The Whole House Cleaner Maid

I was about halfway through an inspection of a beautiful 15-year-old upscale single-family house in McLean when I noticed the maid going about her Enterprise, AL cleaning services routine.

She was using a conventional vacuum cleaner. As an inspector some things make me go “Hummmm.” In this case, it was the fact that I had inspected a whole house vacuum machine in the garage that seemed to be working fine and I had run across a loop of hose stored in a closet.  Yet here was the maid using a separate vacuum cleaner. What gives?

I know a lot about whole house vacuums, having installed one myself when I built my home 30 years ago. I enthusiastically recommend them to everyone, especially people with houses under construction because that’s when it’s easy to install them.

These machines truly make your life easier, and they can work like a charm.  I asked the maid why she wasn’t using the in-wall vacuum cleaner? And she said “We are afraid of it!” She was referring to herself and the “Mrs.” In the four years she had been cleaning for them, she had never used it.

I was curious and being a good Samaritan I got the dusty hose out and plugged it in. Wow – suction! In about 10 , took over and started using it and she loved it! It was much better at getting up the Collie’s hair that was all over everything.

Although these units are terrific, not many people know about them and I don’t run into them very often. I love to plug the name of my unit’s manufacturer,  Nu Tone because they honored their lifetime warranty on my unit when it’s motor went burned out after 16 years! They gave me a new one no questions asked! I think the company was purchased by Broan and I hope that doesn’t change anything about the product or service.

Sometimes I see these machines installed incorrectly with the unit’s exhaust back into the house, or with clogged lines and no convenient clean-out installed.  A cleanout is important as I learned when my young son tried to clean up his room by vacuuming up all his toys. Weebles, remember them? They don’t vacuum well.

Sometimes I see burned out motors or worn out hoses.  But most often, they are not used because when the house changed hands the sellers didn’t tell the buyers what a great thing they are getting with the in-wall vac.

Home inspections can be fun and educational.  You never know what you will find.