Robot vacuum cleaners are rather "young" household appliances, the situation with which has not yet fully stabilized. Can be quite difficult for a user to evaluate than one model differs from the other and to compare the capabilities of various robotic vacuum cleaners.
So we, starting to test the next robot vacuum cleaner, are often mistaken in our initial predictions. Sometimes, when unpacking, the device looks more than worthy but shows low efficiency due to software defects. And another time, a frankly budgetary and cheap vacuum cleaner can work with dignity "by five points" and more than justify the funds invested in it.
So we, starting to test the next robot vacuum cleaner, are often mistaken in our initial predictions. Sometimes, when unpacking, the device looks more than worthy, but shows low efficiency due to software defects. And another time, a frankly budgetary and cheap vacuum cleaner can work with dignity "by five points" and more than justify the funds invested in it.
Let's try to figure out together what you need to pay attention to when choosing a robot vacuum cleaner for an apartment or a country house.
One of the key parameters of a robot vacuum cleaner is its overall dimensions. It is clear that they are directly related to the dimensions of the furniture. For modern robotic vacuum cleaners, the standard height is 8.5-10 centimeters, but if necessary, you can pick up more "squat" models with a height of 8 centimeters or even slightly less.
The general rule here is this: before choosing a robot vacuum cleaner, it does not hurt to inspect the apartment and measure the height of the lowest secluded places where our robot should "enter". If there are none, you can safely ignore this parameter.
Much more interesting are such parameters as the diameter of the vacuum cleaner (if it is round) or the length of its face (if it is square). On the one hand, a more compact device is less likely to "get entangled" among household items and will be able to get closer to corners. On the other hand, a large body will allow you to fit inside a more powerful motor, a larger container for dust, etc. The most common are robots with a diameter of 30 to 35 cm.
As for square robotic vacuum cleaners, their main advantage is that they can precisely "enter" a corner and collect dust there more thoroughly. In an open space, the cleaning efficiency will be the same as that of round models. Thus, the advantage of square models turns out to be rather doubtful: of course, it is nice to see cleanliness in the corners, however, these zones makeup only a small percentage of the total area of the room, and therefore, indicators such as the overall quality of cleaning come out on top when choosing a particular model.
The power with which the robot vacuum cleaner sucks up dust can be determined either indirectly by the power consumed by the device itself (measured in watts), or by the suction power specified in the documentation (as a rule, indicated in Pa).
Our experience shows that even low-power devices can cope with cleaning on ordinary parquet or laminate. But if it is supposed to vacuum carpets, or if there are a lot of fluffy pets in the house, then it makes sense to pay attention to more powerful models.
The fact is that the fit of the vacuum cleaner to the carpet or carpet turns out to be not so tight than to an ordinary flat surface, and therefore, it will have to make more efforts to complete cleaning.
Battery capacity and runtime
The capacity of rechargeable batteries and the duration of the vacuum cleaner's operation without recharging are directly related to things. At the same time, the size of the room directly depends on the duration of the work, which the vacuum cleaner will be able to clean in one pass. Note that the operating time of the device, again, depends on the type of coverage: it will be easier for the vacuum cleaner to move on a flat wooden floor, and more difficult on a carpet. Accordingly, the duration of the work will change somewhat.
On the modern market, you can find devices that can work quite a bit (literally 30-40 minutes), and "advanced" models that can vacuum for two hours or even more.
What are 40 minutes and what area can be removed during this time? In practice, it turns out that a robot vacuum cleaner with such a duration of work will cope, perhaps, with a small studio apartment, but even for a full-fledged one-room apartment, this will not be enough. We also note that the more rooms there are in the apartment, the more our vacuum cleaner will have a chance to "get lost", and therefore - it may take more time to clean it.
We would recommend focusing on the formula "one-room = 30-40 minutes of work" and adding an additional 10 minutes if there is more than one room.
Dry and wet cleaning, the volume of containers for dust and water
Most robotic vacuum cleaners only allow dry cleaning - they sweep debris and dust with rotating brushes, and then suck it into a removable container. The container needs to be emptied regularly (after each start-up of the device).
In most cases, the volume of the container will be sufficient. Small robots with a compact container (0.2-0.25 liters), as a rule, have a short operating time (40-60 minutes), and simply do not have time to collect enough waste to overfill the container.
Well, more hardy devices that can work for a couple of hours are equipped with a 0.5 liter container, which is usually enough. However, if the robot starts up in a heavily polluted room, then it does not hurt to stop it in the middle of cleaning and clear the container of collected debris: this way we will reduce the load on the robot and slightly increase the efficiency of its work.
Some devices have a special indicator for filling the dust container: a vacuum cleaner with this function will warn the owner about the filling of the dust container and that it is time to empty it.
As for devices with a wet cleaning function, they are equipped with an additional container for water (sometimes it is combined with a miniature dust container). Water from such a container gets onto the rag (most often by gravity), as a result of which the robot can not only vacuum the floor but also wipe it. Such treatment, of course, does not replace a full-fledged floor cleaning, but it will get rid of small dust particles and generally increase the overall level of cleanliness in the house. Since the water container is installed in the same compartment as the dust container, it is approximately the same size.
Note that robotic floor polishers work according to a similar principle - in their design, they resemble a robot vacuum cleaner without a dust suction function. The floor polisher with the cloth attached runs on the floor in automatic mode and wipes it. The rag is moistened as needed. It's simple.
Occasionally, there are models in which the robot sprays water on the floor, and then wipes it with a napkin. But even such a regime cannot be called a full-fledged wash. In addition, let's not forget that the napkin (rag) will have to be washed regularly.
Also, speaking about containers for collecting dust, we will also mention fine filters. Sucking in air, the vacuum cleaner passes it through filters that trap dust and debris. The quality of cleaning and the absence of re-pollution directly depends on the cleaning system. In robotic vacuum cleaners, you can find either a coarse filter - an economical option that retains large debris but does not protect against dust emission, or a HEPA filter - a multi-layer dense filter that traps the smallest dust particles.
Today, even frankly budget models are almost always equipped with a HEPA filter, therefore, in our opinion, it is a must when choosing a robot vacuum cleaner. Do not forget, however, that the service life of such a filter is not infinite, and sooner or later it will have to be replaced (even if it can be washed under water).
The dust suction hole on many robot vacuum cleaner models is equipped with a rotating brush, which is designed for cleaning carpets and other fluffy surfaces.
It should be remembered that such a brush will have to be cleaned after each use, as it accumulates a large amount of animal hair and hair. As a rule, a vacuum cleaner without a turbo brush will cope with cleaning dust on smooth surfaces just as well, but long hair and debris on the carpet can be missed.
The vast majority of robot vacuum cleaners can be started or stopped by pressing a button on the device. However, it is good practice to have a remote control or a program that allows you to control the robot from your smartphone via your home Wi-Fi network. The most versatile, of course, are vacuum cleaners that allow you to use both options: both the remote control and the smartphone.
The remote control of the robot vacuum cleaner, as a rule, is a regular IR remote control, with which you can stop or start the execution of a particular program (select the operating mode of the device), send it to the base for recharging, or put it into manual control mode.