What to look for in Smart Appliances
Smart Choices at Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center
What’s a smart appliance?
There’s more than one definition, but for our purposes here we’re going to say that a smart appliance has some degree of connectivity. It might be as simple as an app that notifies you if your refrigerator door has been left open for some period of time. Or it might be remotely pre-heating and cooking a roast from your smartphone. All of this may sound wonderful, but there are pros and cons.
Is it safe?
Some manufacturers, as well as UL (Underwriters Laboratory) have expressed views on limiting remote capabilities for certain products. For example, should a remote app for ovens allow consumers to put their ovens through a self-clean cycle while nobody is home? Even remotely operating a cooking appliance of any sort has some consumers wary. One manufacturer has a remote app that can be set to operate only by Bluetooth which gives the homeowner complete use of remotely operating the appliance only within the house.
How much is the premium for Smart Appliances?
The first refrigerator with a TV built into the door launched over a decade ago and retailed close to $10,000. It really had little functionality, and failed miserably. Today, Samsung has a Family Hub refrigerator with a 21″ tall wi-fi enabled full-featured communications center in the door and cameras inside that can be viewed remotely eg. from the grocery store with the Samsung app. The Samsung Family Hub refrigerator retails for $5800. (Check with Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center for special pricing.)
Are there cost saving benefits to Smart Appliances?
Yes there are. For example, Whirlpool Appliances can be connected to Nest and set to operate at off-peak hours. If your Jenn-Air cooking appliances heat up your kitchen Nest can adjust the temperature to keep you comfortable and ramp a bit when you’re done cooking. There’s more.