A robot vacuum cleaner might sound like the dream technology for the future, but it is possible to get one now to clean your home. However, before you toss out the old vacuum cleaner that you have to operate, you need to know how to choose a robot vacuum cleaner. Not all robot vacuum cleaners on the market have been created the same and you need to be careful. You do not want to spend hundreds on a robot cleaner that will only clean half of your home twice before packing up.
Is A Robot Vacuum Right For You?
Before you start looking at the features your vacuum should have and which ones are the best, you need to determine if a robot vacuum is actually right for you. Most people assume that a vacuum that does all of the work for them will suit their needs, but this is not always the case. There are limitations to these robots that you have to be aware of and take into account when you look at them.
The primary limit of these vacuum cleaners is that many of them are unable to operate on slopes that are more than 15 degrees. If you have cramps in your home, these little cleaners may not be able to navigate them. Additionally, the robot vacuum cleaner will not be able to ascend or descend the stairs which mean you are going to have to carry them to the different levels of your home. While these limitations may seem like a small price to pay for getting out of vacuuming, there are others that could be more serious.
If you have dark or black surfaces in your home, many of these robots will not work. They will not be able to map the environment on these surfaces, and this can lead them to miss spots when cleaning and they could lose the position of the charging base. It could result in your robot cleaner dying in the middle of the floor.
Robot vacuums also have a small bin which means you are going to have to empty them more often than a standard vacuum cleaner. They are also prone to eating wires which means that you need to declutter a bit before you let them out. Shag carpets are also almost impossible for the robots to clean as they currently are.
If these limitations are not a problem for you, then a robot vacuum may be a good choice. There are also many people who benefit from robot vacuum cleaners, particularly people with limited mobility or chronic pain. These robots are also very helpful for people who work long hours and want to have a somewhat clean home to come back to.
The Size Of The Robot
When you look at buying a robot vacuum, you need to consider the size. Most of these cleaners are disk shaped, but the diameter of the disk will vary. The smallest robot vacuum cleaner has a diameter of 9.5 inches while the largest is 14 inches. However, it is important to note that the diameter of the cleaner is not the only size aspect that you have to consider.
The height of the robot is in many cases more important, particularly if you have low furniture. If the robot is too high, you will have to move low furniture out of its path or accept that the area under the furniture will not be cleaned. The lower the robot, the more places it will be able to reach when cleaning.
The lowest height for robot vacuums on the current market is 3.5 inches which will be able to reach under most items of furniture including the bed. However, there are many robot vacuums that have a height of 5 inches which would not be able to fit under certain items of furniture. When it comes to choosing these cleaners, should look at smaller sized ones because they will be able to reach tight spots and clean more of your home. However, you will need to consider that a smaller robot will equal a smaller dust bin.
The Dust Bin
Another factor that you have to look at when choosing a robot vacuum cleaner is the size of the dust bin. It is important to note that all robot vacuum cleaners will have a small dust bin when you compare them to more traditional vacuum cleaners. Additionally, the smaller the size of the robot the smaller the dust bin is going to be.
For most people, a dust bin size of 12 to 14 ounces will be sufficient. If you can find a robot vacuum with a dust bin size of over 14 ounces, this will be well above the average. All of the dust bins for these vacuums will be bagless as this will conserve the energy it uses. Cleaners with bags use more energy as they have to push the dirt into the bag.
The Filtration System
There are a lot of people who do not consider the filtration system that their vacuum cleaner has and this is not something that you should neglect. The filtration of these cleaners has also been a low-priority feature, and this could be a financial matter for the manufacturers. Ideally, you will want to have a robot vacuum which has a HEPA grade filtration system.
The reason why you need to look at the filtration system of the vacuum is the fact that they do not have bags. These robots do not have the space of the bag to expand which means that the filter has to take care of the output air. To ensure that the output air is not full of dust, you need to have a good filtration system.
Most robot vacuums actually have a single layer of filtration. While this works to a certain extent, you should look for one that has something better. More and more robot vacuum cleaners are now including an additional HEPA filter in their packages, so the choice is available.
The Battery Life
One of the most important features of your robot vacuum is the battery life and the overall quality of the battery. The best battery option available at the moment will be a Li-Ion battery. These batteries are known produce enough power for the robot to clean for 120 to 150 minutes continuously. Of course, this time will vary depending on the sensors of the cleaner and the suction motor.
The other common battery option is a Ni-Mh based battery. This will not last for as long but does have the benefit of being cheaper. Of course, when you look at the battery, you also need to consider the charging time. Most of these robots can achieve a full charge in 5 hours, but the best quality vacuums will be able to do this in 3 to 4 hours.
The Suction Power
Suction power is something that you need to look at when choosing any vacuum cleaner. There is no point in having a vacuum cleaner that is unable to pick up any dirt because it has poor suction power. The problem you will find when you look at suction power is that manufacturers will use different measurement specs. Some manufacturers show the number in AW while others will use Pa or CFM.
When it comes to robot vacuum cleaners, you need to look at choosing one that has a brushroll and 400 to 500 Pa. The reason for this is that the brushroll will actually do most of the work by directing the dirt to the air inlet. However, if the unit that you are considering does not have a brushroll, you need to look at more power and 600 to 700 Pa should be your range.
The Brush Type
The type of brush that your robot vacuum has is something you also need to look at. It is recommended that you consider a vacuum with a brush instead of one without a brush. Brushes can make the robot more effective and will help them reach some tight spots.
Brushrolls are great for lifting dirt from the surface of your floor and directing it to the air inlet. Wider brush bars will cover the floor better and they could help when it comes to cleaning carpets. This does not mean that you should ignore robots that have sweeper brushes which are rotating brushes on the edge of the vacuum. These might look like they will not do anything, but they actually direct dirt from the edges of the vacuum body to the air inlet.
The Sensor Technology
There are a lot of people who do not look at the sensor technology in their robot vacuum because they assume that they will not be able to understand the specs. This is something that you should avoid because the sensor technology will play a role in how well the robot is able to navigate your home. Most robot vacuums will have smart sensor technology that allows them to map and then navigate the property,
Basic robot vacuums will have infrared sensors that help them avoid edges and change direction when they bump into something. These cleaners will not map the house and use the map to navigate the property. It is recommended that you look at a cleaner that has the ability to map the property. This will generally be done with laser guided sensors which create a virtual map of your home.
The Noise Of The Vacuum
Noise is a major factor with any vacuum and you need to remember that the bigger the motor in your robot vacuum, the more noise it is going to make. If the vacuum passes 60 DB this is considered to be too noisy. There are a lot of robot vacuums that offer noise levels of under 50 DB and are still able to clean your house properly.
Having a quiet robot vacuum is important because this allows you to focus on other things while the robot cleans. To get a quiet vacuum, you need to look for a smaller motor as well as an isolated motor chamber. Ergonomic suction and filter holes will also help to lower the noise level of your vacuum.
The best robot vacuum will come with a range of accessories when you buy them. Virtual walls are important if you have a home full of corners or if you have any areas that you do not want the vacuum to clean. Extra filters are always a welcome accessory as are additional brushes and a product storing bags.
You should also consider if the robot comes with a remote control. Remote controls allow you to direct the vacuum from the comfort of your seat. The remote will also allow you to schedule when the robot should clean. Some robot vacuums do not have a physical remote control, but do have an app that you can use to control them.
Upgradeable And Repairable
Robot vacuum cleaners are a new technology and you need to be careful with this. It is possible that the cleaner will become obsolete faster than a traditional vacuum or break sooner. You may also have to pay a lot of money to have the robot fixed. This is why you should choose a robot vacuum that comes with a warranty. Most reputable manufacturers and vendors will offer a 2-year warranty on the robot.
There are also several vacuums which can upgrade their firmware which ensures that they become more efficient. If you choose a robot vacuum that has an app, you can also use it as a mobile home surveillance system. Of course, the vacuum will need to have a camera to make it a viable surveillance system.
Before you choose a robot vacuum cleaner, you have to consider many different factors. You need to look at all of the features and determine which is the best. Of course, you will also have to first determine if a robot cleaner is right for you.