How It Works


As central vacuum cleaner (also known as built-in or in house vac) is a type of vacuum cleaner appliance, installed into a building as a semi-permanent fixture. Central vacuum systems are designed to remove dirt and debris from homes and buildings, sending dirt particles through tubing installed inside the walls to a collection container in remote utility space. The power unit is a permanent fixture, typically installed in a basement, garage, or storage room, along with the collector canister. Inlets are installed in walls throughout the building that attach to power hoses and other central vacuum accessories to remove dust, particles, and small debris from interior rooms. Most power hoses typically have power switch located on the hose handle.

In the 1930s, the development of small, powerful electric motors increased the popularity and availability of the portable vacuum cleaner, and further diverted consumers from purchasing central cleaners.

By the early 1960s, the innovation of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) thinwall vacuum tubing made the central vacuum systems more affordable in the United States. Previously, more expensive metal tubing was used exclusively, and it may still be used for part or all of installation, if required by building fire code regulations.

In the 1990s, central vacuum systems gained popularity among real estate agents and home remodelers for the value they added to homes at resale. Allergists also played an important role in the growing popularity of central vacuum systems.

Omar Olsen, founder of O.A.M Engineering, was a vacuum expert spending most of his life in experimental research. About the year 1965 he decided to experiment with a Quality built in vacuum cleaning system. Once the concept was established, Omar set about to improve the underpowered early systems. Back then, he came out with a central vacuum unit that was the “Rolls Royce” of the vacuum industry. Not the cheapest but certainly the best dollar for the dollar value.

“We are not trying to compete with mass market merchandise” Omar said. Experience has proven that, the majority of persons investing in their own homes still demand a quality product. We view the central vacuum system as the 5th utility, equally important as the water, gas, electric and internet installation. Air pollution, noise pollution, convenience and sheer ease of operation are simply not just sales motivation terms, these are very real assets that only the owner of the system can fully appreciate. Omar’s central cleaning systems are the way of the future, healthful and physically less demanding, it provides as much as a half less vacuuming time due to complete removal of dust from the home versus redistribution of dust through the old portable units.

Do It Yourself