Central Vacuum Education: Electric vs. Air

Air-powered Attachment KitsElectrically powered attachment kits consist of an electrified hose and vacuum brush head. Notably, there are two types of Nutone electrified inlet hoses. Direct Connect hoses have little prongs that stick out on the wall-side of the hose and fit right into an inlet valve. On the other hand, corded Pigtail hoses include a cord on the wall-side of the hose that users can plug into the nearest power outlet.

An electrically powered vacuum brush head contains a motor that spins the brush. In turn, it helps the function of the vacuum by digging into the carpet with enough force to lift dirt from the base of the carpet. Some electric brush heads have power settings (low and high). Besides, some heads like the Stealth brush have height adjustment settings for optimum use on short and tall carpets. Most modern electric heads contain a microchip board that manages the RPMs and functions related to the motor and brush roller.

Since electric brushes have a motor aiding the brush spin, the brush loses less power to friction as opposed to Air Powered brushes that may stall if introduced to an increased amount of friction. More suction and airflow reach the carpet because an electric head is not using the vacuum's suction to spin the brush.

Remarkably, electric powerheads give your carpet that "groomed" look. Carpet bristles are lifted, vacuumed, and laid down in the direction that the powerhead is pushed because of the superior airflow and the spinning brush. Air-powered heads will not always do this because they simply do not have sufficient suction power.

Electrically Powered Attachments

Air-powered attachment kits have a basic or low voltage hose, and an air-powered brush head. A switch on the low voltage hose signals the vacuum unit to turn on/off via a low voltage wire hidden in the hose. Basic hoses do not contain a switch. Thus, the vacuum unit normally turns on when the hose is plugged into the wall or opened inlet valve door.

Air powered vacuum brushes channel the suction and air flow of a vacuum through a small tube in the brush. The channel is smaller than in an electric brush. The suction of the vacuum determines the amount of friction the brush can withstand before it freezes. Therefore, vacuum units with low suction (Water Lift) may not be strong for an Air Powered brush head. 


References and Resources

Modern electric heads

Central Vacuum Suction and Airflow