Spoiler alert: Your robot vacuum cleaner uses about 15 times less energy than your standard manual vacuum cleaner and can truly be described as an energy-saving appliance.
A traditional, standard vacuum uses around 1.4kWh of power per hour; the humble robot charges on about 60-90 watts (over three hours), with one charge fuelling roughly an hour of cleaning.
However, it’s just not as simple as all that. There are things to consider. And it’s not all great, or green.
Robot vacuums have evolved enormously in recent times and are quite sophisticated in their offering – including the ability to pair with Alexa, return to their docking station and use drop-sensing technology to stop itself toppling down the stairs.
It can mooch around your home with minimal fuss, and you have little involvement other than to empty the dust container. With newer models you don’t even have to do that. It does it itself.
Some of these non-intrusive, entertaining machines can return to base, recharge and head back out to work again – without you having to look sideways. Some can even make coffee for your 3 o’clock slump…I jest!
However, your robot vacuum cleaner – even the top-of-the-range model with the eye-watering price tag – just can’t cut it in terms of power. It doesn’t pack the punch of a standard vacuum cleaner and occasionally you might find yourself overcome by the odd wave of nostalgia. Don’t get me wrong, your average robot will do a good job and take away all the obvious bits of dust and debris, but it just can’t do it with conviction.
There is also the small matter of your average robot being unable to tackle awkward crevices and tight spots – though more high-end models are better equipped in this department.
It can’t climb the stairs or freshen up the upholstery. It has deficiencies.
In order for you to be fully satisfied with the cleanliness of your home, you will also need to own a traditional, standard vacuum cleaner. You might find that, at least once a week, you will plug in the no-fun traditional machine and do a proper cleaning top-up. Remember, this machine uses up a lot more energy.
Not only are you now running a low-cost robot cleaner every day or two, but you are topping up with a full ‘proper’ cleaning to bring it up to the standard you desire.
And so, you’ve now practically doubled up on your energy use and costs.
The moral of the tale is – if you’re not careful and if cleaning means a lot to you, your robot vacuum is going to cost you more in the long run and ruin a lot of the green credentials it started off with.