really only one main benefit. That benefit is not having to purchase replacement bags. Although some manufacturers' will make claims such as "never loose suction", just like any other style unit, when the unit starts to fill it will loose suction. Although some cyclonic units will have replaceable filters, most have a cartridge or screen that has to be cleaned frequently to maintain good performance. Cyclonic central vacuum units vent through the motor and exhaust outside. And even though the smaller dirt and debris is vented through the motor, the motor is not effected by this action. Cyclonic motors are designed to operate this way, and are very durable and have been for years. Cyclonic type vacuum units are the only style that requires outside venting. It is also not recommended that anyone with allergies or asthma be allowed to empty the canister. Overall a cyclonic is not bad, just a little messy!

So the question regarding cyclonic boils down to savings or a messy clean up? You will be able to save on replacement bags and filters, but cyclonic units are the dirtiest of all the different types and you will have to deal with this mess every time you empty the canister.

Hopefully this has cleared up some of your questions regarding the different central vac filtration types. While we feel that some are better than others, it is still a matter or preference and will vary from person to person. If filtration is of the upmost importance to you due to allergy or asthma concerns, then a bagged central vacuum unit is the way to go. If allergies are not an issue and you don't mind a little mess here and there, then a bagless style with filter may be right for you. If you want to save as much as possible, but don't mind a messy clean up, then you may want a cyclonic unit. 

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