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Vacuum Your Furnace Filter

Our home and our business are located in South Texas where the cost of cooling can be quite expensive. The summer of 2009 broke all of the heat records since records have been kept with more than 59 days with temperatures over 100 degrees, many of which were 103 or better. With temperatures above 90 degrees until midnight on some days the air conditioning system was working overtime to try and keep up.

furnacefilterA good operating AC system will use refrigerant to lower the temperature of the cooling system and generate a high volume of airflow through the cooling system to keep your home cool. It is important to keep the air flowing through the central cooling system as quickly as possible to maintain a high efficiency of cooling and keep your electric bills low. A clean furnace filter is critical to both maintaining system performance and protecting your AC cooling coil, the radiator like device with small fins made from metal that transfers the cool from refrigerant to the airflow that is used to cool your home. Without a filter your AC coil would quickly become clogged with dust and your systems performance would quickly drop. With a clean filter you are allowing the maximum amount of airflow through the system but protecting the AC coil from damaging dust. A dirty AC intake filter chokes airflow from your system which requires the entire system to run longer in order to provide the same level of cool as a system with a clean filter, this is why a clean filter is so important.

Regardless of what type of filter you use; fiberglass or high efficiency, every filter and AC system will benefit from cleaning with your central vacuum. Use your suction hose with a dusting brush to clean your AC systems furnace filter whenever you vacuum your home. Vacuuming your furnace filter will remove the build up of dirt and dust that impedes airflow through your system and increases your cooling systems run time. Vacuuming your furnace filter will not likely extend the life of your filter though. The small particles that embed themselves into the filter media can not be removed by vacuum without destroying the filter. These embedded particles will still accumulate over time and the filter will need replacement. Vacuuming the filter will however greatly increase it’s airflow efficiency during it’s normal life which will keep your system operating at peak efficiency saving you money in summer and during the winter in a central heating system.

One word of caution: using a portable vacuum to maintain your furnace filters is not recommended. The dust captured by some high efficiency furnace filters can cause problems with portable vacuum cleaners smaller filtration systems. In some cases they may clog your portable vacuums filter quickly which may require a costly filter change in your vacuum. In some portable vacuums the fine dust vacuumed from a furnace filter may pass right through the vacuums bag and filter system and be spewed into the air inside your home. Central vacuum with their high performance suction motors, larger and more efficient filtration systems and of course their outside exhaust venting design offer 100% filtration of all vacuumed particles, including that from furnace filters.

Pet Friendly CVS Floor Nozzle

Vacuuming hard floors covered with randomly scattered mounds of pet hair – good for cardio fitness, hard on your back. Follow along with these familiar steps: vacuum a room, stoop to pull off the hair clogged floor brush, vacuum clumps of hair off the clogged floor brush, twist the floor brush back on the wand. Vacuum the next area and repeat.

This exercise gets tedious fast.

Wessel-Werk RD285 Brushless Floor NozzleI would rather enjoy the vacuuming experience. (We can do aerobics later.) How nice it would be to smoothly glide through rooms, realizing a cleaning task efficiently completed.
 The hindrance? The floor tool’s bristles. They clog quickly with oily dog fur, preventing hair and dirt from reaching the vacuum’s air stream and getting sucked up. The answer? Remove the bristles, add some wheels.
The new tool becomes a powerful nozzle sans brushroll. It directly pulls dirt into its opening and away into the vacuum, whether it’s used on hard floors or carpeting. Yes, even on carpets. Although a turbine brush or electric powerbrush nozzle is still recommended to beat embedded dirt out of carpeting, this new tool can easily lift off spots of surface dirt from area rugs. This ability comes in handy. Any fur stuck to the edge of an area rug is quickly sucked up with the same tool, while vacuuming the hard floors.

The tool exists: the Wessel-Werk RD285. The unique feature of the RD285 nozzle that makes it such a good fit for homes with pets is the brushless design with four stable wheels. The RD285 uses a special air channel to focus airflow across the floor and uses high speed air movement to bring debris into its vacuum opening.

rd28502With no bristles to jam up full of hair and the large intake opening the RD285 easily devours mounds of shed pet hair. We have been unable to clog the nozzle in our testing and use with our ten pup home and all their floating fluff.

Adding to its quick efficiency, The RD285 is lightweight and effortless to push and maneuver in tight spots. The low-profile design is amazing. Where as you may have once moved your sofa to vacuum underneath, the RD285 glides right under by twisting the handle which allows the wand and hose grip to lay flat against the floor. The large radius tilt and full swivel allows the nozzle to stay in the correct alignment to the floor for any size user holding the handle of the hose at nearly any angle.

What the RD285 may lack in dusting capability ( can not be used on walls and ceilings like a bristle brush) is more than compensated for with it’s cleaning speed. The low profile design may not permit some of the vary large debris to enter on first sweep (chunks of mud, rocks, large kibble), but a simple twist of the wrist lets you maneuver the RD285 over large objects so they can be sucked up by the vacuums airflow with a large suction opening.  With ease of use and straight-forward cleaning, the RD285 has become my new assist in achieving calm, productive vacuuming.

Brown, White & Green All Over

Green Boxes RecycleHere at Vacdepot we receive in many boxes. Some of these boxes contain central vacuum fittings; vacuum bags, canister filters or power nozzle belts. Some boxes contain whole kits or vacuums. Everything we sell originally came in a shipping box, and often the master box holds multiple units.

Each time we receive an order, we open the master box and remove the quantity of the item needed. The sold items are then packaged into a new box which fits the order request properly. Eventually we are left with empty master boxes. These empty boxes can really pile up, into the tons annually. Common practice is off-site recycling, and for some boxes this is a good idea.

In an effort to conserve resources, lessen pollution of the air, and save the fuel used to ship boxes to the recycling center  we have started a program this year to re-use these empties when appropriate.  We think it seems a waste to send a box to recycling that has only been used once for bulk transport.  Now we sort all of our used boxes based on quality, size and quantity.

Green Boxes Recycle
Damaged, torn or low quality cardboard is sent to recycling and quality packaging that often times has never been used for shipping is put back into our stock to re-ship.  For example, when you order a wand from Vacdepot, you might receive a colorful black, blue and yellow box previously used for a Vacsoc. But inside your wand is safely packed. Just as we assemble many custom orders, we also customize packaging to fit the cargo inside. Recycled boxes are trimmed and reinforced to provide protective transport to the items inside. If you order multiple smaller items that are packaged into one larger box our labels on these boxes announce multiple and differing contents packaged within.

 

boxes03Alas, some orders must travel in new boxes. Vacdepot purchases stock and custom boxes from reputable corrugated box companies who recycle too. Every effort is made to conserve space within the attentively-designed boxes, so less interior packaging is required. A little foam, a bit of bubble wrap, some cushioning will be used when necessary. And yes, when we receive in bubbles and craft sheeting from our vendors, we re-use it too, as long as it is in good shape.

Some of our products must ship in the original package as delivered by the manufacturer. When needed we add additional packing inside to ensure safe delivery, a packaging trait honed to precision in nearly two decades of shipping experience. Safe arrival of our products to you is Vacdepot’s primary concern. Special consideration is made in all our packaging decisions and the result is reflected in our exceptional .05% UPS Damage rate. If we can also contribute to helping the environment, all the better. The box coming your way might be white & orange, beige with red and green print, or bright blue – advertising Plastiflex, Vacpan or Green Kleen, but rest assured that your Vacdepot purchase awaits inside, safe and secure.

Turbocat Zoom

zoom01The Turbocat turbine powered carpet brush quickly became the industry standard for turbo nozzles when it was brought to market decades ago by HP Vacuflo. The name “Turbo Cat” has even become the generic term that many of us use to reference any turbine powered carpet brush. And like any great idea in floorcare, the Turbocat has its very own low quality knock-off replacement made in China. If you buying a Turbocat and are not sure the company you’re purchasing from is an HP authorized dealer, be sure to ask. Get the TurboCat, not a junky CopyCat.

The Turbocat is an amazing vacuum tool. If your system needs a powered carpet brush to vacuum area rugs and carpeting and you do not or can not use an electric nozzle system the Turbocat can fill the need. For those of us with pets the Turbo powered brush is first on the list of must-have carpet cleaning tools. We believe that every pet owner should have a turbo or electric hand brush for cleaning above-floor (sofas, stairs, car interiors, etc..). And for a growing number of us the Turbocat powered carpet brush for cleaning textile floors with our straight suction vacuum system.

zoom2In our home the floors are all tile or wood. For cleaning our two large area rugs and four entrance mats an electric powerbrush was not needed, even with the high traffic of 10 dogs constantly coming and going. We have used our trusty Turbocat for years, and it never disappointed. Like all powered carpet nozzles vacuuming this much hair the Turbocat required the regular maintenance: removing the hair from the brush roller with scissors and replacing the belt and brush roller when worn.

When the new Turbocat Zoom was introduced in 2006 we were among the first Vacuflo dealers to offer them. Quieter and More Powerful were the selling points. It is a great looking new brush, a departure from the original Turbocat in style but the underpinnings were easily identifiable as Turbocat. Testing the Zoom at a trade show in Las Vegas years ago the nozzle seemed very similar. Demonstrating the nozzle in our retail store and at many home and garden shows in the area all gave me the same impression: an ‘updated’ looking version of the old Turbocat.

It was not until a few weeks ago when we finally replaced our trusty old-school TP210 Turbocat. Its time had finally passed and it had served us better than we ever expected. By happenstance more than intention we upgraded to the Turbocat Zoom nozzle (Platinum color, but all are the same design). This is the same Turbocat Zoom we have now been selling for years and I felt comfortable with my understanding of function and performance of the Zoom. Within seconds of powering up the system I knew something was very different. I kept vacuuming and my amazement grew.

By the time I was done vacuuming the first area rug I was as excited as a boy on Christmas morning. I pulled the Turbocat Zoom from the vacuum wand and began examining the nozzle as though I had never seen one before. This nozzle was dramatically quieter than the old turbocat I had just removed from the wand before attaching the Zoom. Not just a little less noise, it was significantly less noise. I noticed as well less bounce in the nozzle. The Zoom nozzle stayed on the floor evenly and did not bounce around when cleaning the stiff fibers of our wool area rug. The performance was great, better than what I had come to expect from a Turbocat.

zoom3I have used the Zoom nozzle hundreds of times before that day, but never in my own home and never seconds after vacuuming with an old turbocat. I realized that everywhere I had used the Zoom before (sales floor & convention centers) had dramatically different acoustics than my home. Having now used a Zoom for the last few weeks in our home I have a new found respect for what the designers and engineers at Vacuflo have done with the new turbine nozzle. The Zoom has been in the market for a few years now, and proven itself as an extremely capable successor for the Turbocat. While no longer “new to market” the rediscovered Zoom is new to me. And when asked for my opinion of the New Turbocat compared to the old Turbocat I will no longer dismiss the Zoom as a “cosmetic make over” of the Turbocat.
The Zoom is an impressive performer, many times quieter and much better performing than the old models. It is a worthy upgrade and one I wish I had made much sooner myself. If you are still using an old style Turbocat that is more than a few years old we recommend you consider a new Zoom Turbo powerbrush when it is time to replace your turbo nozzle. The new Zoom is also available in the complete and inclusive CV2600-LVT attachment set.  It is an exceptional value in both the quality of design and the increase of performance for you vacuum cleaning dollar.

MEB160 Mini Electric Brush

In a previous article we discussed vacuum tools that are designed for cleaning areas above the floor including the often hard to clean pet bed. Many tools exist to help clean areas that are too small or too awkward to vacuum with a full sized powered brush. The sofa, mattress, car interiors, stair steps and risers, and of course upholstered pet beds be they soft and fluffy or firm and supportive. Who doesn’t want to pick up the carpet power brush and try running it over the sofa to remove pet hair and lint? Unfortunately the powerbrush is just to big and bulky to clean these small spaces effectively or in some cases it may do more harm than good – particularly on softer fabrics.

meb04

For years our favourite tool for cleaning these special spots has been the Wessel-Werk PT160 turbo hand brush. This unique tool gives you the power of a spinning brush roller in the palm of your hand to help brush and sweep clingy debris into the vacuums air stream. It does this work by pulling the incoming airflow over a small turbine (impeller type fan) that drives the spinning brush roller with a cogged belt. You can use the PT160 turbo brush on any vacuum with the standard 1.25” tool connection. Turbo hand nozzles are great, and clean much more quickly and thoroughly than a standard static upholstery nozzle.

Turbo hand tools have one drawback that is inherent to the design of these small nozzles. For good cleaning operation the turbo hand tool requires a very good vacuum system that provides very high airflow through the nozzle. Once the nozzle is placed against the surface to clean you are also blocking the airflow that spins the brush. Another issue is the orifice of the nozzle is small in order to increase the velocity of the airflow so large objects or clumps of hair may clog the opening and degrade the performance. Turbo nozzles are great tools for applications where an electric hose is not available or can not be used – like the garage when vacuuming your car interior.

meb01Always progressing vacuum nozzle performance, Wessel-Werk has developed a new hand nozzle: the MEB160 Mini Electric Brush. In this compact above floor nozzle the turbine has been replaced with a powerful electric motor. The MEB 160 can be used with most every central vacuum system and many other vacuum types with a powered hose.

Without demanding airflow requirements or small intake orifice the MEB160 does not slow down with lack of airflow. The brush drive motor is incredibly powerful and the brush spins fast on every type of surface, thick or thin, as the hand nozzle maneuvers in tight spots to beat and sweep the surface clean.

meb2The MEB160’s brush opening features an articulating shoe and the bottom of the nozzle adjust for the angle at which you clean. The hose connection swivels 180 degrees to allow the MEB160 to turn or lay flat when needed. Using a non-slip fiberglass reinforced cogged belt and matching gear wheels on the motor’s drive shaft and brush roller the nominal brush speed of the MEB160 is regulated at 5,000 RPM, equivalent to it’s full size carpet nozzle cousins.

The MEB160′s brush roller is filled with medium density polypropelene bristles that are designed to take the high speed usage of an electric brush. The medium density fill is softer than most powered carpet cleaning nozzles which allows it to be safely used on upholstery of all types, including micro fabrics and natural textiles, without the fear of damage or fuzzing that stiff bristle brushing may cause.

meb03The MEB160 brush roller can easily lift pet hair from stairs, sofas and yes, the pet bed – even those with hard to clean lambs-wool type fabric. The MEB160 was brought to market early this year and since we have been using ours I almost enjoy the above-the-floor cleaning I would sometimes skip. Inside the house we have replaced the turbo hand brush with the MEB160. But the turbo nozzle is not gone for good, it simply moved to the garage where we do not have an electric hose and it still does a great job when vacuuming the car.

The MEB160UC Mini Electric Brush is available in the original Universal Corded version that fits most brands and styles of electric vacuum hose using a standard button lock and 2-pin cord.  The new MEB160QD Quick Release is also now available with the quick-release neck for use with the standard CVS electric hose from Plastiflex, Centec, Hanmi and others with flush connection.  The MEB160 is also included in the new Aspria CVA360U central vacuum attachment kit with the new EBK360 powered carpet brush.

Suction Relief Valve Scam

firevalveLets start with the basic facts; central vacuum motors do fail for various reasons, but they do not overheat and “burnout” from a clog in the system. All modern central vacuum power units already include a manufacturers built-in overheat protection system, some units even have more than one . Auxiliary “motor protection” or “suction relief” valves sold by some online dealers are unnecessary, and will likely cause more harm than help. These products are a cheap attempt of some dealers trying to make a few extra bucks.

 

The “motor protection” or “suction relief” valve is largely an internet product that gives our industry a bad name. Ask most professional CVS installers for a “motor protection” valve and you will receive a puzzled look. Your new central vacuum is already protected from overheating, usually with a thermal breaker either built into the motor or the control board.firevalve3The thermal breaker is much more effective and many times more reliable. Thermal protection requires no adjustment or settings and self resets once the motor compartments temperature falls to a safe level.

Using a “suction relief” valve does just that, relieves your system of it’s suction when it is not necessary and may be harmful.  If you suck up an object while your cleaning and it should become lodged in the tube system while traveling to the vacuums collection bin your “suction relief valve” will open the vent and the object will stop. Instead of applying more suction, which is what happens naturally in central vacuum systems, the “suction relief valve” switches the suction to an open vent and the object has now become a problem clog.
These devices are at best a nuisance which provide no value or protection and need constant tinkering. Many folks end up adjusting the valve so it never opens, or removing it from the system completely. It should also be noted that Hide-A-Hose systems can not tolerate a “motor protection” valve as they require full suction from your vacuum system to operate correctly.

 

firevalve2Vacdepot is a company in the business of selling vacuum equipment and accessories and we are not against selling any product that is a value in performance, function or design for our customer. We do not sell products simply because they are available and people will buy them. Our offerings must have real value for the intended user to pass our smell test, and there are some real stinkers that we will never sell.
There is a site that uses an image of a home on fire to sell their “motor protection valve”. I am not kidding.  It is really stupid that some would resort  to that in an effort to squeeze an extra twenty bucks from a customer. Save your money on “motor protection” or “suction relief” valves, and reconsider your choice of dealer if they recommend such a product.  In the next stinker product review we will be discussing the Tornado Power central vacuum “maintenance cloths”. In a word; Pee-Yew!

Myraton Integrated Vacuum Wands

Myraton Vacuum WandMyraton Industries has deployed the new Integrated Telescopic Wand, and eliminated the last external cord from wall inlet to floor on Wessel-Werk and Lindhaus quick disconnect enabled powerbrush sets. This sleek new wand is a work of art as much as a technical achievement.  Available in two nozzle connection systems, the MYR67WW for Wessel-Werk nozzles features a spring button lock while the MYR67LH for Lindhaus QDC nozzles uses the pierce lock system.
Myraton has married their proven telescoping design with a new integrated cord system that covers the coiled cable from top to bottom. The new design also includes a much more powerful pivot design hose release system, replacing the thumb-saver tab with an even easier to use button.

 

Myraton Vacuum Wand
The entire upper wand cord management system has been reshaped into a single part that aligns the cord management device, guides the button lock and holds the new release. Instead of multiple fasteners on the previous model wands the new integrated wand needs only two for the upper collar thanks to the one piece design.
Vacdepot is the only online source to offer all Myraton wand designs in the Inox Class 6700 series which are manufactured from environmentally friendly Stainless Steel. Often referred to as the “Green Steel”, stainless steel is more durable in the vacuum wand design and requires many fewer chemicals in the processing and manufacturer of wands. High quality stainless steel construction offers the strongest wand design available with permanent, life long stain and corrosion resistance. Beautiful brushed finish shows quality workmanship that will not rust, chip, scratch or peel and will remain functional and good looking for years to come.
Myraton is a leading vacuum wand manufacturer and build wands for most every vacuum cleaner manufacturer in the world. Myraton uses high quality tubing and precision shaping techniques to deliver quality and uniformity to exacting standards. Many of Myratons high volume OEM customers have granted Myraton tubes “straight to the production line” status. This advance qualification reflects the confidence in quality Myraton customers have in their products. For over 30 years Myraton has been involved in the design, development, and production of some of the North American floor care industry’s most innovative wand and handle tube solutions. The new Integrated Telescopic Wand design and the recent introduction of the Comfort Seal wand systems are only the latest innovations in three decades of superior service history to Myraton customers around the world.

D330 Turn & Clean Floor Brush

D330 Floor BrushThe new D330 Turn & Clean hard floor brush is now available on the Vacdepot website. The D330 is the latest invention from Wessel-Werk, the German vacuum cleaner accessory and cleaning tool manufacturer. The Turn & Clean is the first floor brush  with a full 180° swivel & 90° pivot that allows for a nearly unlimited range of motion when cleaning. The D330 cleans both forward/backward, and also side-to-side for unmatched cleaning speed and performance.
Upgrade your cleaning experience, add the D330 Turn & Clean to your vacuum system.

 

Board To Death

ebk360sc01There are many features in the new Wessel-Werk EBK360 powerbrush to be admired. LED headlight array, sculptured augured brush roller, 5-position step on height adjuster and redundant cooling systems just to name a few. But it is what’s missing in the new EBK360 powerbrush that gets us the most excited about the new design.
Like most other electronic systems these days the powerbrush has gone hi-tech. When the rubber belt was replaced with the geared belt it was technology that became responsible for the upgrade. While rubber belts are slow, underperform and often need replacement due to wear, they did have one great feature – they would break. Breaking the belt does not sound good to most folks, but the alternative would have been much more costly permanent damage of the powerbrush motor. Rubber belts are cheap & easy to replace. Powerbrush motors are neither cheap or easy to replace.

 

ebk360sc03If while vacuuming you happen to find the dish towel that Jake your sheppard pup moved from the kitchen to under the sofa your rubber belt driven carpet vacuum nozzle would emit a screeching noise. This followed quickly by a puff of smoke and the dreadful “snap” of your vacuum belt breaking. This was a cheap low-tech approach to motor protection developed in the early 1900′s. New vacuum systems use geared belts which do not slip or stretch. These new vacuum nozzles use high speed rollers that can spin 2 – 5 times the speed of rubber belt systems, up to five thousand revolutions per minute. To control this process the powerbrush circuit board was born, and it was complex. Along with jam protection to shut the motor down if the brush roller could not spin (due to a clog or damage), the circuit board was also filled with sensors of all types; under current, over current, free-spin and high drag.

The control boards had LED indicators, adjustable potentiometers and many had push-button circuit breakers. The circuit boards in vacuum cleaners have seemingly become an arms race in components, only to be topped by vacuum cleaners now running software. Even the vacuum cleaner has outsmarted the computers once used to put a man on the moon in the 60′s.

ebk360sc02In a stunning leap forward the EBK360 has for the first time done away with the “circuit control board”. Advanced design has lead to a simple answer for controlling the geared belt drive system. In the case of the EBK360 a short circuit, or a truncated track is a good thing. Fewer parts with lower replacement cost and higher reliability are now provided in a conectorized environment within the EBK360.

In addition to the motor mounted self-resetting thermal breaker, a single circuit self-resetting overload protector takes the place of old fashioned mechanical push-button circuit breakers. To assure proper activation of the circuit protector and eliminate EMI feedback from the motor an inline electronic noise suppressor smooths out the power delivered to the system. That’s it! The entire control system is held in two external modules with three inline connectors. The new control system is a hi-tech back to basics solution provided by quality software & hardware engineering instead of the continual escalation in a war of components mounted to a circuit board. Doing more with less leads to higher reliability and user satisfaction. We never like circuit boards in power nozzles, that’s why the new electrical system in the EBK360 is our favourite new feature. We understand & agree – a new control system is not exactly a “sexy” design upgrade - but there is always the cool LED headlight array (if your into that sort of thing).

 

The Wessel-Werk EBK360 Powered Nozzle can be found on some european import brands of portable canister vacuum and in the Aspria brand Souveran CVA360 attachment set. Additional models of the Souveran central vacuum attachment set include the CVA360D Deluxe set and the CVA360U Ultimate central vacuum attachment kit.

Meet WallyFlex, Your New Butler.

The WallyFlex is an innovative auxiliary hose for central vacuum systems. Clean efficiently looking. WallyFlex is always there when you need it. Perfect to quickly clean the dryer lint filter, remove mud from up powder from bathroom countertops. Ideal for cleaning any dry mess in the kitchen and pantry.Wally Flex

WallyFlex is simple to install and can easily be added to most existing systems. WallyFlex connects with any universal inlet mounting plate and installs like a regular inlet valve. WallyFlex is an innovative cleaning system that is simple to install & use, high build quality and function & amazingly affordable. WallyFlex was named  VDTA’s 2011 New Product of the Year for it’s clever design and unique operation.

To use a WallyFlex you grab the hose end, pull it to the spot that needs cleaning – up to 13ft (4 meters) & return hose to cradle when finished. Best of all WallyFlex gives you the full performance of your central vacuum power unit with hundreds of times the cleaning power of a hand vacuum and 100% perfect filtration.

The WallyFlex design is ingeniously simple. Starting with installation that does not require special tube or fittings, only a common inlet mounting plate. The WallyFlex valve assembly connects with the mounting plate and the low voltage wires are connected to the switch. Connect the removable stretch hose which twist-locks into place and you are done. WallyFlex lets you easy activate your vacuum system when you grab the hose with a flip out switch. Clean with one hand in one second. WallyFlex extends the convenience of central cleaning into any space easily and affordably. See the video for WallyFlex in action!