Do you really need a vacuum cleaner

Central vacuum cleaner: useful or just expensive?

Central vacuum cleaners are an issue especially in new buildings. But more and more homeowners are also retrofitting a central vacuum system - with good experience. Is it really worth it? The advantages, disadvantages and the costs involved.

Central vacuum cleaner: useful or just expensive?
Central vacuum cleaner: useful or just expensive?

Central vacuum cleaners have long ceased to be a decadent luxury. They also offer very clear advantages to private households - although they require a certain initial investment. The function is quite simple: For vacuuming, use a six to twelve meter long suction hose that you plug into a suction socket in the wall. This connects the hose to the central vacuum system via a pipe system hidden in the wall, in which dirt and dust collect in a collecting container. This head office is usually located in the basement. But many homeowners also opt for a technical room, utility room or garage as space for their central vacuum system.

Central vacuum cleaner: advantages and disadvantages at a glance

The biggest advantages of a central vacuum cleaner compared to a conventional vacuum cleaner are clearly the easier handling, the lower noise level and the lower dust exposure. The disadvantages are manageable. In particular, the increased space requirement for the control center and the suction hoses to be stowed away are significant here. In addition, central vacuum cleaners are not exactly cheap to buy.


  • No lugging around on floors

  • No awkward moving around

  • No bumping into furniture, door frames and baseboards

  • No annoying cable that is always too short

  • No musty smell

  • No additional dust exposure (allergy-friendly)

  • Significantly less noise when vacuuming

  • Empty the collecting container less often

  • Car can easily be sucked in

  • Increase in the value of the house


  • Comparatively high acquisition costs from 1,500 euros

  • You need more space

  • No steam function

  • Retrofitting can be difficult depending on the project

Which central vacuum cleaner brands are there?

Central vacuum cleaners from Nilfisk, BVC, Sach, Thomas, Allaway, Variovac and Crossvac are particularly popular. Especially models from BVC, Crossvac and Nilfisk have proven themselves in central vacuum cleaner tests. In return, other manufacturers score with on-site customer service or long guarantees that can last up to 15 years.

Which central vacuum cleaners are there?

There are basically a few small differences in central vacuum cleaners. With the very classic central vacuum cleaners, you have a separate suction hose. Alternatively, there are hose retraction systems in which you simply pull the suction hoses out of the wall. There are also differences in filters, collecting containers and pipe systems.

What should you look out for when buying a central vacuum cleaner?

The largest and most expensive central vacuum cleaner is not always the best. Even a test winner is not always the best choice. Therefore, you should compare exactly what you really need and what the central vacuum cleaner has to offer. As a rule of thumb, if you have a smaller house with shorter suction hoses, you will need less suction power. You should check the following points:

  1. Suction capacity: Consider the size of the house, the length of the suction hoses and the number of suction sockets. It is measured in Airwatt. For most single-family homes, 600 to 700 Airwatts should be sufficient.
  2. Bag: With or without, here is the question. Hybrids offer the most flexibility.
  3. Filters: You usually have the choice between washable several times and maintenance-free.
  4. Pipe system: Some central vacuum cleaners can only be used with a very special pipe system. There are also recommendations for the maximum pipe system length. The manufacturer provides information here.

Central vacuum cleaner experiences: Typical mistakes

You don't have to make every experience yourself. And when you buy a central vacuum cleaner, things can go wrong if you don't plan properly beforehand. A typical mistake is, for example, buying an oversized system. Very few people need a device with two motors - you can save here in the short and long term if you compare carefully. Another popular pitfall: hose lengths. Particularly long suction hoses are more difficult to handle. You need more suction power, more space, but fewer suction sockets. A hose length of more than nine meters is recommended in a few cases.

Install the central vacuum cleaner yourself

You can save quite a bit on installation costs if you install your central vacuum system yourself. The easiest way to do this is in a new building, if you still have to lay heating and sewage pipes anyway. You install the pipe system in the wall. You can often use inexpensive, pluggable HT pipes (high temperature pipes) here. But not all pipes work equally with all central vacuum cleaner systems. Therefore, pay attention to the required pipe system. You can also retrofit a central vacuum cleaner system: Then the pipes are hidden behind built-in cupboards or unused ventilation shafts. Surface installations can also be an option. In any case, calculate exactly how many suction sockets you need and where you can best fit them. You can use a string to simulate the radius of suction hoses, for example. Most central vacuum manufacturers also offer a planning service.

What does a central vacuum cleaner cost?

On average, you should plan to purchase a central vacuum cleaner for a single-family house between 1,500 and 2,000 euros. The more you do yourself when installing, the lower the costs. However, the price increases with extras. A pull-in hose can easily add 1,000 euros more to the bill. It is also decisive how many suction sockets and how many suction hoses you need. Don't make the mistake, however, and offset these costs against a single conventional vacuum cleaner. Feel free to calculate the costs that you would otherwise have for a similar benefit, for example with various vacuum cleaners on different floors, in the basement and in the garage. Then the costs are usually put into perspective quickly. You should also include the manufacturer's guarantee.