Unlike regular laundry and dishes, your home requires deeper cleaning, like sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming. By the end of it all, we sometimes feel like there’s little time left over to do anything else.
So, what’s the solution? An automatic robot vacuum of course! This little device will work day and night to help you get back a significant amount of your time.
It’s inarguable that robot vacuums have revolutionized how people clean their homes. Their sleek designs and advanced technology has seen many homeowners flocking to the stores just to purchase them.
A robot vacuum cleaner stands out as a fantastic tool that can reduce your chore time as it automatically cleans up dust that darken the carpets, and debris that scratch the hardwood floors.
Due to the increasing popularity of these automated gadgets, if you’ve been in the market lately, then you might have noticed the overwhelming increase in the number of different models available. But fret not, because in this article, you are going to learn the key features that make a great robot vacuum, and how to pick the right features and model to suit your needs and preference best.
How They Work – A General Overview
Most robotic vacuums come integrated with two drive wheels along with non-drive wheels.
They have sensors are incorporated into them to help detect cues like fall-off points, obstacles, and anything else that might impede it’s movement.
Some of them even have motors that generates suction, while the brushes sweep the dirt and debris towards the unit’s air inlet.
This is the general blueprint, but as you will see later on, there are key features that separate one model from another.
Should You Even Buy a Robot Vacuum?
Convenience and time are among the key reasons why robot vacuum cleaners have become so popular among households. A robot vacuum is a fantastic investment, especially if you find yourself busy a lot, or spending more time on cleaning tasks than you would prefer.
Automatic vs. Traditional Vacuums
Nowadays, there are a number of competing companies that are making these time-saving robot vacuums, and even more that are currently moving into the market.
A lot of excitement is being generated because of the great strides in design and technology behind these nifty gadgets. And, it’s this same technological advancement that’s allowing these modern day robot vacuums to compete against traditional vacuums in terms of efficiency, and dominate when it comes to pure convenience.
Disadvantages of Robot Vacuums
- Small Dirt Capacity: Robot vacuum cleaners have small dirt containers. This is not a problem for regular maintenance, but if you have a big mess that needs to be cleaned up right away, a good traditional vacuum is the way to go.
- Not Ideal for Stairs: You’ll need a supplementary vacuum if you’ve got a lot of stairs at home. Robot vacuums aren’t designed to maneuver through awkward angles or crawl up stairs.
- Not Ideal for Darker Floors: Some units have issues operating properly on darker surfaces.
The Different Types of Robotic Cleaners
There are 3 main types of robotic cleaning machines that you will probably come across during your search:
Each is suited to a different purpose. And there are some models that are actually a combination of 2 or more types.
Vacuuming and sweeping combinations are the most popular. Their increased performance is always trending up. They can even detect dirty areas or spots on the floor that require more focused attention and cleaning.
Always look at the specifications of the model you’re after, so you know exactly which type of cleaner you’re getting. A unit with multiple capabilities will usually perform a lot better, but will cost you a lot more too.
Making Your Choice
Note that each brand and model will offer different features that help it to excel in particular areas, while falling short in others. Which one you should choose for your home will depend on a number of factors that are unique to you and your current living situation.
Here are some of the main factors to take into consideration before buying:
What kind of floor do you intend to clean? Is it carpeted or covered with hardwood? Robot vacuums work best on flat surfaces where it can build a cleaning pattern and ensure that there isn’t too much wear in any one area.
Running a robot vacuum on a shag carpet can jam its head, or wear out the unit. Always read the recommended guidelines first on the model you are looking to buy. Make sure that the floor type you will be using it on is compatible with the vacuum in question.
Robot vacuums are portable cleaning machines, and as such, they carry a battery. This allows them to move around freely without having to worry about tripping over their own wires, or causing hazardous situations with tangled wires. The downside of this is that their run-time is not forever.
This is where charging stations come into play.
Depending on the layout of your home, you want to find a charging station that can integrate well. Preferably, it should be kept somewhere cool, and readily accessible. If the vacuum comes with wall accessories, you want to make sure that it does not block the path to the charging station.
Some vacuums will automatically return to their charging docks when the battery is low, while others will need a bit of manual intervention. Choose one that works best with your situation.
Most robot vacuum cleaners’ have run-times that range from 30-100 minutes. Advanced modes will last up to 100 minutes on a single charge. Higher run-times can also be reasonably expected in the near future as technologies advance.
Today, many of the available models can automatically attach themselves to the charging stations and start recharging the battery all on its own without any input from the user. And after it’s fully charged, it will resume it’s regular duty.
It’s also a wise to check out battery replacement options prior to making your purchase. You’ll come across models that only work with expensive batteries, and others that might be difficult to replace in the future without the help of a service technician. These are things you want to watch out for and be aware of before you end up buying it.
Some robot vacuums come integrated with battery-saving modes. For instance, some brands have a ‘vacation’ mode that would require you to remove the battery when you’re not using the unit. Some can be programmed to return to their charging station or clean less frequently.
With the first generation of robot vacuums, you only had to place them down on your floor and they would roam around without any real direction. Then came the remote control units, which granted the user more control over them.
Today, you can operate most robot vacuums using just your smartphone or tablet. This means you can come home to a freshly cleaned home, all thanks to the units’ programming capabilities. In fact, you can simply automate your robot vacuum through your calendar!
Tracks or Wheels?
Most robot vacuums operate with castors or wheels. But, wheels can be a disadvantage in certain situations, for example, when traveling from wood to carpet to ceramic. This is where a track becomes more ideal.
Some models have an integrated camera too, which enables the robot to survey an area. They’re then able to design a logical cleaning pattern and maneuver around any obstacles that they come across.
A larger motor will typically produce more noise than a smaller one. Most robot vacuums can go under 50 dB while still delivering excellent performance.
Spend a bit of time and figure out just how important having a quiet unit is for you.
Will you be at home most of the time while it’s cleaning?
Do you work on many tasks at home that require you to focus?
Are you living with pets that are easily startled?
Look for a unit that comeswith a generous set of accessories. If you’ve got a home full of crevices and corners, then you’ll want to consider getting one with virtual walls.
Other accessories that you might appreciate include extra side brushes, batteries for the remote control, remote controls, product storage bags, and cleaning brushes. Extra filters is also a welcomed addition.
A robot vacuum won’t replace your upright, but it’s a excellent little helper to take the edge off your regular cleaning routine. It stands out as a simple, automatic, and fully hands-free cleaning option.
Since it’s still a bit of new technology, it will probably cost you a bit more than your traditional cleaner. So it’s up to you to determine whether or not a robot vacuum’s convenience is worth that extra cost. Hopefully this guide has helped you out in some way, to arrive at a sound decision.