Is your washing machine a boring white box, or is it a smart, wi-fi connected model pre-loaded with apps to make cleaning your clothes as much fun as playing games on your smartphone?
Modern kitchen appliances are getting pretty good at their fundamental tasks, whether that’s washing, freezing, heating or drying. To stand out in the crowd even the most everyday appliances compete to have the fanciest features.
Two years ago my colleague Lisa Galliers asked you which appliance features are essential and which ones you could happily live without. Since then, some technologies have moved on and become more widespread.
Apps for appliances
Smart technology is the latest fad in kitchen appliances, with products from fridge freezers to washing machines coming equipped with built-in wi-fi and apps to help you communicate with them wherever you are using a smartphone. Handy if you’re too lazy to get off the sofa and press actual buttons.
I’m not opposed to appliances having more user-friendly controls and the option to customise settings, but I am worried about how quickly a smart appliance might become obsolete. If the touchscreen display on my washing machine breaks, how much will the repairs cost?
Techy tumbles and fancy fridge freezers
Even the good old tumble dryer is getting hi-tech, with energy-saving heat-pump technology becoming more common and more affordable. The up-front cost of buying a heat-pump dryer is usually high, but the low running costs seem more and more tempting as energy bills rise.
When you buy a new fridge freezer, you probably want it to do a good job of the basics – namely keeping food safely chilled or frozen. But some models now come with features that claim to keep your food fresher for longer, such as humidity-controlled salad crisper drawers. Some fridge freezers even contain devices that release ‘active oxygen’, with the claim that this technology cuts down on bacteria formation and nasty smells.
Have you bought a new appliance recently? Did you feel overwhelmed by different features to choose between, or was it easy to find a machine that simply does a great job of the basics?