If you’re in the market to buy a vacuum cleaner, you have many options. It used to be that the choice you had was classic upright vs. canister vacuum. More and more, though, the decision comes down to Roomba® vs. regular vacuum cleaner.
Here, we’ll explore the reasons for buying a robot vacuum, looking closely at Roomba pros and cons. You may not know it, but your choices affect energy consumption. And as part of your decision, you’ll want to factor in the purchase price and the cost to operate the vacuum over its lifetime.
When considering a Roomba vs. an upright vacuum, it helps to understand how they work and the attractive features robot vacuum cleaners offer you. The most obvious of the benefits of a robot vacuum is that it does the work with no effort from you. If you hate vacuuming, the answer to the question “should I get a robot vacuum?” is easy.
But that isn’t the only consideration. Some robot vacuums use sensors, mapping software and artificial intelligence to actually learn the layout of your home and how to most efficiently clean it. You can preprogram when your robot vacuum cleaner operates, or order it to start cleaning with a voice assistant like Alexa or Google Home that’s part of your home network.
If the choice comes down to Roomba vs. regular vacuum, the layout of your home and the dirt you encounter makes a difference. You get the best benefits from a robot vacuum if you keep your home generally clean. If you have kids, pets and high-traffic areas, a Roomba may not be able to keep up. Robot vacuums have lower suction, so their cleaning power isn’t as strong. They also struggle if you have stairs and too much clutter in your home.
So, can a Roomba replace the vacuum cleaner you’re used to? Possibly. If you’ve already invested in home automation, a robotic vacuum makes more sense: It’s convenient to add a smart device to an already existing home network, and you may be comfortable with a robot vacuum if you’re used to a smart home lifestyle. But there are other Roomba pros and cons to consider, such as robot vacuum energy use.
When comparing a robot vacuum vs. a regular vacuum, energy use matters. The cost adds up over time. The difference in power consumption can vary with the size of your house, the frequency of your vacuuming routine and the efficiency of the vacuum you use. And because conserving energy is important, it pays to consider energy consumption among the pros and cons.
In general, you’ll find a robotic unit to be the most energy efficient vacuum.
Roombas charge most efficiently in their home base. Typical home base charge time is three hours, drawing 28 watts. They draw low power in standby mode to trickle-charge the battery slowly until the next use. Once fully charged, Roomba energy consumption is about 3.6 watts in standby mode. If you need a faster charge, you can use the charger, but most people wait a day or two between vacuuming sessions.
What’s more, when you automate appliances that use the most energy, you can optimize efficiency. That can really help in curbing your robot vacuum’s energy use. But the version and model you have makes a difference. Older robot vacuums could end up wandering and wasting energy.
How much power an upright vacuum uses depends on many factors, including the size of your house, type of flooring, how often you vacuum and, importantly, the wattage your appliance uses. Upright vacuum energy consumption averages about 1,400 watts but ranges between 500 to 3,000 watts. So, in most comparisons of Roomba vs. upright vacuum power usage, the Roomba is more energy efficient.
Features like power-assisted drives, turbo rug attachments, lights and sensors consume more power in upright vacuum cleaners. Keeping moving parts clear of hair and dirt helps any vacuum operate more efficiently, as does frequent replacement of filters and emptying dirt receptacles.
Energy consumption is an important difference when choosing a Roomba vs. an upright vacuum, or any robotic vacuum vs. a regular vacuum. Picking energy-efficient appliances is one of the best ways to save energy. But there are other factors to weigh before making your decision.
Convenience barely scratches the surface of the benefits of a robot vacuum cleaner. Here are more reasons why Roombas so often win the robotic vacuum vs. regular vacuum debate:
Roombas don’t always come out on top when the choice is robotic vacuum vs. regular vacuum. Your home and lifestyle may not be suitable, or the benefits of a robot vacuum may not be worth the costs. The following are some Roomba disadvantages:
The Roomba vs. regular vacuum decision can be difficult with so many choices available today. Should you get a robot vacuum? In the end, the choice you make comes down to your budget, the type of home you have, how often you vacuum and what features you want.
But when considering cost, be sure to factor in the total cost of ownership. Here’s an energy saving tip: Factor in the cost of the energy your vacuum uses over its lifetime, which could easily be 10 years or more. It might make the purchase price seem small by comparison.
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