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Smart Home Appliances for Modern Households

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for The House Designers®

Anything and everything can be upgraded with the latest technology these days, and that means there’s a lot to learn about the newest home appliances. Has it been a while since you shopped for a new refrigerator, oven, or microwave? What about laundry appliances? Take just a quick spin around the web or a showroom and you’ll see that the future has arrived. Here’s what it has to offer your home!

Whirlpool Smart Over the Range Microwave

The Whirlpool® Smart Over-the-Range Microwave with Scan-to-Cook Technology makes frozen meal preparation as simple as scanning a barcode. You can also customize instructions in the app to suit your preferences. It’s available in spring 2018 along with a smart range!

App Control

People use their phones to keep in touch and control and monitor different aspects of their lives, and now that includes dinner. Wi-Fi enabled appliances take orders from smartphones whether you’re home or not, meaning you can preheat the oven when you leave work so it’s ready to cook as soon as you arrive. You might not even need to punch in numbers on your screen—it could be as simple as finding a recipe in the app or scanning a barcode to relay instructions. Programming also takes care of multi-step instructions—like changing the temperature mid-bake for precise results—so you don’t have to. Connected dishwashers allow you to create custom wash cycles and refrigerators can send alerts to tell you that the water filter needs changing or that the door has been left open, and even act in accordance with religious holidays with a Kosher Friendly Mode that inactivates the lights and controls.

Your smart appliances connect to your smartphone or tablet through an app, typically available for both Apple and Android. Different brands use different apps, so be sure to check out the requirements that each has from your wireless signal to your device specs. Some connect to other services like Nest to build a smart network in your home to do things like turn off the oven if you leave the house. Apps are updated occasionally to increase the functionality of appliances, so don’t be afraid that you’ll miss out on something more advanced if you purchase now as opposed to waiting to see what’s released next.

Jenn-Air Double Wall Oven with V2 Vertical Dual-Fan Convection System

The impressive 30” Double Wall Oven with V2™ Vertical Dual-Fan Convection System comes full of helpful high-tech functionality including access to the Jenn-Air® Culinary Center and compatibility with Nest, Amazon Echo, and Google Home.

Voice Control

You can also control your kitchen by verbally telling it what to do. A number of appliances connect to Amazon Echo and Google Home, so you’re just an “Alexa” or “Google” away from preheating, checking a temperature or timer, or starting a wash cycle. Of course, the pure convenience of it draws many homeowners, especially millennials who try keep their lifestyles up to date with the latest technology, but there are practical benefits. Verbal commands mean you don’t have to stop meal preparation to punch numbers into the oven, allowing you to stay focused and prevent the spread of germs from raw foods you might be handling. If you’re tackling a big dinner without any human helpers, a virtual assistant can support you with the added benefit of not getting in your way.

Voice control is an elegant little feature with the potential to make a huge impact. But don’t worry—these appliances all maintain the regular functionality you’ve enjoyed for years even if you don’t connect them to Wi-Fi. This is a good way to get the freshest aesthetic designs, because companies put as many in-demand features as possible into their appliances. So, if there’s a particular style or finish you like that you can’t find in a low-tech package, an underutilized high-tech option could deliver exactly what you want.

Whirlpool Smart All-in-One Washer and Dryer

A super space saver, the Whirlpool® Smart All-In-One Washer and Dryer is 24” wide, ventless, and can fit in a closet. It has one barrel that both washes and dries clothes, and it has low- and high-tech features that simplify doing the laundry.

Space Consciousness

Some people have big homes, and some people have small ones. While the square footage of the average new construction has steadily risen for years, many homeowners are choosing to downsize. That means appliances have also gone in both directions, with plenty of large and compact options for ranges, cooktops, wall ovens, refrigerators, and dishwashers, but perhaps the widest difference can be found in washers and dryers. Whether you have a big house full of kids or have gone totally minimalist, there are models that can handle your loads and make the most of your space.

The introduction of smaller washers and dryers is particularly noteworthy, because it takes some engineering to condense machines without compromising cleaning and drying capabilities. Often, such dryers are ventless, so they can be placed virtually anywhere, including interior closets. This offers homeowners a good deal of flexibility and frees up precious square footage for other uses. Newer and more advanced still, an all-in-one washer and dryer combines two functions into a single unit, and don’t be surprised to find app and voice control in there, too. Just think of all the time you’ll save when you don’t have to wait and transfer clothes.

When it’s time to shop for appliances, be sure to check out all the smart models available from Whirlpool® and Jenn-Air®. Suitable for different budgets and in plenty of different sizes and looks, you’re sure to find great options for your home and lifestyle. If this new technology interests but is still strange to you, you can find video introductions online, and salespeople at showrooms are always excited to share the latest and greatest they have in stock!

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