Designing a Smart Home? Don't Forget About Your Appliances.

Smart phone controlling washer and dryer

First things first: What is a smart appliance?

A smart appliance is a device that you connect to your smartphone or tablet for better control, convenience, and information.

Examples include:

  • A refrigerators set up to send you a text when you're out of milk
  • A smart thermostat that learns how warm you like to keep your home throughout the day
  • A vacuum that can do the floor cleaning for you
  • A washing machine whose cycle status you can check from your phone

Appliances made with microprocessors and computer-like intel are becoming the norm — while getting smarter. (Anyone who's purcahsed a smart gadget only to find the next best thing less than a year later know as much.)

Ultimately, smart appliances are a great way to make your home safer, sleeker, and more efficient. And if you have energy efficiency goals, now is a great time to embrace these new technologies.

How does a smart appliance work?

Smart appliances evaluate actions by crunching numbers to help automate your tasks and create more opportunities for efficiencies. Additionally, many smart appliances can be controlled by an app or program on various mobile devices. By establishing an internet connection with your oven, for instance, you can start a cooking cycle from your phone before heading home.

What are the benefits of smart appliances?

Besides the fact that many of these appliances simply make life easier, there are three practical reasons to consider upgrading to smart appliances in your home:

  1. Safety: One benefit of smart appliances is safety. For example, smart lightbulbs will flash red if the smart smoke detector is going off. A smart thermostat can monitor your furnace and alert you when something is out of the ordinary and help protect your family.
  2. Sleekness:Manufacturers continue to up the ante by making the products stylish and fun to operate.
  3. Efficiency: Water-saving features on washing machines, lower energy requirements for lights and furnaces, and incentives for using the most efficienct setting help busy consumers manage their energy use throughout the day — without having to change their routine. Energy efficiency is best when it happens without affecting your lifestyle

What should I look for in a smart home product?

If you are in the market for a smart appliance, make sure you go into it with your eyes wide open:

  1. Good reviews
  2. Established company with a proven support department
  3. Features that you know you will use and/or benefit from
  4. Connectivity options with other smart products you own

What smart appliances are on the market now?

While the list is constantly growing, the most common types of smart appliances on the market include:

  • Thermostats
  • Security cameras
  • Clothes washers and dryers
  • Dishwashers
  • Automatic vacuums
  • Ovens and microwaves
  • Coffee makers
  • Televisions
  • Refrigerators
  • Smaller items like door locks and light bulbs

Smart appliances allow you to make daily tasks happen “in the background” while you get on with the more important things that compete for your time. As this technology becomes more accessible, your home could become more energy efficient, safer, and don’t forget, much sleeker. Interested in taking your connected home a step further?

Check out more gadgets for your home