Central vacuum cleaner is cylindrical vacuum cleaner system that has power unit (usually electric motor) and dirt collection and filtration unit located in fixed position, usually in the building. Vacuum inlets are connected by pipes throughout the building – only the hose and cleaning head need to be carried around. Hose is therefore longer (up to 8-10 meters, 25-30 feet) allowing larger area to be cleaned without changing vacuum inlets. Cleaning head can be unpowered or can use small air-powered turbine – rarely there is a small electric motor to operate beaters or brushes.
Central vacuum cleaner can be turned off, can operate in stand-by mode – it is operated by a switch on the hose handle or when hose is plugged into the wall vacuum inlets, or it provides suction when turned on, regardless if hose(s) are connected or not.
Since fan, electric motor and dust bin don't have to be portable, central vacuum cleaners usually have larger fans, stronger motors and much larger dust bins than their portable counterparts. To ensure longer operation without cleaning removed dirt, central vacuum cleaners use cyclonic dust separation - no suction loss regardless how full dirt bin is. Also, air exhaust after dirt separation can be outside of the building, thus no dust is returned back to the room being cleaned. Since motor and separation unit are away from living quarters, operation of central vacuum cleaners produce much less noise in the room being cleaned.
What is the best central vacuum cleaner? It greatly depends on object where central vacuum is going to be mounted. If central vacuum cleaner system was planned from the beginning, than implementing it in the new building is not a problem. On the other hand, implementation of a new central vacuum cleaner in an 'old' building can be problematic due to the required air ducts and pipelines.