What about pet hair? I was just given a roomba for my birthday. While it is a very generous and thoughtful gift, and I love the idea of not having to vacuum myself, but.... I have two dogs that shed daily. Is it realistic to think that this will pick up all their hair and how much does the dirt container hold. I sweep up 1-2 large handfuls of hair/dirt daily just from the hard floors.
I also have three dogs and was given a Roomba for Christmas.
You WILL still have to use your regular old vaccuum even though you have a Roomba.
It will probably be great on your hardwood floors--likely a big help.
However, on the carpet, it will probably just do 'maintenance-quality', picking up quite a bit of hair, but still not replacing a good manual vaccumming. (But hey, every little bit helps when have multiple pets). I run mine every day, and I appreciate its ability to perform damage-control every day with the "kids'" daily shedding, supplemented by my own once or twice a week regular vaccuuming.
I empty the bin every time it completes a cycle. It only takes two seconds. If you try to run it will a full bin, it won't be able to pick up anything very well, just like a regular vaccuum.
One more very important thing-- since you have pets, you'll have to be extra dilligent about cleaning the brush and the rubber thing next to brush. The brush is relatively easy to clean with the cleaning tool, but the rubber thing next to the brush can get hair wrapped around these tricky grooves next to its wheels--its kind of time consuming, but if you don't keep those things clean than its bad for the Roomba.
Oh, and for other pet people out there, I was at Roomba's website the other day and they have now came out with a Roomba for homes with pets, so you may want to look into that if you are considering buying a Roomba. The Roomba Sage for Pets is like 219.00, and the Roomba Discovery for Pets is around 300.00. The brushes are supposed to be easier to clean than the standard Roomba.
I have the Roomba Discovery for Pets and it is awesome. I have a husky (need I say more) and two cats. My floors are hardwood, tile, carpet and rugs, it works great on all of them. After the big clean it has been just routine maintenance. I use it daily. It has never been overwhelmed by the hair even at the beginning.
I have 4 cats and 1 dog. I've had my Roomba for about a year now and it's never had a problem picking up pet hair from tile. My cats in particular shed a lot, but the dirt container is never completely full. I recommend a Dyson for carpet, but Roomba is more than up to cleaning hard floors. That said, I do use Roomba in the bedroom (Berber carpet)occasionally because it gets under the bed better than anything else.
I guess it might depend on what kind of dogs you have. I have a Labrador with a thick coat (hair 3" long), and she sheds lots of hair, esp. summer. I usually use it every 1-5 days. It's amazing with pet hair! I took another user's advice... initially gave the house a good vacuuming with a regular vacuum (that was ~6 months ago) and now use the Roomba for the hair and dust that settle on the floors each day. My Roomba has the sensor (which lights up if it's full). Usually I empty the bin and tap the dust out of the filter (it only takes 10 seconds) before the light comes on... I like seeing how much work it's doing (that I don't have to do). With all of it's humming and little beepy songs, it's fun to do my other chores, while it vacuums. I use it on my hardwood floors, in my kitchen, and for my not so thick berber carpets. I use a regular vacuum for my 2 heavy carpets. And I don't run it if I'm out of the house... . sometimes it gets in trouble and needs a bit of help... it's a robot.... it's like a kid :-) My house is so much cleaner! My husband & I love my Roomba!
I'm thinking of asking Santa for a Roomba for no other reason than pet hair. I have dark walnut hardwood floors and a new golden retriever puppy that sheds like a summer shearing. His hair flies across my floors when the ac/heat kicks on even though i have a swiffer vac that i use SEVERAL times a day. I see your post is almost a year old, i've read several that loved their Roombas for only a few weeks or months....do you still love yours and do you think it's worth the price?
A question for Roomba owners. I just bought a remanufactured unit and I'm happy with it. Six cats and it does a pretty good job of picking up whatever is in it's path. My unit didn't come with a filter and I ordered a pack from amazon but for the life of me can't figure out how or where to install them. No directions with the filters and the picture in the owners handbook isn't helpful to me. Help!
I think Roomba does an exceptional job of cleaning up my dog's hair. I run it most in the rooms that she spends time in. Roomba finds hair that I can't even see. It's better to run it more often than less. My longer hair gets wound up on the brush, but my dog's shorter hair goes right into the bin and is easily emptied.