Author Topic: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?  (Read 15424 times)

Case

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robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« on: March 26, 2017, 01:53:04 PM »
My wife and I work full time, we DIY most things, have not hired out much yet.
We have a cat; the hair gets everywhere; it drives my wife absolutely insane.  In addition, I have some allergies, and without fully nailing it down, this may contribute to them.

We vacuum / clean every 1-2 weeks... seems we spend a large chunk of our limited free time there.  By the next day after cleaning, the cat's 'tumbleweeds' have returned.  I'm thinking maybe one of these devices would make my wife feel less like she has to be constantly cleaning.

We are well on our way to FIRE and have some cash to spare.  I'm wondering if a roomba-like-thing is a good idea.  We could set it to clean every couple of days, and presumably the cat hairs would be kept under control.  Additional bonus is maybe it can help reach places that are hard to get with a conventional vacuum such as under beds, sofas... where large balls of fir/hair accumulate.

Comments?  Personal experiences?
Which device is the the most mustachian? (not counting the human roomba - e.g. me).

dilinger

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2017, 02:05:27 PM »
Worth it - yes.  Especially if you're at work, you can schedule a roomba to run automatically when you're gone

Most mustachian - an older craigslist roomba. Roombas are very hackable; you can take them apart down with just a screwdriver, right down to individual components to repair or clean them. That also means you can buy an older roomba and repair it. I own two, one from 2010 and another newer one.  The 2010 one has gotten a new battery, a new vaccum compartment, and new brushes.. Still cleans like new. The main thing I dislike about roombas is that they don't do corners very well. I think some of the other robots have better designs for corners.

EDIT: looking at other responses - we have the pet series Roombas because we have a long-hair cat. We also have a kid. The difference between having a kid and not having one with a Roomba is that instead of being able to automatically schedule cleanings, we have to clean up toys before manually running the Roomba.  It's still more convenient than vacuuming 900 sf for us.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2017, 07:03:36 PM by dilinger »

sol

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2017, 02:10:19 PM »
I've had a variety of robot vacuums over the past 9 years.  I am unlikely to buy another one until my kids move out.

They worked fine for me, when I was a single man living in a small apartment, where I could keep the place relatively clean.  But if your home typically has stuff on the floor (shoes, laundry, tissues, dog toys, power cords, etc) like virtually everyone in the world who has children or lives with roomates or pets, then the robot vac will cause more problems than it solves.

Even under ideal circumstances, it needs to be emptied out after every run, and manually cleaned at least every two or three runs.  They are noisy enough that I never wanted it running while I was home, so my usual plan was to empty the bin and clean the brushes, pick up the floor, and then start it before I left for work in the morning.  It was great to come home to clean floors.  It did not really save me any time over just vacuuming manually.  And the battery died after a few years.  Really great upright vacuums can be had for less than half the price of a roomba, and they will clean better and last longer.

I think that if you really want clean floors, the better idea is to buy an aesthetically pleasing vacuum that you don't mind looking at, and then leave it out, plugged in and ready to go, in some out-of-the-way corner (like where you would otherwise have your robot vac charging).  If you just reduce the amount of activation energy required to clean, by having it handy and ready to go at all times, it becomes much easier to convince yourself to spend 90 seconds vacuuming every day or two.  That's still less work than maintaining a robot vacuum, it takes up the same amount of space in your house, it will cost you less money, and you can more easily work around that random pair of socks that someone left in the way.

My verdict on robot vacuums:  not worth it for most people.  Sorry.  They're fun toys, if you like robots, but they will not save you time or money on vacuuming.

Case

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2017, 02:20:29 PM »
I've had a variety of robot vacuums over the past 9 years.  I am unlikely to buy another one until my kids move out.

They worked fine for me, when I was a single man living in a small apartment, where I could keep the place relatively clean.  But if your home typically has stuff on the floor (shoes, laundry, tissues, dog toys, power cords, etc) like virtually everyone in the world who has children or lives with roomates or pets, then the robot vac will cause more problems than it solves.

Even under ideal circumstances, it needs to be emptied out after every run, and manually cleaned at least every two or three runs.  They are noisy enough that I never wanted it running while I was home, so my usual plan was to empty the bin and clean the brushes, pick up the floor, and then start it before I left for work in the morning.  It was great to come home to clean floors.  It did not really save me any time over just vacuuming manually.  And the battery died after a few years.  Really great upright vacuums can be had for less than half the price of a roomba, and they will clean better and last longer.

I think that if you really want clean floors, the better idea is to buy an aesthetically pleasing vacuum that you don't mind looking at, and then leave it out, plugged in and ready to go, in some out-of-the-way corner (like where you would otherwise have your robot vac charging).  If you just reduce the amount of activation energy required to clean, by having it handy and ready to go at all times, it becomes much easier to convince yourself to spend 90 seconds vacuuming every day or two.  That's still less work than maintaining a robot vacuum, it takes up the same amount of space in your house, it will cost you less money, and you can more easily work around that random pair of socks that someone left in the way.

My verdict on robot vacuums:  not worth it for most people.  Sorry.  They're fun toys, if you like robots, but they will not save you time or money on vacuuming.

We're not too bad, but do have some stuff on the floors.  We could probably become more organized to accommodate the device (actually my wife would probably be happier if I was more organized and left less shit on the floor).

We do sometimes leave a vacuum out, and it's usually nearby, but we don't vacuum much on weekdays and I doubt we will.  The problem is that the cat is gradually depositing hairs all over the house, and maybe this would help us stay on top of that my increasing the cleaning frequency.  However, in the end I'm only interested in something that saves me a lot of time cleaning, and it seems you are saying that these don't actually do that?  Why would anyone buy them in that case?  The whole idea is to have the machine do the work for you.

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2017, 02:57:08 PM »
Worth it if you can get a good sale. We have 2 cats and darkish hardwood floors so shortly after vacuuming, we'll start to see white hairs. The Roomba helps us vacuum more times per week and, the big plus is that it gets under most furniture where a lot of hair tends to hide. I will second all the issues with anything on the floor causing trouble (cords, clothes, etc...).


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sol

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2017, 03:05:15 PM »
in the end I'm only interested in something that saves me a lot of time cleaning, and it seems you are saying that these don't actually do that?  Why would anyone buy them in that case?  The whole idea is to have the machine do the work for you.

They save you a lot of time for the first week, until you have to start cleaning them.

Especially if you have pets or (even worse) long-haired humans, the bearings at each end of every rotor will eventually get wrapped with hair, and then dislodge and fail.  The front caster wheel will get packed with hair up behind it.  The sensor ports will clog.  The air filter will clog.  The battery compartment will get packed with hair. 

These things are fine for light vacuuming in hairless environments, as long as you empty the bin and clean the filter regularly and then take a can of air to blow out all the crevices every month or so.  If you have hair, you'll be taking apart the brush assembly every week to clean the bearings, which will have the longer hairs wrapped around the axle.  If you neglect it for any amount of time, it will stop working.  Eventually it will stop working anyway, as the battery reaches its cycle limit and fails to hold a charge anymore. 

Bearings can be cleaned and batteries can be replaced, it's just a huge (and expensive) hassle compared to buying a decent upright which only requires a 30 second bag change every three months, and that you literally never have to think about otherwise.

Cannot Wait!

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2017, 03:15:27 PM »
PreMMM, I bought one.  Found myself watching it (ie could have been doing the actual vacuuming myself), then repositioning it when it got stuck.  Found, as the last poster did, that if you actually, gasp, have hair, it's pretty useless.
Returned it.

Freckles

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2017, 03:22:28 PM »
Jooniperberries has a robot vacuum that she *loves.* She has one kid and no pets. And is pretty much FI, so that  might make a difference as well.

I wonder if the ones that are supposed to be good at dealing with pet hair specifically are worth it?

Case

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2017, 07:00:16 PM »
PreMMM, I bought one.  Found myself watching it (ie could have been doing the actual vacuuming myself), then repositioning it when it got stuck.  Found, as the last poster did, that if you actually, gasp, have hair, it's pretty useless.
Returned it.

Sounds like a few votes that the technology hasn't been worked out to full practicality yet; requires too much user intervention (get's stuck; get's clogged).... Surprised these problems haven't' been solved...

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2017, 08:02:18 PM »
My house is cleaner because we own a Roomba and it runs every day.

maizeman

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2017, 08:16:22 PM »
I have a Neato (different brand) and I think it works substantially better in terms of both mapping out rooms and having a higher power vacuum. I have it run every day (because why not if it's automated?) and only need to empty the bin about twice a week (it beeps to let me know when it's filled up). Haven't even owned a backup manual vacuum the last two places I've lived.

I explain it not as buying back the time I would otherwise spend vacuuming, but buying a much cleaner house, because I really wouldn't vacuum often at all before I got the robot.

Fair disclosure: I live alone, have no pets, and don't have long hair so cannot speak to how it'd interact with children or excessive amounts of hair.

Cannot Wait!

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2017, 08:30:15 PM »
I have it run every day (because why not if it's automated?)

Did you forget you are posting on MMM?
There is no need to vacuum everyday, especially without kids or pets!

maizeman

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2017, 08:40:00 PM »
Well let's work out the marginal cost of running the vacuum every day if I'm going to own it anyway:

The battery on the neato stores 3500 milliamp hours at 14.4 volts, which works out to 50.4 watt hours.
If we figure a reasonable frequency of vacuuming is 1/week, that means I'm going through something less than a full battery back 6 times a week as a luxury.
That's 300 watt hours or 0.3 kilowatt hours.
The cost of electricity where I live is about 9 cents per kilowatt hour.
So the cost per year of me deciding to running the vacuum every day instead of once a week is ($0.09*.3)*52 = $1.40/year.

But of course as MMM teaches, that means I need to save up 25x that much to support the expense in perpetuity. $1.40 * 25 = $35.10....

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2017, 09:45:08 PM »
Jooniperberries has a robot vacuum that she *loves.* She has one kid and no pets.

100% true!
Roomba Petseries 595.
3 years? 4 years?
Two different houses, each ~450 sq feet.
Mix of lino, fake wood, low-pile carpet, plush carpet, tile, area rug.
Minimalist furniture, rarely any floor clutter.

We run it in the main living area 2-3x per week, and in the bedrooms as needed.
Empty once a week-ish.
Maintenance (clearing its tracks of string and stuff) maybe every six months, which I enjoy and find very meditative.

LOVE LOVE LOVE.

I bought new from Costco (eternally returnable), and would only recommend a good quality one such as this one.

sol

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2017, 09:51:29 PM »
So the cost per year of me deciding to running the vacuum every day instead of once a week is ($0.09*.3)*52 = $1.40/year.

Sure, if the cost of electricity was the cost-controlling issue here.  Longevity and replacement parts of your $500 robot are going to far outweigh the cost of power, though.

I figure a good robot vac has probably got 500 cycles in it, if you take care of the battery and clean it regularly.  So the cost of the robot per use is higher (about $1) than the cost of the power per use (not even a penny).  If you vacuumed every other day instead of daily, the robot should last you twice as long and you're not really sacrificing any significant amount of cleanliness by going 48 hours without vacuuming.

But whatever works for you, man.  I'm not here to tell you how to run your life.

I've had three of these things and they were all fun to play with.  But let's be honest, running a regular vacuum isn't exactly a backbreaking chore.  You can vacuum a room in mere minutes with a standard upright, that costs less than half as much and will last for decades, and get the floors cleaner to boot.  The problem here isn't that robot vacuums aren't good enough yet, it's that most people are too lazy to do even easy housework chores and are constantly looking for ways to blow money on consumer electronics to allow themselves to be even lazier.

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2017, 10:00:43 PM »
^ I'm some sort of extreme opposite of lazy. For me, it's a sensory thing (autism). I get very squicked out if stuff is touching the soles of my feet, including through socks, so I was vacuuming a lot to keep the floors clear. I also do all my work on the floor, and a clear space is nice for my professional papers, not to mention hands and slacks, too. But the sound of a vacuum drives me batty, and to be as thorough as my soles/hands/papers/slacks wanted took more than a few minutes.

With Roomba, I turn it on then go outside for a silent walk in the fresh air or go into another room and shut the door. No sound, wildly thorough, I step into a shiny room. When my landlord saw what it was doing to his yucky carpets, he ran out and got one for himself.

I don't know why Roombas get in trouble when most of us are using computers, washing machines, and bikes. #Roombalove!

cchrissyy

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2017, 10:15:35 PM »
I'm a busy single mom and I like my house *very* clean and I truly love my roomba. It runs while I'm out of the house every day and makes it so I don't see dust, crumbs, or hair. My current one is 3 years old and going strong, I had another one before that for several years. I'm happy every day for it.

I would agree it's loud enough that I don't want it running while I'm here. but since it goes on a schedule, that's a problem I can easily avoid. My current house is 2 stories and I simply rotate where I leave it so both levels get done a few times a week.

Sydneystache

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2017, 11:30:23 PM »
Bought an Aldi roomba knock off and it works well. If it breaks down I will buy a nicer cleaner - perhaps wait for a cheaper Dyson. Bought a genuine roomba for MIL for Xmas and she's happy with it - she has pets so it's great for her floors. Also a great talking point. We call ours "Hal" (groan).

maizeman

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2017, 11:39:36 PM »
Longevity and replacement parts of your $500 robot are going to far outweigh the cost of power, though.

I figure a good robot vac has probably got 500 cycles in it, if you take care of the battery and clean it regularly.  So the cost of the robot per use is higher (about $1) than the cost of the power per use (not even a penny).  If you vacuumed every other day instead of daily, the robot should last you twice as long and you're not really sacrificing any significant amount of cleanliness by going 48 hours without vacuuming.

For what it's worth, my particular model was $350, and is still runs like it did when I bought it after 4.5 years (so 1,640 cycles give or take), although I did have to replace the battery pack for the first time last year ($45).

So if it died tomorrow depreciation would have been about $0.24/day vs $0.03/day for electricity. If it makes it to a decade I expect it'd need at least two more battery replacements, which would work out to $0.13/day for depreciation. Either way, significantly more than electricity, but significantly less than the estimate based on your own experience with roombas.

Heroes821

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2017, 08:35:17 AM »
I have not tried the vacuum robot yet because we have mostly wood or tile floors, but we got a sweeper one that does wet or dry mopping.  It's amazing for the pet hair, I had an amazon sale and bought it for around $100.  Now it doesn't find it's home to charge like a Roomba, but I like the mopping aspect.  Even if the floor is crazy dirty and the pad gets full it will end up leaving a big pile which is much easier for me to pick up, probably not the absolute best in automation, but even the most mustacian people I know in person have a Roomba.  If you have two working adults in your house you don't always have time to clean and it helps out a ton.

SKL-HOU

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #20 on: March 27, 2017, 10:01:53 AM »
I have a Neato (different brand) and I think it works substantially better in terms of both mapping out rooms and having a higher power vacuum. I have it run every day (because why not if it's automated?) and only need to empty the bin about twice a week (it beeps to let me know when it's filled up). Haven't even owned a backup manual vacuum the last two places I've lived.

I explain it not as buying back the time I would otherwise spend vacuuming, but buying a much cleaner house, because I really wouldn't vacuum often at all before I got the robot.

Fair disclosure: I live alone, have no pets, and don't have long hair so cannot speak to how it'd interact with children or excessive amounts of hair.

I have Neato as well. I have 2 large dogs that shed crazy and a cat! I run this everyday. It has helped a lot! Of course with 3 pets it gets filled up quickly. It keeps stopping with the "i cannot see, dust me" message every so often. Overall, it has been a great help!

691175002

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #21 on: March 27, 2017, 10:26:27 AM »
I am pretty much the perfect situation for a roomba.  Single male in a 700sqft apartment - I don't leave things on the floor, and all my cords are tucked away or are in conduit.

It has been amazing.  Its worth more than the time saved - floors tend to stay in this sort of purgatory where they aren't quite clean, but not quite dirty enough to be worth cleaning either.  With the roomba running regularly that doesn't happen anymore.

I empty the bin every two or three runs and only do a through cleaning every 3-6 months.  There are no pets and not too much hair so it has never gotten tangled.


I can see how the roomba would fail in more demanding situations, but its perfect for me.  I think pets are too challenging, if you've seen the video of a roomba dragging a pets mess across several rooms you will think twice.

WSUCoug1994

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #22 on: March 27, 2017, 11:24:36 AM »
Our Roomba situation - 2 adults  and a one year old - both adults are highly organized and so there is little clutter.  We have primarily hardwood floors with some large area rugs. 

We love it - once you get your cords in order it rarely gets stuck (sometimes it will get high centered on a corner of a rug).  We change the bin after every cycle (takes maybe 30 seconds).  We do move things like our bar stools out of the way because it just cleans better.

The level of cleanliness of our floors has gone through the roof - it wasn't bad before but like others said you didn't realize what you couldn't see.  We are only 12 months in and we haven't had any "mechanical" problems with our 960.  We went with the 960 model - more expensive but navigates from room to room.


Spork

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #23 on: March 27, 2017, 11:32:36 AM »
We had one.  I don't remember the exact model, but it was a Roomba designed for pets.

In our case: it scratched the floor terribly.  We have very sandy soil, so sand gets tracked in by both us and pets.  Every time the Roomba hit an obstacle, it does some little spin and starts again.  The combination of the sand and the front wheel would cause a deep circular scratch.  Run it 4-5 times and those scratches were everywhere.  We went through several forums and talked to Roomba customer service.  They had us do a few things, including replacing the front wheel.  In the end, it never stopped scratching and we returned it. 

prognastat

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #24 on: March 27, 2017, 11:33:40 AM »
Another +1 for Neato.

Has worked great for us, our last one lasted 4+ years and only needed 1 battery replacement and working just as well as it was when we first got it. The only reason it died happens to be that our washer flooded our house while the Neato was running, if it weren't for that I have no reason to see why it wouldn't have run for many more years only needing a new battery every 3 or so years if running it 5-7 times a week.

We have many animals that shed lots of hair and it has been great. If I don't vacuum every other day dust balls start forming around my house and I am not going to vacuum that frequently by hand. In the end it saves me time and leaves the house cleaner than it would be if I were to be responsible for vacuuming.

letired

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #25 on: March 27, 2017, 11:55:57 AM »
My roommate has a Roomba-brand one, some fancy model, and I really like it for its ability to get under furniture, which I don't/wouldn't do when vacuuming on my own, and the ability to hit start and walk out of the house.  The long hair thing is a bit of an issue, I am strongly leaning on purchasing one for myself when they move out, but I'd do some research first on what kind to get.

Freckles

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #26 on: March 27, 2017, 02:00:27 PM »
I have not tried the vacuum robot yet because we have mostly wood or tile floors, but we got a sweeper one that does wet or dry mopping.  It's amazing for the pet hair, I had an amazon sale and bought it for around $100.  Now it doesn't find it's home to charge like a Roomba, but I like the mopping aspect.  Even if the floor is crazy dirty and the pad gets full it will end up leaving a big pile which is much easier for me to pick up, probably not the absolute best in automation, but even the most mustacian people I know in person have a Roomba.  If you have two working adults in your house you don't always have time to clean and it helps out a ton.

I have laminate floor I want help keeping up with, more than carpet. Can you tell me which one you have? I was thinking of this one: https://store.irobot.com/default/floor-mopping-braava-robot-mop-irobot-braava-jet/B240020.html

Retire-Canada

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #27 on: March 27, 2017, 02:19:37 PM »
Comments?  Personal experiences?
Which device is the the most mustachian? (not counting the human roomba - e.g. me).

Never used a robot vacuum, but I have a cat and stupid allergies to everything including said cat. I bought a nice vacuum 17yrs ago with a HEPA filter. It's powerful so it cleans well and gets rid of most of the allergens on the floor. People are not allergic to cat hair...it's their dander...dust essentially that sets people off. So a strong vacuum with a fine particulate filter is what you want.

I think some of the robot vacuums can be purchased with HEPA filters.


dcheesi

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #28 on: March 27, 2017, 02:47:11 PM »
I'm both lazy and a techy. Pulling out a vacuum to do the floors holds zero appeal for me, whereas the prospect of setting off a gadget to run around for me is highly attractive. Even if I end up spending as much time maintaining the darn thing as I would have vacuuming myself, the odds of the task getting done are much higher with the Roomba than without.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2017, 10:29:40 AM by dcheesi »

Joel

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #29 on: March 27, 2017, 03:16:52 PM »
My wife's dad bought us one for Christmas. It definitely keeps the floor much cleaner than we ever did. My wife has really thick hair that gets knotted in the ends of the rubber rollers. We usually clean them out every single day when we empty it out.

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #30 on: March 27, 2017, 06:32:16 PM »
^ Mine is PetSeries595 and has worked on all my floor-types so far:
low-pile carpet
plush carpet
tile
lino
fake wood (why can't I remember the real name for that stuff???)
etc

Retire-Canada

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #31 on: March 27, 2017, 07:10:38 PM »
fake wood (why can't I remember the real name for that stuff???)

Laminate flooring.

dilinger

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #32 on: March 27, 2017, 11:20:18 PM »
Or engineered hardwood.

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #33 on: March 27, 2017, 11:29:55 PM »
Laminate! That's what I had in the last place, yep!

Imustacheyouaquestion

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #34 on: March 28, 2017, 11:46:27 AM »
I have an older series Roomba with the pet Aerovac filter. Most Mustachian way to purchase is refurbished or an older used one off Craigslist. Lots of people junk them once the battery dies and it's an easy replacement.

I absolutely LOVE it. I think people who don't like them expect them to be fully autonomous (no maintenance, infinite battery, will vacuuum your whole house in one shot) or expect them to do as good a job as a human paying attention. For me, the bottom line is that I can set it up and have it running while I'm doing other tasks like dishes or laundry, so it cuts down the total time I spend cleaning. And my house is vacuumed far more frequently now, which is helpful because I have a dust allergy. I used to move couches to vacuum under them maybe twice a year, but now it gets done every week.

I don't run it automatically because I always need to pick stuff up or move furniture. Also, it works better when confined to small spaces, which you need to set up the barriers to block off manually. That said, picking up junk off the floor is not an issue for me since the goal is cleaning up! Initial set up, including wiping dust off any surfaces, takes 2-5 minutes and then I run the Roomba until it's full or quits.

Frequent emptying is a thing. It's a tiny chamber, if you're working room by room just dump it after every room. You have to clean the brushes out frequently...but I also had the same issue with a traditional vacuum cleaner.

redbird

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #35 on: March 28, 2017, 11:53:21 AM »
I like the idea of robot vacuums, but I have super long hair. I have always wondered if that would be a problem for robot vacuums. They're still expensive enough that I haven't wanted to try.

It'd be nice to have a robot vacuum though. I have a parrot. Bird dander makes things dusty really fast. It would be nice to have things vacuumed more often than I do it.

Case

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #36 on: March 28, 2017, 07:48:38 PM »
Most Mustachian - can't really comment on that portion

We have a short haired dog, a short haired cat and all children are over 13.  Furthermore, the vacuum runs across a roughly 1400sq ft area of tile and laminate flooring.

We purchased the Roomba 870 almost 2 years ago for around $400 (with tax).  This was done with a combination of Bed Bath & Beyond coupon combined with timing the sales ad.

We purchased this particular model because:
1.  No brushes, those things get wrapped up with hair.  The rubber rollers on this thing never gets hair wrapped up in it, only a little at the end bearings that needs to be cleared maybe once every 3 months.
2.  Bigger bin than the previous versions of Roomba.  We know someone with the Costco Roomba (650???) and the tiny bin would get full after just a small area of the house had been cleaned.
3.  We didn't care about any of the features on the "fancier" model that was available at the time.

Our experiences:
-We run this thing every single day.  The bin still gets full every time we run it even though it runs on a daily basis (before Roomba, we vacuumed maybe once a week or once every two weeks - can't believe how much filth was building up just on the floors).
-The original battery died after about 16-17 months of daily operation, we purchased a replacement lithium battery for I believe about $70.  I'm hoping that it lasts more than 24 months.
-We clean the bin and filter everyday, but that is very little work compared to actually vacuuming.  The sensors need a wipe down maybe once a month tops and the contacts on the battery base had acquired some type of build up on it once that required a good scrubbing.
-Our cat likes to turn the thing on, that can be annoying.
-We work from home, the noise isn't terrible but if I have a meeting scheduled I do turn it off (we prefer to just let it run during the middle of the day instead of at night while we sleep).
-Cleaner pattern is very random.  Newer models potentially have mapping capabilities to more efficiently clean your house, probably a nice to have feature if you work from home and want it to complete its cycle faster.

Thanks for the very detailed info on model selection.

MsPeacock

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #37 on: March 29, 2017, 07:18:23 PM »
Because this an awesome story about a roomba:

http://www.scarymommy.com/roomba-meets-pile-of-poop-jesse-newton/





I had one for several years. It broken two or three times, then the battery ran down and needed to be replaced (would not hold a charge). I find it easier to have s good vacuum and run it often. 

Silkspin

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #38 on: March 29, 2017, 08:06:25 PM »
A co-worker told me that she bought a duster one - a lot less expensive than the vacuum ones. She bought it for cat hair and said it works well. But, the cloths are disposable, and although also not expensive, an ongoing cost. Maybe one could hack cloths from a reusable dusting cloth that you wash and replace.

Spork

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #39 on: March 30, 2017, 08:48:20 AM »
Because this an awesome story about a roomba:

http://www.scarymommy.com/roomba-meets-pile-of-poop-jesse-newton/


Awesome story.  It reminds me of a dog I had with doggie-alzheimers that would pretty much do this on his own.

pk_aeryn

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #40 on: April 01, 2017, 02:42:24 PM »
I have a Neato and a cat.  I vacuum much more regularly owning a robot vacuum, but note that it's risky to allow it to run on a schedule if your cat throws up hairballs and randomly as mine does.  So I think it's somewhat more useful for non-pet owners.  That being said I would probably buy another when mine dies as it does make vacuuming much easier as a whole.

MrSal

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #41 on: April 01, 2017, 10:41:04 PM »
I have a Neato ... price tag 600 dollars.

Got it new for 220 dollars out of pocket.

Great mapping... never got stuck anywhere. I have it run 3x a week and the bin is always packed with dog hair! We have 2 dogs ... The thing is amazing The 200 dollars were worth it because both my wife and I would vaccuum 2x a week or so and now only once every 2 weeks or so ...

Rural

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #42 on: April 02, 2017, 05:18:30 AM »
I have a pet series Roomba and a house we built for aging in place, so all one floor. It does 2/3 of the house at once, twice a week while I'm at work. I don't let it in with the Great Danes unsupervised because I'm afraid someone might stomp it, especially if startled (plus there's that poo video). I don't manually block it; it came with a "virtual wall" that works perfectly.


I don't have trouble with the bin filling over ~1200 square feet, and i don't do much policing. Power cords don't bother it, though occasionally cat toys will get it stuck. Then I just find it, unstick it, and put it in the vicinity of the charger to dock. I figure in those cases I've gotten a half or better cleaning job done whole I wasn't even here.


Husband and I both have long hair so I clean off the rollers every couple of weeks. I try to remember to dump out the bin every time it runs, but I average every two times. It will quit and go back to its charger if it gets full, so not the end of the world.

ETA I also have an old sweeper/mopper - its battery died after about four years and I waited forever to replace it, but $30 for an eBay battery got it running again about a year ago. It only mops now, but it's a real boon with my back injury.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2017, 05:22:45 AM by Rural »

GreenSheep

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #43 on: April 02, 2017, 07:59:57 AM »
We have a Roomba that was a gift. We use it sometimes, but we will not be buying another one when this one dies. As noted above, it might work great in a home with no long hair and no obstacles, but in our house, with one long-haired human, one short-haired human, and one medium-haired dog, it takes more time/effort to remove the hair from the underside of the Roomba than it would to just vacuum by hand. Not to mention mucking around in all that dust and hair and general grossness with my fingers is much more unpleasant than just vacuuming the floor myself. And with so much dust flying around, it's an outside job, which is only pleasant at certain times of the year.

I've also found that depending on the room and the furniture, the Roomba can require babysitting, which is irritating because it's so loud and because the whole point is that it should be autonomous. It gets stuck among legs of furniture, doesn't go under the kitchen table because of all the chair legs in the way, gets stuck halfway under the couch, gets stuck behind the bathroom door after partially closing it on itself, etc.

I think that in terms of saving time and energy on cleaning one's house, setting up the house for success rather than buying a robot is the better way to go. There's a really great thread on that somewhere around here.

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #44 on: April 02, 2017, 08:21:09 AM »
damn it now i want one. Maybe i should take back the sewing machine i never use and get the roomba instead.

sol

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #45 on: April 02, 2017, 09:00:48 AM »
damn it now i want one. Maybe i should take back the sewing machine i never use and get the roomba instead.

Like all blogs everywhere, the MMM blog is sometimes just a subtle advertisement for consumer goods.  Even when it's coincidental, instead of explicitly (though usually secretly) a paid advertisement.

I think that in terms of saving time and energy on cleaning one's house, setting up the house for success rather than buying a robot is the better way to go.

You just need to buy all new furniture, with taller legs!  If you just spend $10k on redecorating your entire house around your robot vacuum's needs, you'll never need to vacuum again!  I'm sure there are some lovely blogs or pinterest pages with adorable ideas for what you can buy.

Retire-Canada

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #46 on: April 02, 2017, 09:08:26 AM »
Like all blogs everywhere, the MMM blog is sometimes just a subtle advertisement for consumer goods.  Even when it's coincidental, instead of explicitly (though usually secretly) a paid advertisement.

I was just thinking the same thing. My 17yr old vacuum gets more awesome [in my view] every year...works great and the longer I own it the cheaper it is to own amortized over the longer period. But ya....I actually have to move it around the house in order to use it.

sol

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #47 on: April 02, 2017, 09:17:34 AM »
But ya....I actually have to move it around the house in order to use it.

Wait, you mean you get free exercise out of the deal, too?  You win, dear reader.

In case anyone else has forgotten the early days of the blog...

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/12/05/muscle-over-motor/

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #48 on: April 02, 2017, 10:06:23 AM »
But ya....I actually have to move it around the house in order to use it.

Wait, you mean you get free exercise out of the deal, too?  You win, dear reader.

In case anyone else has forgotten the early days of the blog...

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/12/05/muscle-over-motor/

YES this is exactly why I haven't gotten one.  As if I need an excuse to move LESS.  Maybe I'll just take back the sewing machine and NOT get a robot.

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: robotic vacuums - worth it? which is most mustachian?
« Reply #49 on: April 02, 2017, 11:59:27 AM »
So, folks that are truly anti-Roomba, do you walk everywhere, wash all dishes and clothes by hand, handwrite everything, haul your water, and hunt for all your food?

If not, what causes you to draw a line at robotic vacuums, versus bicycles, cars, dishwashers, washing machines, computers, pipes, etc?

Don't get me wrong: I had no car for 17 years, did indeed walk almost everywhere, have no dishwasher, have handwashed all clothes for many stretches in my life and still hang-dry, lived with no indoor plumbing for months at a time, etc. I'm all for movement, love digging in the dirt, etc.

But, a laptop (primarily because of fine motor issues) and a Roomba rock my world. I prefer selecting the tools that work well for me over drawing an arbitrary line at robot vacuums.

P.s. Long haired folks, I have long hair and it's been a nonissue for my robot :)