While upright and canister vacuums are undoubtedly easier to move from one house to the next than a whole house vacuum, if you’re at a point in your life where you plan to spend many years in one place, nothing beats a central vacuum for convenience. You don’t need to search for outlets. You don’t drag anything behind you. You don’t worry about a loss of suction or your machine breaking down in a few years. You just vacuum. And you might even start to enjoy it.
That said, even central vacuums have their flaws; notably, they eventually break down, especially if you’re using a model made decades ago when motors were less reliable and filters were less precise. If your existing central vacuum unit is on its way out, or if you have a home with hookups present but without the vacuum, you might be in the market for a new unit. Fortunately, quality central vacuums are cheaper than ever, and you can get a model that blows away anything your parents’ generation had for substantially less money. We recently reviewed the Prolux CV12000, but wanted more power, and were saddened that it wasn’t available in Canada. Today we’ll review the DuoVac Air 10 Power Unit Central Vacuum System, which is available in the US and Canada, and see if it’s worth its price tag. Our thoughts in ten seconds are to buy it if you want a powerful, compact system that can take bags or work without them. Our full review is below, and you can buy the DuoVac Air 10 here.
Pros, cons, and key features of the DuoVac Air 10 Central Vacuum System
The DuoVac Air 10 is one of several DuoVac central vacuum units currently on the market, including the Typhoon, Design 550AW, and Select. The Air 10 is marketed as an entry level system capable of covering homes up to 6,500 square feet in area. Its motor is a powerful one, generating up to 694 airwatts of suction, close to 141 inches of water lift, and more than 137 CFMs, or cubic feet per minute. It’s important to note that you’re buying a central vacuum unit here; you’ll need pre-installed ducting to use it, and it won’t work as a portable or standalone vacuum. If you don’t have your home ducted for a central unit, you’ll either need to do it yourself or call an HVAC to set things up. Both take time and money, and it would be simpler to just buy a Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog instead. But if you already have a home pre-fitted for central vacuum ducts, this is one of the best options on the market.
Additional key features of the DuoVac Air 10 include a hybrid filtration system; while you can use it with separate disposable cloth filter bags and the included washable filter, you can also skip the disposable filters and just use the built-in filter . That said, DuoVac recommends using disposable filters in concert with the internal HEPA-level filter to prolong both the internal filter and the life of the motor. The unit is compact at 22.5 inches tall and 11.4 inches in diameter, making it easy to fit just about anywhere in a home, such as in a laundry room or closet in addition to the typical basement and garage installation sites.
As with most models, it can also be mounted. The dust canister holds 4.7 gallons and the unit weighs 17 pounds on our scale. It runs on 120V AC, draws 12 amps, and is quiet at 57 decibels. It includes full bag and filter replace indicators to help with maintenance, and features a 25 year limited warranty. Unfortunately, the warranty isn’t as impressive as it sounds; you’ll need to pay for labor costs after the first 5 years. Aside from that, however, we’re very impressed with its specifications.
What are the differences between the US and Canadian DuoVac Air 10?
The US and Canadian models are nearly identical; the only differences to be aware of are in motor power. The Canadian Air 10 is limited to 650 airwatts instead of 694 and is rated to 4,000 square feet of coverage instead of 6,500. Considering both figures are still far beyond what you’ll see in most central vacuum units and far larger than the average new home in the US and Canada, you’ll still have more than enough power with either model to clean your home for years.
How difficult (or easy) is it to install the DuoVac Air 10?
While no two central vacuum installations are exactly alike due to differences in ducting, home arrangements, power setups, and the like, we’d give the DuoVac Air 10 five out of five stars for ease of installation. The basics of what you’ll do are to mount the unit next to your 2 inch inlet pipe and connect the unit to the pipe through an inlet hose or PVC pipes and elbows. Keep in mind that you’ll need to buy these separately, such as through a local hardware store.
If you don’t have hoses and cleaning heads from a previous central unit, you’ll need those too. We recommend starting fresh with new hoses and a quality head unless you already have one you particularly like; our favorite is a 35-foot hose and power head that works with either direct connect or pigtail connections. The Wessel Werk EBK 360 is our favorite choice for homeowners who just want one tool that’ll clean bare floors and carpets of all styles and piles (including high-pile and soft carpets) without needing to switch cleaning heads.
How thorough is the DuoVac Air 10 when cleaning floors, furniture, and pet hair?
The DuoVac Air 10, like any central vacuum, will clean only as well as the head you connect it to. If you connect it to a quality head like the EBK 360 we mentioned above, we’re happy to say you’re unlikely to ask for another vacuum or head for as long as you live in your home.
You’ll be able to tackle just about any bare floors (e.g., hardwood, engineered wood, vinyl, laminate, ceramic tiles, marble, bamboo, concrete, and more) or residential (e.g., Saxonies, berbers, cut and loops, and friezes) or commercial carpet with ease, including soft, plush, and high pile carpets that stump just about any non-central vacuum besides Miele canisters. The double filtration system is particularly potent for dealing with pollen, dander, and other plant and pet-based allergens.
Why buy the DuoVac Air 10?
While the DuoVac Air 10 isn’t perfect, it’s certainly one of the best models we’ve yet come across for under $1,000 US. It’s powerful, quiet, compact, and well-designed. While we can’t guarantee it’ll outlast its warranty, we’re convinced it will clean well enough for the next few decades to make it well worth its purchase price. Our main recommendation would be to pair it with a cleaning head worthy of its suction; the EBK 360 has a well-earned reputation of supporting central units, and if you pair the two, you’re unlikely to consider a non-central unit ever again.
You can buy the DuoVac Air 10 central vacuum system here on Amazon. We’d also recommend buying a Wessel Werk EBK 360 central vacuum kit with a long hose and power head if you don’t have one already.
Canadians can buy the DuoVac Air 10 central vacuum system here on Amazon. We’d pair it with this Wessel Werk EBK 360 central vacuum kit with a hose and cleaning head.
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