Central Vacuum Cleaner Costs
$1,250 to $3,100 Installed
How Much Does it Cost to Install a Central Vacuum System?
$600 – $1,440
$1,450 – $2,200
$2,210 – $4,500
|System Retail Cost||$450 – $1,440||$1,300 – $2,000||$1,700 – $3000|
|House Size||Up to 3,000 s.f.||2,000 – 4,000 s.f.||More than 3,000 s.f.|
|DIY||Yes or No||Yes or No||No|
|Brand Rating/Quality||Entry Level to Average||Average to Good||Good to Excellent|
|Enhanced Features||No||Yes or No||Yes|
|New Construction||Yes||Yes or No||Yes or No|
Overview of Central Vacuum Cleaner Systems
Central vacuum cleaner systems are also called whole house vacuums. They consist of a powerful vacuum unit located in the garage, basement or other out-of-the-way location.
PVC lines connect the stationary vacuum to floor or wall inlets located in strategic locations throughout the house. The vacuum hose is attached to the inlet to vacuum the zone.
Pros and Cons: These system are attractive to homeowners for two reasons.
They eliminate the need to lug a heavy vacuum unit from room to room or up the stairs. Instead, a lightweight handle and vacuum head with a 25-50 foot hose is easily moved from inlet to inlet. Hide a Hose is one high-end brand that includes retractable hoses in each inlet. Just the vacuum handle is moved from place to place for enhanced ease and convenience.
Central vacuums are much quieter since the power unit is located far from where you’re vacuuming. Most won’t wake a sleeping child or frighten a skittish dog.
Central vacuum cleaner price is higher than the cost of most premium portable units. That’s the potential downside and why many homes do not have a central vacuum system.
Central Vacuum Cleaner Installation: The best time to install a central vacuum in a multi-story home is before drywall is hung. This makes it much easier and less costly to install the PVC piping in wall cavities to reach the upper-level vacuum inlets.
In a single-story home with a basement or crawlspace, the plastic pipe can be run through or between floor joists. The inlets are located in the floor, so the walls don’t come into play.
What’s Here: This central vacuum system cost estimate includes cost factors, retail cost of the vacuum systems and costs compiled from reliable estimating sites.
We’re also gathering prices from readers that have had central vacuuming installed. Feel free to return once you’ve installed a system to share your cost for the benefit of other readers.
Product Cost Details
Central Vacuum Cleaner Price Factors
Your cost to install central vacuuming will depend on the following:
- System Brand – Upscale brands like Beam/Electrolux and Aqua Air cost two to three times entry-level and mid-range brands like OVO, Imperium, VacuMaid and Honeywell. This is the most significant cost factor.
- System Size – Systems are sized by motor size and CFM airflow. They are categorized for shoppers by size, for example, Up to 3000 square feet, Up to 6000 square feet, More than 6000 square feet, etc. We recommend buying a system rated for twice your home’s square footage. The cost won’t be much more, and you’ll definitely appreciate power when vacuuming rooms furthest from the power unit.
- Separate Dirt Cannister – A few systems have separate power units and dirt cannisters. The advantage is locating the power unit where noise will be most effectively reduced and placing the dirt cannister where it can be easily accessed in a garage or utility room, for example.
- Filtration Type – Cyclonic bagless power units cost up to 25% more than filtered bagless and bagged units of the same size.
- Unique Features – Systems with retractable hoses in each outlet or booster motors cost more than standard systems.
- Accessory Package – While not a major factor, the suite of tools you choose for the system can affect cost.
- New Construction vs Retrofit – Installing the system during construction is cheaper than doing the work in an existing home, especially a multi-story home.
- Who Installs the System – The cost of installation labor is generally 25% to 60% of the total. Specific costs are discussed below.
Here are retail central vacuum cleaner costs for the units, tools and accessories. Most homeowners buy a power unit and an attachment set separately, though some are sold as complete systems. Larger power units are 220 volt systems.
Power unit prices are given by system size.
- $225 – $650 | Power units for up to 3,000 square feet with average cost of about $475
- $300 – $765 | Power units for up to 6,000 square feet with average cost of about $680
- $500 – $3,500 | Power units for more than 6,000 square feet with an average cost of about $1,100
Installation Kits, Accessories and Attachment Kits
- $110 – $485 each | Installation kits with inlets, connectors and PVC cement for systems with 2 to 10 inlets (main PVC pipe not included)
- $1.50 – $3.00 per linear foot | PVC pipe, connectors and cement
- $175 – $700 | Attachment Kits based on hose length, number and type of tools included and brand
- $8 – $50 | Individual attachments when sold separately to customize your attachment set
- $15 – $40 each | Add-on mufflers
- $4 – $10 each | Vacuum bags
- $20 – $45 each | Filters, with True HEPA filters costing the most
Permits, Inspection, Related Costs and Installation Time
Permits and Inspection Cost
- $0 – $150 | No permit is needed if an outlet is available to plug in the power unit or if an existing line can be easily extended to install an outlet. If a new circuit is added, a permit should be pulled.
Related Costs and Installation Time
Let’s start with installation cost if you hire pros to install your central vacuum cleaner system.
- $200 – $350 | Power Unit Installation
- $125 – $200 per Inlet | Installation of 1-3 Inlets
- $75 – $150 per Outlet | Installation of 4+ Inlets
The type and size home you have will determine how long it takes to install a whole house vacuum system.
The times listed below are for 2-person professional installation. DIY homeowner installation usually takes 1.5 to 2 times the total hours.
For example, if a 2-person professional crew can install a system in 8 hours, that’s 16 total hours. If you do it alone, expect the job to take 24 to 36 total hours.
- 6-8 Hours | Small, single-story home
- 8-12 Hours | Small two-story home before drywall is installed
- 1-2 Days | Large single-story home or mid-size two-story home before drywall
- 1-4 Days | Retrofitting multi-story homes with drywall. Time is based on the size of the home.
DIY or Hire a Pro?
Most homeowners hire out this project because it is time-consuming and certain tasks take expertise:
- Properly sizing the system for your home to optimize vacuum power without overspending
- Running vacuum lines through joists and in walls
- Supporting and securing vacuum lines in walls
- Understanding where to most effectively locate hose inlets
If you’re not “most homeowners” because you have excellent skills and have had success in challenging DIY projects, then consider giving it a go.
Keep in mind that single-story homes and homes in the construction stage prior to sheet rock/drywall installation are easier.
If you have a multi-story home and drywall has been installed or are simply unsure of the best installation approach, we encourage consulting a couple professionals before you make the DIY or Hire a Pro decision.