The CVAC hose inlet mounted next to or attached with the power unit is often called a “utility inlet”. These inlets are often promoted as an easy option for cleaning in the garage or basement where many vacuum system power units are mounted. Today the utility inlet is promoted as an important feature of central vacuums, but that is not how they started.
The utility inlet was originally devised for maintenance of the vacuum system itself. Many of the first consumer central vacuums used cyclonic separation which is unfortunately quite messy when it comes time for regular emptying of the bin. The separation cone, filter screen and internal shrouds are all places where dirt and dust will accumulate and during maintenance when the bin is removed these soils often fall out of the vacuum.
For some of us a little dirt on the garage floor is not exactly new. Some cyclonic vacuum system owners keep a garbage can with liner sitting just under the vacuum at all times. This will catch most of the debris that might fall out of the vacuum during maintenance of the bin and the filter screen in cyclonic vacuums, and gives you a convenient place to dump the bin when full. If your messy cyclonic central vacuum has a utility inlet you need only hook up your hose to recover escaped debris once your bin is reattached to the vacuum and your filter screen has been cleaned.
Aspria Vacuums offers the more advanced permanent filter system or sealed bag collection system, both of which keep their dust in the bin or bag during regular maintenance and not on the floor. Instead of permanently mounting the utility intake into the front of the vacuum, Aspria includes an inline switched utility inlet that allows you to place the valve where it is best for you. Often our clients find it best to mount the utility inlet near a garage door which allows cleaning of one or two cars in the garage and one in the drive all from the same inlet while keeping your vacuum mounted nearer to the front of the garage out of the way of traffic and away from any weather that may come in from an open garage door.
Aspria GQ and HHQ series also include optional intake mounted utility inlets when used in bagless collection mode that allows installation of the utility inlet directly into the body of the vacuum along (old-school style) with the inline mounting option included with all models of Aspria vacuum. A built-in utility inlet may have been more useful in the older cyclonic separation design than newer permanent filtered or bagged vacuums but we like the idea of giving the client all options and letting the client decide which is best for their home.