iRobot has been at the forefront of making our 1980’s sci-fi dreams become a reality. Their advances are closer to Rosie from The Jetsons than the awesome Hoverboards and time machines from Back to the Future. However, nobody complains about any easier way to keep their house clean. The battery-operated cleaning wonder takes almost all the work out of housework. But, how long does a Roomba battery last?
Knowing the limits of any machine is key to maximizing your enjoyment, and its usefulness. Today we are tackling the capabilities of the Roomba battery. This topic contains two questions in one. First, how long does the Roomba battery last on a single charge? Second, what is the lifetime of a Roomba battery before it needs to replacement?
Our goal is to answer both questions while giving you a little bit of advice along the way of how to make your battery last a little longer.
One of the nicest features of the progress of the Roombas is the automatic clean and return function. Most models have a single push button that sends the robot vacuum out across your floors, using a complex array of sensors to make sure nothing escapes the brushes and rollers. By pushing this button, the vac will tour your home or office until the battery gets low.
In general, all of the Roomba vacuum models have a battery operating a range of around 2-hours. We say “generally” because this 2-hour window may be longer or shorter based on a few factors.
Depending on how you care for your favorite little robot-buddy, you will see different degrees of battery performance. Just like your car, phone, and significant other, the Roomba robot vacuum’s battery will treat you better and be more reliable the better you treat it. Here are a couple of things you can do to make sure the battery stays optimal for as long as possible.
As your little Roomba traverses the house getting rid of all the dirt and dust bunnies, its little parts and pieces get all gunked up and jammed with dust, dirt, and hair. This build-up of pesky dirties makes the vacuum motor work harder. The harder the motor works, the more drain on the battery. The end of this equation equals a shorter battery life.
You can avoid this by checking and cleaning the brushes and rolls of the Roomba once a week or so. Better would be to give them a quick clean each time you empty the dustbin. I know cleaning a cleaning robot sounds a little funny, but think of it like changing the oil in your car or snuggling with your partner. Your little efforts will make the Roomba battery charge last longer.
Tip number two is exercising the battery through a full-range of charge. Draining the battery is kind of like goat-yoga for your Roomba. By letting the battery full deplete before charging it, and letting it fully recharge, you are helping the battery maintain a consistent charge time. You don’t have to do this every time, just often enough to let it clear out.
Unlike standing at the counter shakily deciding if you want to put that new 4K on your credit card, you want to charge you Roomba battery immediately after use. iRobot recommends charging the battery as soon as possible after use.
Even if you are doing a quick 15-minute clean that would leave about 85% of the battery remaining, don’t be tempted to save that 85% for another clean. By waiting to charge later, you can damage the battery and shorten the active charge life.
While we are on the subject of proper charging, iRobot recommends keeping the magnificent little bot plugged into a charger or home base.
Our final tip is all about storage. Where you store and charge your Roomba between uses can help keep your battery healthy and strong. One of the killers of NiMH batteries is heat. Heat naturally builds up during charge and discharge, but you can help minimize the effects of the heat by storing and charging the robot in a cool place.
A cool location means that you need to keep the Roomba out of direct sunlight, away from heating vents, and not in the same closet as your furnace or water heater. Give the little guy a cozy corner to rest and charge where it will be free from foot traffic. You want to make sure if you are using a home base the robot will still have an access path to and from the charger.
No battery lasts forever. Eventually, all the charges and discharges of use will wear the battery down, and it won’t be able to hold a charge anymore. iRobot states that with proper care, the battery for their vacuums will last up to 400 charge cycles. Mathematically, if you run the Roomba three times per week, then you should get about 2.5 years out of a single battery. Not a bad life if you take good care of your little robot.
What is nice about the Roomba batteries is that they are user-replaceable, and cost only about one-quarter of the amount of even the least expensive Roomba model. We recommend upgrading to the XLife extended life battery available from iRobot, which is compatible with Roomba 400/600/700/800 series vacuums. The larger capacity battery doesn’t let your Roomba run longer with each charge but does extend the lifetime of the battery by up to double.
Roomba battery lasting depends on how well you care for your new mechanical best friend. By cleaning, charging, and storing correctly, you can enjoy up to 2 years of 2-hour cleaning cycles. Plus, the replaceable battery means you can continue to enjoy your robot vacuum for many more years to come.