Who needs a smart washer and dryer? Anyone who wants to save money, according to Whirlpool. The company debuted its new connected appliances at CES 2015. Soon, consumers will be able to buy the Smart Top Load Washer and Dryer and control the machines via an app on their phones.
Whirlpool has been part of the Nest’s “Works with Nest” developer program (Nest also announced a bunch of new partners at CES), and the washer and dryer are compatible with the smart thermostat. If your Nest gets the signal that you’re home, the washer can switch to a quieter mode so you’re not disturbed. When you’re gone, the dryer can use the EcoBoost function; this lower temperature makes the cycle take longer, but if you’re not going to be home for a while, who cares?
That’s not the only way the appliances can save you money. Nest’s Rush Hour Rewards program cuts down on your power bill by only starting your washer or dryer when the energy demand is off-peak. The price of electricity rises during these “rush hours,” so it’s beneficial to delay your laundry until demand decreases. (Unless you really, really need your lucky shirt tomorrow; in that case, carry on.)
One cool part of the app is a troubleshooting feature. If the dryer starts acting up, it walks you through some steps to pinpoint the problem. Should all else fail, you can connect with a technician and get some professional help.
Not everything about the machine is dependent on it being smart; it can still be used as you would any laundry appliance. The washer’s touchscreen looks different from a traditional one. Instead of separate knobs for selecting temperature and load size, there are different options under “What to wash” and “How to wash.”
Whether you’re doing delicates, whites, or a mixed load, you can then choose if you want a normal, quick, or cold cycle. There are even special settings for baby clothes and bedding. Eventually, there will be downloadable cycles for specialized laundry needs. Request: Can we request a “sterilization” cycle for the next time we have a houseguest with a cold?
There’s no pricing available for the washer and dryer yet, but they’ll be available in spring 2015.