Does it make financial sense to invest in connectivity and machine intelligence for every kitchen or laundry room appliance? Do people need a fridge that sends them photos of empty milk containers or a dryer they can control remotely from an app?
As the editor on Digital Trends pointed out
, she needs to stand in front of the dryer to load it anyway. As long as she’s already there, she might as well turn a dial and push the button to set and start the dryer. That observation might sound a bit harsh. After all, some smart appliances offer solutions that can save energy, conserve resources, and encourage savings that eventually defray the additional cost.
This article analyzes whether homes need smart appliances or whether it’s best to opt for a traditional home appliance without smart features.
When Do Smart Appliances More Sense Than Traditional?
Buying smart appliances can make sense when they offer convenience, savings, and valuable extra features.
Just a few examples include:
- Some washers and dryers can sense their loads and set the appropriate run cycles to conserve power and even extend the lifespan of clothes.
- Likewise, smart fridges may monitor and optimize their energy use or send alerts for upcoming expiration dates, so the owners know when to use up the last of the mayo and buy more.
Is it time to replace every appliance with a connected replacement? Prudent consumers might not run out to purchase a smart appliance while the current model still works perfectly well, especially with reasonably energy-efficient devices. In particular, this move won’t make sense if it will strain budgets or drive up credit card balances.
When the old appliance needs replacing, these same consumers might take time to compare the benefits of new smart appliances. At that time, they can balance extra features with the additional cost. For instance, a basic, eco-friendly fridge might cost hundreds of dollars less than a comparable smart fridge.
Indeed, some folks will value extra features, like remote access and automated optimization of energy use. Other families may decide to save money on a traditional appliance so long as it’s reliable and energy-efficient.
What About Smart Thermostats?
The old wall thermostat might function as well as the day it was installed. Still, thermostats might offer many families their first sensible introduction to smart devices. According to Bob Villa
, these connected devices can provide homes with convenience, comfort, and enough savings on power bills to pay for themselves in a few months.
By dropping the temperature 10 degrees in the winter or raising it 10 degrees in the summer when nobody’s home, many families could save 10 percent or more on their power bills. For instance, homeowners can set the thermostat to conserve more energy when everybody typically heads to work or school and then reset to a more comfortable temperature before the family heads home. If plans change, family members can manually adjust the settings either on the thermostat or with a remote app.
Anybody who feels ambivalent about smart appliances might start with a low-investment and high-return device like a smart thermostat. Even better, home thermostats rarely cost much more than $100. A handy DIYer can install them, and professionals may charge about $100 to do the job.
The Smart Way to Protect Smart Appliances
Is it time to invest in a new washer and dryer, refrigerator, or dishwasher? If so, remember that the advanced smart features and connectivity make these new machines more complex than traditional appliances. They generally cost more too.
- An affordable Upsie protection plan will allow customers to access 24-7 friendly claims representatives. These reps will help file claims and arrange for home visits from qualified repair technicians.
- Upsie sells directly to customers. Thus, this company can offer prices as low as 70 percent less than their competitors’ rates. At the same time, Upsie does not charge a deductible for covered large appliance repairs.
- Upsie lets their customers take up to 11 months after buying the appliance to purchase a three-year or five-year warranty plan.
Take the time to decide which smart appliances will offer value because of their valuable features. After that, it’s only smart to pair it with an Upsie warranty.
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