How to choose a ducted vacuum machine

With more and more brands of ducted vacuum systems on the market, it can be very confusing to choose the right ducted vacuum unit for your home. Regarding the brand, not all ducted vacuum machines are designed to be long lasting. Our AstroVac units are all fitted with quality and fully tested motors and other components to make sure you will enjoy many years of trouble free usage.

Choosing the right type and size ducted vacuum machine is quite easy if you know what to look for. First you need to choose the type (bag or bagless), then choose the right size and the build quality of the unit.

Choosing ducted vacuum type: Bag, Bagless or Hybrid

In general there are two type of ducted vacuum systems, ie. bag and bagless (cyclonic) systems. Bag systems use paper or cloth bag to filter and collect the dust; while bagless systems use cyclonic and filtration methods (use paper, foam, gore-tex etc.) to filter the dust and store it into a dust collector.

Bagged ducted vacuum machines generally will give you better overall performance: stronger and steady suction, less blockages, longer lasting motor, cleaner environment, less maintenance and user friendliness in the operation of your ducted vacuum systems.

Unlike bagless system, suction level of our bagged systems is not affected by how much dust has been collected in the filter bag. This is due to our patented air-liner design, which provides a air passage to allow air to flow around the bag freely. The airliner provide space between the filter bag and the dust bin for the air to flow. Using this airliner will ensure that the suction level will not decrease as more and more dust have been deposited in the bin. The suction level will only start to decline when the bag has been filled by more than 90% of its capacity. This is also a good reminder and indicator for you to replace the bag.

Using bag filter, vacuumed air is clean when it passes the motor and out into the environment, which will prolong the motor life. It also means that your garage or car is not covered with dust from your ducted vacuum machine (if the unit is installed in the garage). 

Getting rid of the collected dust from the machine is also very easy, simply remove the old filter bag and put a new bag. As all dust is confine inside the filter bag you will not be handling or being exposed directly to it.

Bagless systems will give the same or similar performance as your bagged ducted vacuum system, if the unit is maintained properly. Instead of using bag, bagless systems use cartridge or foam to filter dust. There are advantages and disadvantages in using this method. The advantage is obviously you won't need to buy bags to run the system, which is saving in your pocket. The disadvantage is the unit need regular maintenance, ie the filter has to be cleaned to keep the suction level high, because dust stuck in the filter will reduce the airflow and also the vacuum power. Clogged filter will not only reduce the vacuum strength, it will also send dust through the motor and exhaust it into the environment. If this is kept going for a long time, it can also potentially damage the motor. And because the unit is not using a bag, then dust have to be collected directly into the bin, which mean that when it is time to empty them, you will have a direct contact with the dust. Obviously bagless system is not for everyone, if you are good at maintaining the system and do not mind handling the bare dust, then the system is ideal for you, because it can save you the money. Otherwise, choose a bag system, which is more user friendly and less maintenance.

Choosing the right size unit

Unlike what many people thinks, it is not the number of inlet points that determine what size of machine to buy. Domestic ducted vacuum systems only allows one inlet point to work at a time, so practically the number of inlets does not affect the performance of your ducted vacuum system. Because only one inlet is allowed to be used at a time, then the determining factor is how far is this particular inlet from the machine to ensure that the machine can deliver reasonable suction to this inlet. In the design point of view, we just need to know the distance of the furthest of the inlet in your house from the power unit location, then all other inlets will be covered. The longer the distance the bigger machine is required. This distance is called "maximum pipe run" in AstroVac power unit specifications. 

In ducted vacuum, you can use bigger/stronger machine than what is required, because you can use always reduce / adjust the suction level via the air relief valve or ease the vacuuming with wheeled floor tools. It is not recommended to use a smaller machine than required, because poor suction may cause dirt still remain at the bottom of the carpet, longer cleaning time or your pipe to easily get blockage.