Every appliance in your home makes your life a little easier. Imagine life before the refrigerator—sends chills down your spine doesn’t it! The history of appliances is a journey of appliance technology advancements. So when you are at your local Best Buy looking for a new appliance you are looking at the newest in tech … and that tech is much more advanced than ever. How many of the 10 new features discussed below do you want? Just imagine how easy your life can be with these in your home.
1. Smart appliances are a big deal
Your home will instantly be different when you introduce a smart appliance. Smart means you can interact with it using a smartphone, tablet or computer. Most homes have Wi-Fi so manufactures are making appliances that connect to your network so you can use them in more useful ways, simply, conveniently. Here are a few examples that will convince you that these are awesome:
Smart range: Pre-heat your oven while on your way home from the grocery store (I’ll say more about these below).
Smart laundry machines: Receive alerts, start, stop and monitor your laundry from your smartphone. Also monitor, detect, and diagnose technical problems at an early stage and get easy-to-follow troubleshooting tips on the LCD screen.
Family Hub Refrigerator: cue the cool factor! Samsung has created a fridge that really is a centrepiece or hub of the family home. Ever arrived at the store and couldn’t remember if you ran out of milk? This fridge has 3 cameras inside! You’ll see everything that is there, and more importantly everything not there, that you need to pick up at the store.
The huge screen on the front of the fridge is great for notes, calendars or just images of your children’s artwork. My favourite feature is the speakers so you can stream music while you cook.You can learn more about this great fridge in this article.
Kitchen tech is fun, so let’s continue with that theme for a bit.
Great tech for your kitchen
2. Door-within-a-door refrigerators
These refrigerators are very practical and really save energy. Face it, there are some things you go for the fridge more than others. Milk for some. Beer for others (especially on game day). Door within a door fridges, like the Samsung one shown above, allow you to access these more popular items without warming everything in the fridge. The easy access panel doesn’t let cool air escape from the main compartments. So store those things you know you will remove more frequently in the outer door, and use the inner case of the fridge for the less frequently removed items. If you ask me, that’s just smart!
3. Third rack dishwashers
I think every home should have one of these. It’s the natural next step in dishwasher tech. 3 racks … but more importantly, adjustable racks! Some dishes need more room, right? We’ve all struggled with that great looking dish that doesn’t quite fit on the top or the bottom of the dishwasher. You probably thought, “Why hasn’t anyone made these racks adjustable?” Now they have. Finally. And to make matters even better they gave us a third rack so we have more options than ever before. This one from Bosch allows for nine different rack placements. After a big family dinner I might need to try them all!
4. Induction Cooktops
Now we are getting into seriously clever tech. Cooking without getting the top of the stove hot. You read that right. Induction ranges, like the Samsung 30″ Self-Clean Smooth Top Induction Range, provide a safer way to cook and are a must have for homes with young children.
How does it work? Electromagnetic fields interact with the metal of the pot, so only the cookware gets hot, not the cooktop or anything else on it. It’s so amazing I have to say it again, the cooking surface stays cool. No more baked on spills, making this stove extremely easy to wipe clean. They heat up and cool down fast, and therefore use less energy too.
5. True Convection Ovens
Everyone knows that ovens have a thermometer that measures the temperature inside the oven. However, set the thermostat to 350 degrees and all you know is that the temperature will be 350, most of the time, right at the location of the thermostat. We know it isn’t that temperature all through the oven because the cookies near the back don’t look like the cookies near the front.
Convection ovens have a fan that circulates the air in the oven so the temperature is even throughout the interior. A True Convection system, like the LG 30″ 6.3 Cu. Ft. True Convection Smooth Top Electric Range, cooks food faster and more evenly still, using a heated fan to distribute heat all around the oven. This is the natural evolution of oven technology. Your dishes are cooked quickly, evenly and thoroughly, and you enjoy tastier results.
6. Scan-to-cook appliance technology (coming next year to Canada)
As humans have evolved, so has our method of cooking. From open fires, to wood stoves, to gas and electric ranges, cooking keeps getting easier. Later this year we should see the latest advancement from Whirlpool: scan to cook. You don’t need to worry how to cook packaged food: just scan the UPC barcode: the Whirlpool app will send the cooking instructions, cooking time and temperature to the appliance.
Added to this is an interactive appliance door with a touch screen. Choose the food from the interactive menu (like roast beef, lasagna, etc) then follow the onscreen instructions. It can even guide you through a multi-step process. I wonder if it can handle my Yorkshire pudding recipe (15 minutes at 450 degrees, 10 at 300, then 10 with the over off!)?
The technology that allows this functionality will only become more useful over time. Imagine preheating your oven, and monitoring your food’s progress from your phone!
Great tech for the laundry room
7. Multi-wash or add-wash laundry
Many washing machines can fit a ton of clothes—but some loads are not that big. You probably often have a mixture of large loads, like jeans or towels, and small loads, like delicates. New laundry machines have arrived to help us get more done in less time, and using less energy.
Flex machines like the Samsung bundle shown above have a large main section for the big washing and drying loads, and also have a smaller section at the top for small washing and drying loads as shown to the right.
You can cut your laundry time, often in half, getting the big and small loads done at the same time, separately!
8. Steam Laundry
Nothing bugs me more than not being able to wear clothes that have just been washed right away. Sometimes it’s a stain that did not come out. Sometimes it’s the dreaded wrinkles—I hate wrinkles!
Steam washers and dryers, like the LG bundle shown to the right, can help with those issues and more. These machines combine traditional water wash, or hot air drying with hot steam. Steam boosts the temperature. In a washer, the fibres in the clothes are better able to absorb water, and dirt and stains are more easily removed.
Steam dryers help relax the fibres in clothes to remove wrinkles and odours. Your clothes come out wearable: wrinkle and odour free. You will get back time you used to spend ironing.
These machines are really smart too. Use NFC technology in your phone to monitor your machines or get information about settings. You can even just use a steam refresh cycle to reduce odours or tame wrinkles, eliminating the need to rewash items that don’t need the full treatment.
9. Ventless Dryers
This isn’t necessarily new, since Europe has had this for quite some time, but in North America it is just becoming more popular. Dryers that don’t need an outside vent, like the Bosch dryer shown above, save space, and save energy.
Now you might be wondering, “but where does the water go?” It’s quite cool tech actually. Air is heated and passes through the clothes (as in any dryer) then that air is cooled in a special chamber, and the water condenses into a container than empties into a drain (you can use the same drain that the washing machine uses). That same air then is reheated, and the cycle continues. Less air is pulled in to the dryer, less heat is lost to the outside, so these machines are really efficient.
They take up less space too and can go in places traditional, North American style dryers can’t go because there is no vent required!
10. Robots vacuums are the next best thing to a robot maid
Dreamers a couple generations ago—I’m thinking of the generation that enjoyed shows like Lost in Space and The Jetsons—expected household chores to be done by machines by 2017.
Well we don’t have a Rosie yet (shown here cleaning after George), but we do have iRobot’s line of clever robot vacuums.
It is basically a set it and forget it kind of machine. While you are at work saving the world, your Roomba from iRobot is in your home, cleaning your floors and carpets. Tap on the app to change a cleaning schedule. Empty the receptacle from time to time. That’s the only reminder you’ll get of the potato chips you ate last Tuesday, or the fact your cat started shedding. It even conveniently returns to its charger when it needs more power so you won’t arrive home to a half vacuumed living room.
Which appliance will you get first
Okay so that’s my list of 10 cool appliance technologies that will make your home life easier. So now you need to decide where to begin. Perhaps you already have a few of these (you’re are so lucky!). I don’t have any of them yet. However, my first choice is easy: adjustable racks in a dishwasher. I love that.
Maybe it’s time to redo your home so all of these are on your list. What is your first choice … second choice? Tell us in the comments below.