Why a Central Vacuum Is a Good Option to Eliminate Pet Hair

Amy Pawlukiewicz
Written by Amy Pawlukiewicz
Updated December 21, 2021
Senior couple snuggling with dog
Photo: Seventyfour / Adobe Stock


  • Central vacuums typically run $1,100 to $2,200.

  • There are a few types of central vacuums, depending on your preferences.

  • They’re quiet, easy to use, and efficient.

  • They can help you eliminate pet hair in a breeze.

  • Your home’s value could increase if you install a central vacuum.

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If you have pets, you understand the constant struggle between loving them to bits and wishing they wouldn’t leave tufts of fur all over your home. If this sounds like you, then you may not know that you have options beyond breaking out the vacuum every other day or using rubber gloves to remove pet hair. A central vacuum might make your life a little easier, but you’ll have to consider a few things first.

What Is a Central Vacuum?

A central vacuum, also known as a whole-home vacuum, is a system of pipes built into the walls of your home and connected to a centralized vacuum. The vacuum is located in a low-key place, usually the basement or garage. There are suction ports, kind of like outlets, installed in each room. You can use attachments like hoses and furniture brushes when you want to clean furniture or get into nooks and crannies where the dog normally sleeps.

How Much Does a Central Vacuum Cost to Install?

The typical cost range for a central vacuum system is around $1,100 to $2,200, with an average national cost of about $1,600. But you could pay as little as $400 or as much as $3,500, depending on a few factors.

Cyclonic Vacuums

There are two main types of central vacuums you can choose from: cyclonic and filtered. Cyclonic vacuums, true to their name, use cyclone technology to kind of spin the debris out of your home and into a receptacle or outside. You’ve probably seen cyclone technology in some portable vacuums. Although it works well for removing dust from your home, cyclonic models can have motor problems from debris gathering on the motors.

Filtered Vacuums

Filtered central vacuums have paper or cloth filters and either come in bagged or bagless models to catch pet fur and dirt. Though you’ll have to perform maintenance on the filters every three to 12 months and change the bags roughly every six months, filtered models don’t have the same motor issues as cyclonic models. The two types are roughly the same price, so what type you choose depends on your personal preference.

What Are the Benefits of a Central Vacuum?

Though central vacuums are more expensive than portable ones, making the switch comes with many benefits.

They’re Quiet

Since the motor for the unit is tucked away in the basement or garage instead of being pushed back and forth in front of you, you can watch TV or read or sleep with no disruption when the vacuum is running. You can also choose to install a muffler if the noise is still too loud.

Their quiet nature may have another benefit for pets too: If they’re normally frightened by a loud vacuum, then this type could make things a little easier for them. 

They’re Easy to Operate

Connecting central vacuum hose to wall outlet
Photo: Александр Бердюгин / Adobe Stock

Lugging a vacuum around the house is a task we’re all familiar with, and it’s especially hard when you’ve got stairs in your home. With a central vacuum, all you have to do is plug into the wall outlet and use one of the handy attachments. That means no more hauling a heavy vacuum from room to room (though that is quite a good workout).

They Last Forever

OK, maybe not forever, but most models come with a lifetime warranty on the unit, so if it breaks, they fix it. They’ll be no more tossing out vacuums every few years when the motor fails or lugging your vacuum to the repair shop.

They’re More Efficient and Stronger

The motor on central vacuums is up to five times more powerful than a portable model, so they’re able to suck up more dust and allergens than a regular vacuum. Since the motor is stronger, the vacuum can pick up deeper debris and grime that ages carpet and can cause sniffles. They also don’t push that debris back into the atmosphere of your home through the exhaust fan, which other vacuums do.


Who installs central vacuums?

Due to the complicated nature of the job, including installing electrical work and adding pipes into your walls, setting up a central vacuum is not a DIY project. Contact a local central vacuum installation pro to get quotes and ensure the job is done right the first time. It’s always a good rule of thumb to get three quotes for a job like this before deciding on which company to hire.

Do central vacuums require maintenance?

Once you install a central vacuum, you’ll have to do very little maintenance on the system. Filtered models will need their filters changed out periodically, depending on how many pets you have and how much dirt they’re picking up. And of course, you’ll have to change the bags on bagged models. Other than that, your system shouldn’t need maintenance unless you see its performance declining.

Do central vacuums add to home value?

A central vacuum system isn’t just for you and your family to enjoy—when thinking about selling, it could add up to $2,000 to your home’s value. In addition to monetary value, having a central vacuum is a convenience that may be more valuable to some buyers if they have pets or allergy sufferers in the family.

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