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The Best Central Vacuum Systems of 2018: Compare + Review These Top-Rated Whole House Vacs

Image & Award

Product Name

Our Rating

Home Area (sq. feets)



Best Overall

prolux cv12000 central vacuum power unit





imperium cv300 central vac power unit





Best Budget

Ultra Clean Vacuum Cleaner





In a hurry? Best Budget Choice: Ultra Clean CV | Best Overall Choice: Prolux CV12000

Having a central vacuum system in the house is awesome.

For years I was using the standard upright vacuum and while it got the job done I had always heard that once you had a central vacuum system there was no going back.

A central vacuum system is where you have the main power unit located in one area of your house. You then have outlets throughout the house that you connect a hose to and all the dirt and debris is sucked right into the main system power unit that is usually somewhere out of the way like the basement or a cupboard.

Today I am sharing with you my thoughts on three of the top models and at the end, I will be letting you know what is the best central vacuum system.

Top 3 Central Vacuum Systems For 2018

1. Prolux CV12000

First up we have the Prolux CV12000. This right here is regarded as one of the best central vacuum systems around right now.

Out of the three, this may cost a little bit more, but sometimes paying a little extra is worth it!

Like the other two, this is for the actual main unit itself and it does not include the hose or any extras.

Built To Last With A 25-Year Warranty

Like the other two we will look at today, this one here has a steel body and a powder coated finish. This means that this thing is in it with your family for the long haul. They give you a 25-year warranty on the actual body of the unit.

That is incredible, not many things give you a warranty like that these days. As well as this the motor also comes with a 10-year warranty. This is the only unit I have come across that is so confident in their work that they give their motor its own warranty.

As I have said I have two kids and two dogs so keeping the house clean can be a challenge. Well, the Prolux CV12000 is more than up to the challenge.

This is because as of writing this is one of if not the most powerful central vacuum system you can buy for the home. Giving this life is their “150 CFM 2 Speed/stage motor”. Which is so powerful this can clean a house up to 12,000 square feet!

This is the most powerful motor out of the three units I have looked at today and in all honesty, in terms of raw power, it is not even close!

Easy To Use And Has A Built-In Muffler

As well as being nice and easy for any contractor to install into your home the Prolux CV12000 has all of the buttons and so on in very easy to reach places. So not only is this a breeze to be installed, you will have no trouble running it.

Speaking of running, this has a muffler built in so you will be very happy with how quiet this is while it is operating. When it comes to a central vacuum system some people are worried about noise, but this one will be fine.

Prolux CV12000 Central Vacuum System

There are no bags here at all. Everything is collected into a large canister and then you just dump that in the garbage. Now you may be thinking that as I made a big deal about the other two using HEPA bags that this one here will be bad for those with pets and allergies.

Well, this has a high tech HEPA filtration system built into it. It actually has two removable filters that can be washed which is awesome. This is the kind of thing I look for in any vacuum as I do not want it to be kicking out any nasty stuff into the air.

I could not be any more impressed with the Prolux CV12000. Going in I was sure this was going to be close to a thousand bucks, but the asking price could not be any fairer in my opinion. I think if you want the most powerful unit on the market that this is the one for you. Not to mention that fantastic filtration system!

2. Imperium CV300 

The next one I want to talk about is this Imperium CV300 Central Vacuum Power Unit.

Currently, this is very nicely priced for the main power unit for a central vacuum system.

 Now it is important to note right away that this is just the main system power unit itself and it does not come with the actual hose or any of the accessories that you will need.

Made From Galvanized Steel For Durability

This is all made in the USA which is pretty awesome. What I like about this first of all is the way that it is made with very strong galvanized steel. Now I am not an expert on metals, but we have a galvanized steel shed and that thing has been standing rust free out in the rain for years.

The fact that they have used such strong steel to make this means that they are comfortable giving you a ten-year warranty. The unit has a green powder coated finish. Now  I know the idea of this is that it is hidden away, but the galvanized steel and the powder-coated finish mean that this thing is never going to rust!

The Imperium CV300 Central Vacuum System Power Unit is a very powerful central vacuum power unit. I say this because it has a very impressive 740 air watts of power. Now I know that may not mean anything to you, but this is powerful enough to cover homes up to 7,500 square feet. It has a flo-through motor which is designed to not mess around and just suck up anything that gets in its way.

This kind of power is great for getting larger messes that the kids can make as well as those more annoying things like little bits of dirt that the regular vacuum can miss. Also, this is regarded as one of the more quiet running units which is great as some of the older models can sound like a jet taking off!

Easy Installation

When it comes to installation you will be more than likely having a professional install this for you. What I can say about this is that this is designed with being as easy to install as possible so no matter if you are installing this into your home that you have lived in for years, or if you are getting a new build and want this installed, your contractor will be pleased with how easy it is.

So we have established that the actual unit itself has a lot of power and is very well made, but what happens to the dirt and mess when it is all sucked up? Well, this is a bagged central vacuum so that means you will need to empty the bags when they are full.

What I love about this is that the bags this system uses are HEPA filtration bags. Now granted you could buy cheaper bags if you wanted, but the HEPA filtration bags along with the inner workings of the unit keep all the dust and allergens inside the unit.

We have two dogs so one thing that I find appealing about this one is the way that it is designed with keeping the odors you get from dog hair in the unit as well.

One last bit of information I want to give you about the Imperium CV300 Central Vacuum System Power Unit is the fact that they offer a great aftercare support so if you have questions they are always there to help. In all, I think this is a great central vacuum system and one that is well worth considering with your contractor. 

My one bit of advice is that I would not cheap out and make sure you buy the HEPA bags.

3. Ultra Clean Central Vacuum

One of the first things that I found attractive about the Ultra Clean Central Vacuum and one of the reasons I am sure it is regarded as one of the best central vacuum systems is the price.

Currently, this is one of the more affordable units on the market right now.

Please note that this is for the actual unit itself and no hose or other accessories are included.

Strong Steel And Powder Coated Finish

Canadian made, I am very impressed with this. It is made with top of the line steel and it is finished off with powder coated paint. What is most interesting about this is that the powder coated finish is not just on the outside, but the inside too.

This combination of the powder coating and steel makes for a very long lasting unit. They are actually giving you a lifetime guarantee against any kind of corrosion which at this price range is incredible.

Of course, the most important thing about any kind of vacuum, not just a central vacuum system is how much power does it have. After all, you want to make keeping the house clean as easy as possible.

I have two kids and two dogs so my house can get pretty messy and I need something that has some power so I do not have to go over the same spot time and time again.

The power of this is 550 air watts which is not as powerful as the model we just looked at, but for a 7,500 square foot home, it should be fine. I do think though that some more stubborn messes that the kids and dogs make would need a couple of goings over with this, but to be fair for the asking price I would expect that.

I actually really like the overall design of the unit and any contractor will be more than pleased with how easy it is to install. Speaking of easy I love how all the power buttons and the circuit breakers are in easy reach. This is not something I actually thought of before looking at this unit, but it will make it so much easier for you to maintain and look after.

Can Be Used With Bags Or Without

The way that the Ultra Clean Central Vacuum handles all of the mess that it picks up is very interesting. In my experience at looking for the best central vacuum system, they tend to be bagged canisters.

This one though is a little different.

They actually recommend that you use bags and while you can use cheap bags, HEPA bags are available. If you have any kind of allergies or pets I always say you are best paying the extra couple of bucks and getting HEPA bags as they are much better for you.

Ultra Clean Vacuum Power Unit

Anyway, what makes this different is that you do not have to use a bag if you do not want to. They recommend that you do, but you can use the “sturdy metal collection pail” that is in it to hold all of the mess and then just tip that into the garbage.

 I am not sure how this would be if you have allergies like I do, but the fact this is an option is pretty cool and if dust does not bother you over time you will save a bit of money as you will not be purchasing bags.

An extra bonus of the Ultra Clean Central Vacuum is that currently, they are giving away a free muffler which will help make this even quieter so look for that when you are ordering. In all, while it is not the most powerful central vacuum system, I think that at this price range this is a very decent system and worth a closer look.

Benefits Of A Central Vacuum System

Here I want to share with you a few of the benefits that having a central vacuum system in your home gives you.

Just A Hose

You no longer have to carry around a vacuum cleaner. This is because when you have a central vacuum system installed you will get to pick where your wall inlets are.

This is where you plug in the hose and you just vacuum away any mess. Most of the time you will have a few wall inlets for the hose on each floor of your home.

Plenty Of Accessories

While none of the central vacuum systems we looked at today came with a hose or anything else, when you purchase a hose you will almost always get accessories with it like a pet tool, crevice tool and so on.

So you can do all the same stuff that you did with your regular vacuum.

More Power

In my experience, central vacuum systems tend to have a whole lot of power behind them thanks to the central vacuum system power unit being able to house a larger motor than a traditional vacuum cleaner can.

Many people are very surprised the first time they use a vacuum like this in regards to its power.

Not As Hard To Install As You Think

One of the main things that seem to put people off getting a central vacuum system is the installation process.

Now the average joe is not going to be doing this on their own, but for a contractor, it is a very simple process and can usually be done in a few days.

An Automatic Dustpan Is Awesome!

I know that an automatic dustpan may very well sound like some kind of kids toy, but once you have had one of these in your home there really is no going back.

The idea here is that you will have one of these in an area like the kitchen. You sweep the floor, move the mess to your automatic dustpan and it sucks it straight down to the canister!

You Do Not have To Empty Them As Fast

While cordless vacuums are great these days the dirt canister seems to be getting smaller and smaller. With a central vacuum system, you are looking at only having to change the bag or empty the canister every three months or so.

Of course, this will depend on how often you vacuum, but you will be getting rid of it far less than you would a regular vacuum cleaner.

Things To Look For When Purchasing A Central Vacuum System

As great as a central vacuum system is there are a few things you need to watch for when you are purchasing one.


I would not even consider a hose or a whole package deal that does not come with various accessories for the hose!

These make cleaning the house a million times easier and most of the time you will get them included with a hose, but there are still some out there that try to sell you just the hose and then the accessories separately.

Central Vacuum System Scheme

Get The Right One For Your House

Did you notice when I was talking about the vacuum systems I mentioned the square footage of the house?

The reason for this is that a central vacuum system can come in all kinds of shapes and sizes and the size of your home will ultimately dictate the kind of central vacuum system you need. If you have a large home you need one with a lot of power to be able to suck dirt all the way from the top floor of your home to the central vacuum system power unit.

What Kind Of Flooring Do You Have?

The type of flooring in your home could be an important point in your decision making. If you have mostly hard floors, such as hardwood or tile, then look for attachments specifically designed for this. 

If you have mostly carpets, a motorized tool would be a good idea. Berber carpets and other delicate fabrics may need a specialized tool to prevent damage.

Read More: Which vacuums perform the best on Berber carpet?

Think About Where the Tubes Are Going To Go

To be honest with you this will be more than likely the person who is installing the unit's decision. But most of the time these are hidden in walls, but laundry shoots, behind cupboards and appliances, can also be used. Where you decide to have your tubes can actually have an overall effect on the price of the installation.

Make Sure You Know Exactly What You Are Paying

While all of the central vacuum units I have looked at today are good and the asking prices are actually very fair, you have to take into consideration that you will also need a hose and of course someone to install it. As well as the hose, tubing and the required bits and pieces to install the tubing all need to be purchased as well.

Before you decide that a central vacuum system is what you want, make sure you have every single aspect of it priced up properly. You do not want to buy a unit, hose and hire a contractor for them to then tell you that a couple hundred bucks worth of tubing and supplies are needed.

What Is The Best Central Vacuum System?

I know that a central vacuum system is not cheap and picking the best central vacuum system is not easy.

However out of the three that I took a long hard look at there is one that I feel is better than the rest and that is the Prolux CV12000.

While it may be the most expensive it is only a few bucks more expensive. I think that the extra power you are getting and also the fact that it is bagless and also has a high-quality filtration system makes it worth the money.

If you are thinking of installing a central vacuum system in your home the Prolux CV12000 is the model I would be telling your contractor that you are most interested in. I am sure they would agree that it is a fantastic unit!

The other two are not bad at all, I just feel the extra power plus the fact you save money over the years thanks to not having to buy bags make the Prolux CV12000 the best deal.

This post was last updated on January 18th, 2021 at 05:00 pm