Everything you need to know when buying a Smart tumble dryer
In today’s tech heavy world, it seems like everything can be controlled from our smartphones. And, let’s face it, that’s mostly true – even down to our household appliances. As such, when buying a new appliance, many people are looking out for that ‘smart’ label. This tells you that your appliance can be connected to your home WiFi connection and be controlled from your smartphone – sometimes even when outside of your home.
So it comes as no surprise that smart tumble dryers are in particular demand right now. The ability to control when your washing goes on and off with ease, without having to be beside the machine, can sound very appealing. However, there are some things you should think through before deciding to put money down on a smart tumble dryer – and the team here at Repair Aid are going to walk you through what you need to know before you do just that!
Smart tumble dryers explained
First of all, let’s define what we mean by smart tumble dryers. The term ‘smart’ refers to technology that allows an appliance to be monitored and/or controlled through an interface such as a smartphone, tablet or computer by using an app. In some homes, this can be done through intermediary devices that use voice-activation such as Amazon’s Alexa or Dot and Google’s Nest. However, before you buy a particular smart tumble dryer, make sure that your choice is compatible with the devices you intend to use to interact with the machine.
These apps and devices often allow you to choose the type of wash or dry programme you want to use, set when you want the machine to start the wash, keep an eye on a wash or dry cycle (i.e. seeing how long there is left) and access a detailed breakdown of how much energy your machine used during a cycle.
Why is this useful?
There’s no doubt that this can feel really futuristic and very cool the first time you use a smart tumble dryer, but the novelty can soon wear off if you start to see it as nothing more than a ‘gimmick’. After all, the machine isn’t going to grow a set of legs, go to your washing basket, unleash its hidden retractable arms and shove your washing into the drum all by itself now, is it? Maybe if you’re Wallace & Gromit. So you’re still going to need to do all that stuff yourself and, well, you may as well set the wash cycle while you’re there, right? So what’s the use of the app?
However, it can be good if you find you’re in a rush a lot of the time. You can just shove the clothes in the drum and deal with it later when you have time to set the cycle from your phone while you’re out and about. Also, being able to keep track of how long is left without having to physically go to the machine can be useful too. As is being able to see how much energy your machine is using in real-time. Additionally, you can have get new custom cycles if the manufacturer updates the machine’s firmware through your internet connection and some apps even allow you to create your own custom cycles that are suited to particular garments.
The cost difference
Like all smart appliances, smart tumble dryers are more expensive than their non-smart counterparts. However, the difference isn’t always that huge. Depending on your budget, you will generally see price differences in the region of £50 to £200 between smart and non-smart tumble dryers. With that in mind, it’s really up to you to assess if this difference is worth it for you and your wants. Would it generally improve how you feel about doing the washing? Or would it water down to nothing more than a barely used novelty?
Aside from a different user interface, there’s very little to no difference between the function of smart and non-smart tumble dryers.
A final word of caution
While many people do put their tumble dryers on when they are out of their home – particularly smart tumble dryers – as it will be ready for them coming home from work or a school run, it is worth keeping in mind that tumble dryers get very hot. As such, it isn’t safe to run them when no-one is around. As this is one of the main reasons why people want to buy a smart tumble dryer in the first place, it’s worth keeping this in mind before you buy.