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Take It Outside

By Winston Lindsay III CEO Lindsay Manufacturing

Selling in a down economy is downright difficult. Selling an unseen advantage can be nearly impossible. That is, unless you can convince your prospective customer that what they can't see will or is hurting them.

Central vacuum systems enjoy numerous advantages over typical portable vacuums. From cleaning power to convenience to quiet operation to increased home value. However, one advantage stands alone: Improved indoor air quality.

The basic concept of central vacs is to remove dirt, dust, and allergens completely from the living space, thus helping to reduce allergy and asthma symptoms, unlike portable vacuums which merely recirculate those particles back into the air to be breathed in.

But to completely remove those dangerous particles, it is recommended that all central vacuums be vented outside. Venting is a simple and relatively inexpensive process to guarantee to your customer that their living space can be dust and allergen free. With a quality power unit, you can run your exhaust line 20 to 25 feet without affecting the performance of the system.

It is best to mount the exhaust port as low as possible on the outside wall as to reduce motor noise. VacuMaid offers two exhaust vent covers, one with a door, and the preferred model, because it has no moving parts in a smart, quality trim design. It is never advisable to vent the exhaust into a wall or attic space. This practice would invite additional recirculation as well as odor issues that could permeate the living space.

"Green" building concepts continue to gain traction. As the housing market recovers, "Green" concepts may play an important role in homebuying decisions. Two sources confirm the importance of venting central vacuums outside. LEED for Homes Rating System, issued by the US Green Building Council notes, "Install Central Vacuum System with exhaust to the outdoors. Ensure that the exhaust is not near any ventilation intake = 1 point." The National Green Building Standard issued by the National Association of Home Builders, Green Building Practices paragraph 902.1, "Central Vacuum System is installed and vented to the outside = 5 points. The LEED and NGSB issue points for compliance with their standards and the weight of these accumulated points can determine if a home attains green building certification.

For those occasions when a central vacuum system cannot be vented outside, a power unit that offers HEPA filtration via a disposable bag or fixed HEPA filter cartridge is required. HEPA filtration and their function depends on passing air through the media and screening particles out. To maintain performance, a multi-layer filter media is preferred over a tightly wound single-layer material that might restrict airflow and suction. VacuMaid and other central vacuum OEM's offer HEPA disposable bags in convenient 3 packs or bulk cartons.

When you sell your customer a central vacuum system, it's always a smart business practice to sell all of the advantages, even the ones they cannot see. When you vent the system outside, your customer will reap the benefit of a happy, healthy, home.

Reprinted from Floor Care & Central Vac Professional, August 2012