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Connect your home starting with smart appliances

February 6, 2017
Connect your home starting with your appliances | IGS Energy

A refrigerator that sends you a text message letting you know you’re out of milk; a thermostat that learns how warm you like your house to be when you wake up in the morning; a vacuum that does the floor cleaning for you. It might sound like we’re living in a science fiction movie. But appliances with microprocessors and computer bits inside of them are not only becoming the norm, they’re actually getting smarter. Smart appliances are a great way to make your home safer, sleeker, and more efficient and now is a great time to embrace these new technologies.

What is a smart appliance, anyway?

Smart appliances evaluate actions by crunching numbers to help automate your everyday tasks and create more opportunities for efficiencies. Mathematical calculations, like a washing machine analyzing the load-to-water ratio, or algorithms in a coffee machine that learn your  morning routine work to help save your time and your budget. 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 are really interesting and super cool, there are three practical reasons to consider upgrading to smart appliances in your home:

Safety: Many of the smart upgrades have the goal of making life safer. 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.

Sleekness: Smart appliances are the hottest new thing and will be for many years to come. In fact, several manufacturers continue to up the ante by making the products stylish and fun to operate. The cool factor is, of course, compelling, but being able to check in on a wash cycle from your phone makes doing laundry less of a chore.

Efficiency: Water-saving features on washing machines, lower energy requirements for lights and furnaces, and incentives for using the efficient settings all help busy consumers manage their energy use throughout the day—without having to change their routine. Energy efficiency is good no matter what, but when it happens without changing your lifestyle, that’s, well, smart.

What should I look for in a smart appliance?

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

Good reviews: It’s new technology, make sure someone else has tried it.

Established company with a proven support department:  There are bound to be bugs, so make sure you’ll have helpful support.

Features that you know you will use and/or benefit from: Try not to be lured in by features that won’t really help you.

Connectivity options with other smart products you own: Double check that your new appliance is compatible with your tablet or phone’s operating system (OS) and if it works with any other smart items you might own.

What smart appliances are out there?

As of the time this post was published, the most common types of smart appliances you can find are:

  • Clothes washers and dryers
  • Dishwashers
  • Automatic vacuums
  • Ovens and microwaves
  • Security cameras
  • Coffee makers
  • Televisions
  • Refrigerators
  • Smaller items like door locks, thermostats, 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? Learn how to choose the right smart thermostat for you.