Everything You Need To Know About Smart Washing Machines
In today’s landscape, companies that sell consumer goods are extremely focused on manufacturing products that utilise the widespread availability of smartphones and wireless internet connections. These products are commonly known as “smart devices“.
This approach really shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, WiFi is thought to be available in at least nine out of ten homes in the UK, while 85% of us are said to own smartphones.
So devices that make use of both these technologies, and their widespread usage, are becoming everyday fixtures in homes up and down the country. This includes smart thermostats, smart TVs and, of course, smart washing machines.
So what are smart washing machines? How do they work? Who do they benefit? And are they worth the money?
We aim to answer these questions in this helpful article.
Table of contents:
- Smart Washing Machines: What Are They?
- How Do They Work?
- What Are The Benefits?
- Do You Need A Smartphone To Work A Smart Washing Machine?
- Are They Safe?
- Are Smart Washing Machines Worth The Money?
Smart Washing Machines: What Are They?
Let’s start by defining a “smart device”. These devices utilise wireless technology (such as WiFi, 3G, Bluetooth, etc.) to communicate and interact with other devices or networks. So a simple example of a smart device is a smartphone.
A smart washing machine acts in a similar manner.
Despite not having the functionality of a smartphone or a tablet, it is able to connect to a network via WiFi. In the domestic setting, this would be your home router and network. As your handheld smart device (such as a smartphone or tablet) can also interact with this network, both the washing machine and your handheld smart device are able to interact. This is achieved through the installation of a smart washing machine app on your phone or tablet.
How Do They Work?
Via this aforementioned app, you will be able to control your washing machine via your phone – no matter where you are located in your house. However, due to smartphones being compatible with 3G networks, you can even interact with your home network – and your smart washing machine – from outside of your house too.
This means that whether you’re out in the garden, heading to work or at the shops, you will be able to control your washing machine – as long as you have an internet connection.
Other than this, they work just like any other regular washing machine.
What Are The Benefits?
If you find yourself leaving the house in a rush and sometimes forget to put the washing on when you leave, you can select your function and start your wash via the manufacturer’s smartphone or tablet app.
Not only that, but this allows you to time when your washing machine comes on. This can be helpful if you are looking to save money on your energy bills and want to make use of off-peak rates.
You are also able to check the progress of a wash via the app, and you can even set a notification for when it has finished. This means that forgetting about your washing is a thing of the past.
Another great feature is that you can even receive maintenance updates to notify you if a problem is detected with the machine. It will let you know of any minor quibbles, such as a blocked lint filter, or if there is a larger issue with the machine. The app will notify you and offer solutions to solve the problem.
Despite smart washing machines being powered by modern technology, it is important to remember that they are still washing machines. Washing machine repairs – performed by the likes of Repair Aid – will eventually be required as the products approach the end of their life cycle.
Whether a problem arises or you just want to stop your wash for whatever reason, you can even pause the cycle via your app.
Do You Need A Smartphone To Work A Smart Washing Machine?
If you are interested in buying a particular smart washing machine due to its features and quality, you may be concerned that the machine cannot be used without a smartphone or tablet to access its functions. Thankfully, a smart washing machine acts just like a normal washing machine. It will have a built-in dashboard – either with buttons, dials and/or an LCD touchscreen.
It is possible that future models of cheap smart washing machines may well do away with such manual inputs in order to save money on production costs and due to the widespread availability of wireless networks, smartphones and tablets.
Are They Safe?
As our dependence on automation increases, it is not uncommon to find that some people feel uncomfortable with the notion of controlling their washing machine in such a ‘hands off’ manner.
Yet it could be argued that smart washing machines are generally safer than any other type of washing machine that has come before it. With non-smart washing machines, you will never know the state of your washing machine once you leave your house. You could come back to a kitchen that has been flooded for hours.
Conversely, having a smartphone app allows you to know if there are any problems with your washing machine – whether you are home or away.
It is worth noting that smart washing machines will not allow you to remotely start a cycle if the door is slightly ajar or if there is a lack of water supply.
So a smart washing machine doesn’t remove your input from the equation, it just offers an alternative input for you to access its features in a remote manner.
Are Smart Washing Machines Worth The Money?
When they were first introduced just a few years ago, manufacturers struggled to sell potential buyers on the benefits of a smart washing machine. As the retail prices of new technologies are often rather high for ‘early adaptors’, smart washing machines weren’t exactly setting the world alight.
Today, it’s possible to pick up an affordable smart washing machine for under £300. While this is still more expensive than a regular washing machine of comparable build quality, it’s not unreasonable.
That being said, the high-end smart washing machines – much like high-end regular machines – are still very pricey.
Whether or not it is worth buying a smart machine ultimately depends on your lifestyle and if you would actually make use of its remote capabilities.
If you’re very hands off with your washing, then a regular machine will continue to do you just fine.
However, if you love smart technology and like to have control and information at your fingertips, you’ll likely reap the benefits of a smart washing machine.