According to floor care company Beam Industries, central vacuum systems are becoming a standard feature in North American homes.
Approximately 10 percent of new homes built in the U.S. in 2003 were equipped with central vacuum systems, the manufacturer reports. Industry experts say 50 percent or more of new homes could have complete systems or be pre-plumbed for central vacuum systems by 2010, it added.
"Homeowners are becoming increasingly concerned about the indoor air quality of their homes and are looking for products that can make their homes healthier," stated John Coghlan, president of Beam, which makes central vacuum systems. "Using a central vacuum system improves indoor air quality because it takes all captured dust, dirt and allergens completely out of the living area without blowing air into the room that stirs up dust."
Beam reported that in a recent clinical study by the Division of Allergy and Immunology at the University of California at Davis found that allergic rhinitis patients experienced a 46- to 61-percent improvement in their symptoms when they used a Beam Central Vacuum System instead of a conventional vacuum to clean their homes. Improvement as small as 5 percent is considered scientifically significant, the company noted.
"In the past, consumers saw central vacuums as more of a convenience than as a product that would contribute to a healthier home," Mr. Coghlan said. "Since the study, consumers and builders are embracing central vacuums for both their indoor air quality and convenience benefits."
The study results also have prompted the American Lung Association to require central vacuums in its Health House(R) National Demonstration Program sites, according to Beam. In addition, the manufacturer said that some of the National Association of Homebuilders' (NAHB) leading green building organizations now recommend their members include central vacuum systems as standard features. NAHB's Built Green Colorado program in Denver, CO, U.S. and EarthCraft Homes in Atlanta, GA, U.S. award "green" certification points to builders whose homes include central vacuum systems.
Mr. Coghlan noted that acceptance of central vacuum systems in Canada makes him optimistic that the goal of 50-percent new home penetration in the U.S. will be achieved. Approximately 30 percent of all homes in Canada have built-in central vacuum systems, and 90 percent of new homes either have complete systems or are pre-plumbed for central vacuums, Beam reported.
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