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Compare filtration methods
The central vacuum industry is experiencing a healthy growth trend as many homebuilders and buyers are seeing the benefits of this superior technology. As we become a standard appliance in more and more homes (like the garbage disposal in the 60's), the big name manufacturers are going to hop on board. In fact, Hoover, Eureka and Electrolux have already thrown their hats into the ring, giving the whole industry some extra attention. Because of some of these new entries into the business, there is a lot of confusing information floating around about how the systems work and their comparative benefits.
Filtration technology is one of the most important issues to be clear about when considering a central vacuum system. The two types of filtration in use today (filtered and cyclonic) play a major role in the efficiency and longevity of your central vacuum unit. Within the industry literature you will find claims ranging from "true cyclonic", "self-cleaning", "100% efficiency at all times", to promises like "guaranteed never to clog" and filters with "no resistance to the air". Many of these claims can be misleading. This article is designed to give you the technical information you need to sort through the competing messages about filtration technology and choose which central vacuum system is best for you.

Which filtration system is better: filtered or cyclonic?
We feel that we will show you the superiority of the M.D. Central Vacuum system. Rather than making arbitrary statements, we'd like to show you the claims various manufacturers make in their literature and see if we can convince you of the superiority of the M.D. Central Vacuum System.
For the full article comparing the different filtration methods, please visit
the MD Manufacturing Inc web site
Reccomended outside venting. Looses power as dust builds up in filter. Filter needs shaking in order to clean it, depositing dust on floor beneth.
Requires outside venting. Deposits debris and dust on outside walls, plants ect. Screen requires monthly cleaning. 5-7% of dust and lint enters fan chambers, reducing motor life.
Exhausts clean air. No outside venting necessary. Extends motor life. Disposable, dust-free filterbag.
To begin with, Ametek, the manufacturer of the motors in most systems on the market states specifically in their warranty "typical signs of abuse [including] dirty motors, failure of which was caused by inadequate filtration will not be considered in-warranty failures"1. In other words, the designers of central vacuum systems are required to adequately protect the fan blades of the motor from debris or risk being out of warranty.
1 Ametek, 1990 Limited Warranty, Pub. #4M690A
Questionnaire for central vacuum buyers to use before purchasing:

To maximize your investment in your central vacuum system, and to help you determine which system best suits your home, we have provided a list of important questions to ask your central vacuum dealer.

Which of the above filtering types do they favor and why?

What happens if the system is overfilled?

What annual and/or maintenance expenses can be incurred on this product? (Foam filter, bags, cost for new motor, motor-life expectancy?)

Is exhausting the unit outside necessary? Why?

What would twenty pounds of fine dust (like drywall dust) do to the system? How much of it would be caught in the filter system and how much would be blown through the motor impeller blades out the exhaust?

If manufacturers of automobiles and central air conditioners feel it necessary to install air filters to filter the air you breathe every day, should it be more important to filter the air that is combined with trash and dirt before it exhausts through your vacuum motor and back into your home/garage? Or, outside?
How messy is it to empty the canister and clean the filter? (Including screen, cloth, foam, or paper bag.) Have them actually change a dirty one right before your eyes.
Central vacuum terms and definitions
Vacuum motor anatomy
Compare filtration methods
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