Smart homes are no longer a thing of the future. They're today's reality. We have gone far beyond smart thermostats, lights, and door locks you can control from the other side of the house or the other side of the world. Smart appliances can revolutionize your kitchen and laundry room, but are they worth the hype?
Taking a deep dive into the pros and cons of these leading-edge appliances allows you to look past the shiny bells and whistles so you can make the best choice for your household.
The Pros of Smart Appliances
First things first. Let's take a look at the brighter side of owning the most advanced appliances technology has to offer.
Few types of home appliances are getting smart faster than the fridge. Some models feature cameras that take photos of the interior. You can access the image on your phone and see what you need while you're in the middle of the grocery store. Others may also feature built-in tablet-like displays which allow you to order groceries directly from the unit, or speakers for filling the kitchen with music.
Washers and Dryers
If you've ever found yourself washing the same load of laundry twice after forgetting it, a smart washing machine may be your new best friend. Smart washers and dryers that are connected to your home control hub allow you to be notified at the end of a cycle, set up auto-delays, or even allow them to cycle twice. By finding out your lint filter is full via app notification, you lower fire risks.
Stay on top of leaks with live performance issue notifications. Find out how much time remains in a cycle without getting off the couch, and even monitor rinse agent levels all from your smartphone. In addition to providing more information than ever before, smart dishwashers conserve more energy and water than other models.
Cooking performance is never affected by undetected issues with your smart oven because you're notified of any problems instantly. Innovative design allows them to cook more quickly than a traditional oven while using less electricity, which can give you a break on your energy bills while also decreasing your environmental footprint.
Weighing the Cons of Smart Appliances
There are always two sides to every coin, and a smart appliance is no exception. Unprecedented levels of control and access to information, along with increased energy efficiency, come with a few caveats. Before you rush out to invest in a house full of smart appliances, it’s wise to consider the cons that go with all those pros.
Unlike desirable perks, which are unique to each appliance, drawbacks tend to apply across the board. First, and often most important for many consumers, is the price difference. Smart appliances can be considerably more expensive than their traditional counterparts. This price difference is understandable when you consider the host of tech-forward features but be advised: they may not last. As the manufacturing brand begins to turn their energy to newer models or new projects in the pipeline, firmware updates may become fewer and further between. Without those updates, your smart appliances aren't so smart. Consider the event of an internet outage. A lack of connectivity means a lack of access to features, which makes it worth considering whether those fancy features bear out the higher price tag.
As with any appliances, whether the newest and most advanced on the market are the best fit for your home is a case-by-case question. Wilcox Electric has been providing the DC area with electrical services, including appliance installation and repair, for more than two decades.