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A central vacuum system offers convenience and powerful cleaning, but is it worth the investment vs. a traditional vacuum? Use this guide to compare central vacuuming systems to traditional vacuum cleaners.

Allergy Control

Some traditional vacuums offer a degree of allergen control via their filtration system. However, filters don’t catch everything. Many allergens are released back into the air through the exhaust.

Central vacuums offer cleaner air with fewer allergens. The system sucks in all of the debris, dirt, dust, etc. and sends the contaminants out of the house and into the main power unit. This makes central vacuum systems a great option for those who suffer with allergies, asthma, or other conditions that are affected by air quality.

Noise Level

Traditional vacuums are noisy. You can forget about talking on the phone, your baby taking a nap, or watching TV if someone is vacuuming on the same floor.

The motor for central vacuum systems is contained in the garage or basement. Because the motor is the main source of noise, using a central vacuum is a comparatively quiet experience. The only noise users should hear will be the air flowing through the vacuum head.


Traditional vacuums are easy to install. Typically, you should only have to attach the specific cleaning attachments needed for a specific task.

Central vacuums have a much more extensive installation process and must be installed by a professional as it involves connecting pipes, inlets, etc.

Performance on Floor Types



Traditional vacuums should usually do an acceptable job of getting rid of surface-level and shallow debris. Because the motors in traditional vacuums are typically weaker and the filters can easily get clogged, they may not always have enough suction to clean debris that is embedded deep inside carpeting.

Central vacuums can adapt to different types and heights of carpet easily. The motors are typically stronger as well, which can give you the strong suction you need for deep cleaning throughout your home.


Traditional vacuums sometimes scratch tile, and the rotator brush often pushes debris around rather than actually cleaning it unless the vacuum allows for suction-only use.

Central vacuums, when used with a soft-bristled tile floor head, comprehensively clean tile floors without damaging them or simply pushing around dirt.


Traditional vacuum brushes can scratch hardwood floors. Just as with tile, they can easily scatter debris instead of cleaning it as well.

Central vacuums can help clean and maintain hardwood floors. The AQUA-AIR Wet/Dry system can clean up anything from dirt to chemical residue.


The price of traditional vacuums can vary according to the chosen model. Homeowners can usually easily find an option that fits their budget. However, you will likely need to replace a portable vacuum much more often.

Central vacuums are more expensive because of the installation. The price will vary according to the company, construction, model, etc. However, they typically last much longer than a traditional vacuum.

Ease of Use

Traditional vacuums are portable and can be taken anywhere with an accessible plug. However, they are heavy, bulky, and sometimes difficult to maneuver.

Central vacuums are extremely easy to use. The hose, neck, and head are lightweight, and you can use the system anywhere the hose can reach from an inlet. You can even use accessories to vacuum your ceilings.

To learn more about central vacuuming systems, contact Aqua Air today.