Home Entertainment & Automation Services in Matthews, NC.
Home Entertainment & Automation Services in Matthews, NC.
Home audio and Video Services in Matthews, NC.  TV installation, Surround Sound, Home Entertainment Systems
Anatomy of a Central Vacuum System: 5 Easy Pieces

What goes into a central vacuum system? We lay out the five basic pieces: power unit, piping, inlets, hoses and brushes and accessories.

Do you hate dirt and hate to vacuum? A central vacuum system may be just what you need. Instead of lugging a canister around the home, the heavy lifting is done by a power unit located some place like the garage, where it can barely be heard.

A central vacuum system can also be a healthier and greener choice, as it won’t emit dirt particles into the air, as do some other vacuum systems.

For consumers who are new to the category, we provide the foundations of a central vacuum system.

 1. Power Unit

Drives the system and is usually mounted in the garage.

Bag vs. cyclonic (bagless) filtering: Bag-type systems require users to replace bags, but don’t require venting the system to the outdoors. Cyclonic units require no messy bags, but do need to be exhausted to the outdoors. Typical homes under 6,000 square feet can run off of a dedicated 20-amp, 120-volt circuit. Larger homes may require a larger, dedicated circuit. AirWatts typically indicate the power of the unit, but be cautious of using single high-air watt motors in larger home applications, as they may wear out too soon. Consider a unit with a utility valve on the tank for cleaning the cars and garage Typically code requires the wall between the garage and home to be penetrated with steel pipe. Check local building codes for safety requirements.

2. Piping

Provides suction from the power unit and delivers waste to the power unit.

2-inch special piping tested to specific standards. Cut the pipe with a miter box, chop saw, or tubing cutter. It must have a smooth, straight cut to reduce potential for debris getting stuck. Use wide sweeping turns at all locations after the inlet valve. For less friction loss, make jogs with 45-degree ells instead of 90-degree ells. Low-voltage wire follows along the outside of the pipe. Strap it to the pipe with zip ties or tape. Wire is run in series rather than home-run.

3. Inlets

Installed in the walls between piping and hoses.

Typically, one inlet covers 600 to 900 square feet of living space. Inlets are located at the same height as electrical outlets, but they can also fit in to the baseboards. Inlets are available as “air-only” or electrified. Electricity is required for traditional power brushes, but can still be provided with a separate cord for non-electrified (less expensive) outlets. Remember to place inlets near outdoor patios and porches. Plan for an inlet near the base of the stairs.

4. Hoses

Connect from the inlet to the vacuum cleaner.

Hoses normally come in 30-foot lengths, but 35-footers are available. Consider buying an additional hose and tool set for upstairs. A hose sock can protect baseboards and furniture. Designate a closet to hang the hose and tool set. Options are available for easy-to-tote spools and for hoses (up to 50 feet) that retract into walls.

5. Power Brushes, Accessories

Connect to hoses for cleaning everything from carpeting to pets.

Power brushes are the best central vac accessory for cleaning carpets and other flooring. Most brushes require electricity, but some lower-powered units can operate via air power. Brushes come in a variety of shapes and sizes for cleaning upholstery, staircases, cars, underneath furniture and more. Additional accessories can be used for cleaning tight spaces, ceiling fans, pets and more.

Grant Olewire of MD Manufacturing contributed to this article.

By CE Pro Editors


Custom Installation Services, LLC – First choice for low voltage wiring and central vac in Charlotte, NC and surrounding areas


Posted in 3D TV, Automation, Central Vac System, Flat Panel TV's, Home Theater, IP Cameras, LED, lighting control, Low Voltage Contractors, Lutron Radio Ra II, Media Rooms, Outdoor Speakers, Structured Wiring, technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Happy New Year To Everyone!

Custom Installation Services - Charlotte's Source For Home Theater!With the holidays and our busier than normal schedule over the past month, it has been a while since I have posted a blog.  So, this will be different than my normal format of product news.  I wanted to post a personal blog to thank all of our loyal clients for your support over the past year.  2010 was a good year for C.I.S., with new product offerings added to our lineup, as well as new and exciting technology trends.  None of which would have been possible without everyone’s continued support!

A new direction for us this year was to “dabble” in more commercial A/V installations.  These included sports bars as well as an overhaul of the video at Lance, Inc.  This has opened up a new revenue stream for C.I.S., and one we will continue as we move forward into the future.  As part of this new commercial business, C.I.S. has partnered with ZEE-VEE, makers of high definition boxes that enable 1080p over coax for long distance runs and combining signals to existing channels for ease of use.

Another new product in our lineup is from SpeakerCraft, with their addition of the “FloBox”.  The FloBox is a single unit that allows you to dock your iPod, iPhone or iPad, play a CD, stream from the internet, access iTunes or listen to FM radio.  Combined with substantial amplification, quality drivers and a sleek, futuristic cabinet available in five finishes, the FloBox will transform any room into a concert hall at the push of a button!

I would like to again thank everyone for your continued support, and to a great 2011!  Stay tuned for more of my traditional blogs with product news and updates!

Don Miller


Custom Installation Services, LLC - We specialize in fixing the $99 TV install by our “competitors”!

Posted in 3d movies, 3D TV, Audio Systems, Automation, Blu-ray, Flat Panel TV's, Gaming Systems, Home Theater, i-Pad, LED, lighting control, Line Conditioners, Lutron Radio Ra II, Media Rooms, Multi Room A/V, Music and Movies, News, Panamax, recycling, Structured Wiring, technology, Theater Seating | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lutron Plans Whole-House Energy Control

Custom Installation Services is Charlotte's Source For Lutron RadioRa!

Call C.I.S. To Discuss The New Lutron RadioRa2 Product Line And How It Can Benefit Your Lifestyle

Energy-saving daylight sensing added to Lutron lighting and shading control.

Lutron Electronics has announced product rollouts that will take place this year and next, designed to provide total home control and energy management, mainly via its new upscale HomeWorks QS wired and wireless lighting systems and its mid-market RadioRA 2 wireless lighting solutions.

“We’re really going to focus on control of energy in the home,” says David Weinstein, Lutron’s vice president of sales.

For the first time, HomeWorks QS and RadioRA 2 will feature daylight sensing to automatically adjust lights and shades, based on the amount of sunlight penetrating a space. Occupancy sensing, which Lutron says can save 20 percent or more in lighting energy by automatically shutting off lights when no one is in a room, is also a part of the systems.

Lutron has used daylight sensing in its commercial products, but for the first time is introducing the technology into its residential lines.

Most automated shading in homes is accomplished by programming astronomical clocks to descend shades at certain times of the day to help keep a room cool—or do the opposite to help heat a room.

Lutron’s daylight sensing solution could also enable daylight harvesting—using the natural light to illuminate a room and reduce the need for electrical lighting.

Up to now, electronics installers had to use third-party sensors, and the programming required could be complex, explains Lutron product development manager Richard Black. Installers often used contact closures that descended or raised the shades at certain daylight thresholds. That was a simple solution to a complex issue, so when clouds passed, for example, motorized shades could go up and down too frequently. “There are a lot of settings you have to have to make that work effectively. Now that we have the logic, we can make it work better.”

Lutron also announced Venetian blinds with intelligent tilt alignment, as part of its Avant line. Lutron says the product can tilt the blinds seamlessly, and the company will look to integrate automated tilting via daylight sensing as well. The system can also adjust height of shading as the angle of the sun changes.

Chief among Lutron’s other product announcements are:

-A plug-in appliance module coming in December 2010 to monitor and control appliances are other energy loads in a home.

-Dynamic keypad coming in April 2011 that controls lights, shades, HVAC, audio/video and energy from one spot.

-Venetian wood blinds with intelligent tilt alignment.

-seeTemp intelligent thermostats coming in April 2011.

-An Eco Button that can dim lights and set back the thermostat plus or minus 2 degrees to save energy.

-Integration with iPad and iPhone.

-A phase-adaptive dimmer that automatically senses the load—whether its CFL or LED, for instance—and adjusts the dimming for that.

-A Green Button coming in April 2011 that dim lights, lower shades, sets back temperature, and turns off unneeded appliances via plug-in appliance modules.

-An iPad app in Dec. 2010.

“By adding cooling and heating, in addition to lighting and shading and connected loads, we can control 60 percent of the energy use in the home,” says Weinstein.

by Steven Castle


Custom Installation Services, LLC - ”We may be a few dollars more than the competition, but we are a million times better”.

Posted in Automation, HAI, i-Pad, IP Cameras, lighting control, Lutron Radio Ra II, Structured Wiring, technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Custom Installation Services, LLC | P.O. Box 132 Matthews, NC 28106 | 704-400-8701 | dmiller@cis-nc.com
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