Chores. Cleaning. Yardwork. Something we all have had to do and none of us enjoy. House cleaning and upkeep is one of those necessities of life we just can’t get away from unless you are fortunate enough to have a full-time maid. I am going to assume the majority of us do not have that luxury.
The average person will spend, on the low end, about an hour cleaning a day. In my household, that daily hour is basically all pushed to the weekend where we go on cleaning marathons. And according to the clean experts, we probably aren’t even cleaning enough… Awesome.
There are solutions out there to help, though. Smart options that you can automate and control from anywhere, but mostly like from the couch. If you are already utilizing any smart home devices, this is going to be right up your alley.
Smart technology allows you to reduce the amount of time you spend a week cleaning and maintaining outdoor spaces. Devices that automate home chores will not completely lift that burden but will allow you to keep your home a bit tidier and definitely improve your quality of life.
If you are the type that’s always on the go and just don’t have the time to keep your place in ship shape condition, automating some of your daily chores might be a necessity.
If you are the type that would rather watch Netflix instead of sweeping all of the dog hair that accumulated throughout the week, then cleaning automation is probably for you.
True story my dog sheds like a… well like a dog, but her hair is constantly covering the floor. Pro tip: try to find floors that match your dog’s hair color. Thank me later.
So, what chores can we automate? Let’s get into it.
When people think of smart cleaning devices, number one on the list is always the vacuum. Some cleaning experts recommend sweeping or vacuuming so it makes sense that cleaning floors were one of the smart cleaning spaces entered.
When these first hit the market, they were rough. They looked cool and the concept was on point, but functionally, they just were not good at the job. Like if you gave a toddler a hand held vacuum and told them to clean the kitchen floors. It’s probably not going to go well.
We have all heard of Roomba. They are the leader of the industry for sure and very much have the most name recognition. Even though they weren’t the first robot vacuum, they have easily been the most popular.
With more competition in the space now, smart robot vacuums have really stepped their game up. If this is all new to you, it may be confusing with so many options and functionality available.
Here are some things to look for and know before purchasing a smart robotic vacuum:
- Wi-Fi connected. If you are looking to add the vacuum to your connected home, you will need a wi-fi device. A lot of the vacuums are coming out with these making the cleaning more automated.
- Mapping sensors/lasers. The laser sensor allows the vacuum to map out your home before or while it cleans.
- Camera mapping. Camera mapping relies on what it can see. These are an issue in low light areas. The camera mapping can lead to missed spots as well.
- Wheel size. If you have hard floors and carpets you will want to make sure the vacuum can clear and work on both. If you have shag carpet, be sure it can handle that.
- Noise level. Some vacuums are louder than others. I don’t know about you but I would prefer my vacuum to be as quiet as possible, especially at night.
- Voice Control. Does it offer compatibility with your voice assistant? Alexa, clean the floors.
- Zone cleaning. Zones allow you to segment your home. With zoning, you can have the vacuum clean specific areas of the house.
- Dustbin size. You might have to change the dustbin often if it is not big enough. Some even offer self-emptying dustbins, like the Roomba I7, but it’s going to cost you.
- Cliff sensors. If you have stairs, you are going to want to make sure the cliff sensors keep it from tumbling down.
- Cleaning history. Gives you the ability to see when and where your vacuum has cleaned.
- No-go zones. These are areas you don’t want the vacuum to go, like a virtual wall. Some use physical barriers or tape and some can be mapped from the app.
- Rounded or square edges. A benefit of having some square edges is it can get along the walls and corners easily.
- Battery life. This is important if you have a larger house. Most robot vacuums have batteries that last about 2-2.5 hours. Most will know when they are running low and will return to there port to charge.
- Budget. These can get expensive. If you are looking for all of the bells and whistles, you may be out of luck.
If you want a house that looks clean at all times, get a robotic vacuum. They are life changing and have improved since their inception. Some are pretty pricey but a solid choice that is highly regarded is the Roborock S5. It even offers mopping which we will talk about next!
So now your floors are spotless from your new smart robotic vacuum. All you need is its little brother, the smart mop to come and shine them up real nice. This is assuming you have some hardwood or tile floors. We don’t recommend mopping carpet.
Some robot vacuums will also have the ability to mop with attachable cleaning pads and water tanks.
You are going to want to look for a lot of the same things in a robot mop as you did with your vacuum. There are a few other things you are going to want to check for when looking at robot mops:
- Pads. How many pads does it come with and what are they for. Some are better with different scenarios.
- Spay. Does it spray to keep that pads moist? You don’t want it to dry out while in the middle of cleaning.
Being that so many vacuums are coming out with dual capabilities, you might be best to find a good vacuum that does both. If you are set on having a dedicated mop that is actually built for mopping full time, check out the Braava Jet 240. It has consistently good reviews and gets the job done.
Does feeding your fur babies count as a chore? I’m gonna say yes. For some of us, it is easy to forget and when we do, we feel like the worst type of person. So lets take it to the next level and automate it!
Smart Pet feeders give you the ability to feed your pets from anywhere. Some even have built in cameras that allow you to check in on them when your’e not home.
How many of you would take breaks from work to see your pet? I’m almost 100% sure I’m not the only one nodding my head like yes, please!
When looking at automatic pet feeders, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind. If you have a larger dog who eats more, make sure the bowl will be large enough for a full meal. Some of these feeders have been known to jam with larger food bits so check the reviews to make sure it can handle your pets food.
If you are going to want to check on on your pet while you are at work, your’e going to need a camera.
Some pet feeders offer schedules, portion control and some other cool ways to help monitor your pet’s nutrition. The Petnet SmartFeeder is a pretty solid choice and it can integrate into your existing smart home. It doesn’t have a camera but there are workarounds for that if its a must have.
What is everyone’s favorite spring and summer time activity? I am almost sure no one said mowing the lawn. Yeah, it may be a nice chore very, very occasionally but for the most part we all have other stuff we would rather be doing.
So why not automate it? Smart lawn mowers work a lot like smart vacuums where they take care of most of the work for you. I say most because they aren’t the best at getting those edge lines perfectly straight. You will have to do a little touch up once in a while but these mowers will take care of about 90% of the job.
Now there are some downfalls with these mowers. They are not by any means quick. Like a smart vacuum, it will be cutting often. But don’t worry, these things are quiet. You won’t be dealing with loud mower noises all the time.
They do get pretty expensive too, so be prepared to fork over a bit more than you would be getting a new push mower and even some riding mowers. A smart mower will also require an outlet for its charging dock so it can charge when its batteries run low. Be prepared to have it as a permanent fixture in your garden area.
The other side to that is your neighbors will be pretty jealous of your cool new tech.
Depending on the model you decide to go with, you may still have cut that grass one more time. The more affordable models are better with maintaining grass that has already been cut once. The more expensive big brother lawn mowers can tackle grass much higher. It’s just gonna cost you as much as a cheap car, or in my case, more than the first two cars I ever owned combined. (96′ Ford Escort for the win)
What to look for in a smart mower:
- You are going to want to make sure the mower can handle your yard size and complexity. If you have a larger yard with ponds and gardens, you are going to need a mower that can handle the size and navigate around the garden. Sometimes navigation requires you burying some wires not mark off no-go zones.
- If you have some hills in your yard, make sure the mower can get itself up and over those hills. Check the maximum slope to make sure there won’t be any problems with it getting around your hilly yard.
- Maximum and minimum cutting height. If you like your grass cut super short, make sure the mower you grow with can accommodate. Same for those who prefer their grass to be a little longer.
- Rain sensors. If yo \u would prefer the mower to not cut when it senses rain, be sure to look for this feature. You can disable it from the app and if it is raining, it will stay put.
- Noise level. Most of these are extremely quiet, but some more than others. These are not anywhere near as loud as push mowers, or even electric mowers. But the least noise it makes the better.
- Battery Life. This is more for the larger yards. Although not a huge deal, it would be nice to get the entire lawn cut from one charge.
- Security features. Since these will just be hanging out in the yard at all times, theft is always a possibility. Some mowers have anti-theft deterrents or flat out refuse to work without the right code. Some even have alarms built in them.
Voice activation is available with a lot of smart mowers. Just ask Alexa to cut the grass and it’s done, no back talk. Now they do recommend you keeping these away from kids and pets but there really isn’t much it would do if it ever came into contact with anyone. They have a lot of safety precautions built into them.
I don’t own the Husqvarna 450x (because I live in an apartment) but I have read that many consider it the best on the market. Bad news though, it’s very expensive. Like a 16-year-olds first car expensive.
I’m gonna assume everyone reading this has at least one window in their home. When was the last time you washed them? I know in my house, windows aren’t exactly the highest priority when it comes to cleaning.
And for those of you with those really tall windows, you either have to pay someone or get on a ladder to get them all. This is where the automatic window cleaning comes into play.
Smart window cleaners take care of a task most of us probably don’t do enough and saves a lot of time for those who do actually regularly wash windows.
You will want o make sure the window cleaner you choose can support the thickness of your glass. This won’t be an issue for most. The smart window cleaner market is pretty light right now. If you are going to go with one, I would check out the Hobot 198. This is their second iteration and they have really figured the game out pretty well.
Watering the Lawn
To fully automate this task, you’re going to need two things. 1. A yard and 2. An existing irrigation system in that yard. If you are like most, you are controlling your existing watering system from an old school box with buttons in the garage. Yes, you probably have schedules set and maybe a few zones but that’s where it starts.
Smart watering systems give you that and so much more. Control the system from your phone or use your voice. Alexa, water the lawn for 15 minutes.
With weather updates, your irrigation system will know how much rain has fallen and will update the schedule accordingly. Monitor when each zone you have set up was watered right from an app. Add what type of yard or garden you have and let a smart sprinkler water them perfectly.
In this space, the clear winner is Rachio. Extremely easy installation and works with the wiring from most existing systems.
So is Any Of It Worth It?
Yes, yes a million times. Yeah, some of this stuff is a bit pricey but nothing compares to saving time on menial tasks and doing something better like spending time with family or friends. If you are in the position to purchase anything listed above, I highly recommend it.
Some of these tasks you may never have to do. Like watering the lawn or cutting the grass. But some we all should be doing at the very least weekly, like vacuuming. Why not get an assistant robot to care of it for you?
And it doesn’t stop with whats listed above. You still have automatic pool cleaners, cat litter cleaners, air purifiers, pet treat dispensers, gutter cleaners and more.
So much cleaning power all being controlled from you phone!
Pretty soon we won’t have to do much cleaning at all. But it will really be exciting when we can automate the whole process of laundry. Like really, really exciting.!