4 Ways to Clean a Home with Multiple Floors Using a Vacuum Robot
Homes with multiple floors are challenging to vacuum robots, although today’s vacuum robots are very good at home cleaning. Indeed, home robots are still all wheeled and can’t deal with stairs. Although there exist many legged robots, they are still experimental and way too expensive to be used for domestic applications.
In this post we present 4 workarounds to automate cleaning a multi-floor home using current vacuum robots. We start by the most basic one and progress to the most convenient solution.
Make Roomba Clean Multiple Floors
– Cheap Roomba can Clean Multiple Floors
The cheapest solution to sweep multiple floors is to move your vacuum robot from one floor to the other. A low-cost Roomba 690 or alike will do the job. At least for slick floors such as hardwood, tiles, or linoleum. For carpets, you’ll get better cleaning performance if you go for a mid-range Roomba e5.
We suggest leaving your cleaning robot, most of the time in the floor with highest traffic. This is typically the first floor with the kitchen and the living room. Then maybe once or twice a week you’ll have to move it upstairs to cleaning the rest of your house.
Best Value for Hardwood
Best Value for Carpets
– Don’t Kidnap a Robot with Systematic Navigation
For faster cleaning, and better results on carpets, go for a high-end vacuum robot such as Roomba 960. It combines high suction power with systematic navigation (see Video below). Besides, if the area to clean is too large, it recharges and resumes cleaning where it stopped.
There is a caveat here. Don’t “kidnap” a vacuum robot capable of systematic navigation. If you move it to another floor in the middle of a cleaning cycle, it will won’t resume cleaning. You’ll have to clear out the memory by pressing and hold the CLEAN button until the light turns off.
Best Value for Large Homes
Use a Floor-Aware Vacuum Robot
Remembers Floor Maps
Multiple floor support is available through the Neato’s mobile app. The side menu allows listing existing floors, adding new ones, and assigning each floor a different name.
To have the D7 clean a given floor, you have to carry it to the level you want to clean. You can then either trigger cleaning manually, or rely on the cleaning schedule.
Roomba i7+ does also support multiple floors. It remembers the layout of up to 10 floors and can plan accordingly the next time you ask it to clean. Moreover, it requires little maintenance, thanks to tangle free brushes, and its unique ability to empty its own dustbin. This ideal if you have pets. You really put your home cleaning on autopilot.
Install Multiple Charging Stations in Your Home
Once finished cleaning most vacuum robots including Roomba and Neato go back to their charging station. The battery is then recharged so the robot is ready for the next cleaning sessions.
Carrying the charging station and its cable around with the vacuum robot is inconvenient. It’s heavy and requires finding a free electric outlet each time you move the robot around. This is why it is more convenient to have one charging station per floor. The robot can seamlessly perform multiple cleaning cycles based on its programmed schedule until you move to another floor.
Another reason to install a charger in every floor is the recharge and resume cleaning feature of the high-end vacuum robots such as the Neato D7. To deal with large surfaces and multiple rooms, a such robotic vacuum map the floor. Whenever the battery is low, a high-end vacuum robot goes to its charging dock. Once the battery is full it continues cleaning at the exact spot where it stopped.
Recharges & Resumes Cleaning
While most docking stations are rather cheap, this is not the case with Roomba i7+. Indeed, the dock for this new generation of Roomba does also include a whole system to automatically empty the dirt bin of the Roomba. This brings home cleaning automation to the next level. But, at the expense of a higher price.
Use a Fleet of Vacuum Robots to Clean Multiple Floors
The most convenient option by far is to use multiple vacuum robots. Assign one cleaning robot and its charging station to every floor of your home. Et voila! No need to carry anything around. The only cons of this solution is the price, since you need to buy multiple robots. But, this can be mitigated by buying cheap vacuum robots such as the Roomba 690 or the mid-range Roomba e5.
Best Value for Hardwood
Best Value for Carpets
By choosing a robot that supports scheduling, you basically set it and forget it. Just define your cleaning schedule, and your robotic servants will take care of cleaning your home. You can have different schedules for different floors. So, the robots will operate at different times that best meet your needs on your habits.
Beside being very convenient, having multiple vacuum robots also speeds up the cleaning of your home. Indeed, robots can operate in parallel. As a bonus, you can use your fleet of vacuum robots to speed up the cleaning of a single floor. All you have to do is launching them from different locations or different rooms.
Best Value Overall
Will it go over a threshold from room to room. Thank you John
Good vacuum robots such as Neato and Roomba have wheels mounted on springs. This allows going over flooring transitions. Thresholds that are less than half an inch high (approx. 1.3 cm) are not a problem. Robotic vacuums can go over higher thresholds if they have round edges.
I have a 5” sunken living room. If I build a small ramp, will the Robot vacuum remember where that is, and therefore be able to go from room to room?
Yes. If the ramp is not too steep, the robot can go from room to room. And when it’s low on battery, it will go recharge and resume cleaning where it left off.