Choosing the appliances to go along with a kitchen remodel can be stressful and time-consuming.
You go to your local Home Depot and check out all the shiny new options you can replace your old appliances with. And you ask yourself, are the added features and high-tech appearance right for me?
As a remodeler who has designed and built dozens of kitchens with smart appliances, we understand what these appliances are capable of and if they are right for you.
Smart appliances for your kitchen do some pretty cool things. Understanding the pros and cons of these appliances will allow you to know if the added features are right for you.
What are Smart Appliances?
The word “smart” often refers to the level of electronic sophistication (and integration) in everything from cars to phones to home appliances.
The features vary from device to device and the price can vary depending on the different things the Smart appliance can do.
In the kitchen, smart technologies can be found in just about any piece of “old-fashioned” equipment whether it’s a refrigerator, dishwasher, or stove.
These smart appliances and devices take the guesswork out of just about anything you can do wrong in the kitchen.
You’re about to learn the pros and cons of smart refrigerators along with whether it’s a good fit or bad fit for your needs.
The Pros of Smart Refrigerators
Smart fridges can come with a Wi-Fi-enabled screen on the door which can do some pretty cool things including
Connecting to other smart applications such as Alexa or Ring Doorbell
Seamless integration with other devices increases the usability of every device.
Use a variety of apps
Display weather and recipes
Create and send grocery lists to your phone
See what’s inside of the fridge (even from your phone)
Easy if you are at the store and forget what to get
More energy efficient than non-smart counterparts
Saves money every month on your electric bill.
The Cons of Smart Refrigerators
Higher purchase cost
Higher maintenance costs
It May become obsolete quickly
Chances are high that the manufacturer may discontinue support for older models
Security and hacking concerns
A smart fridge (with cameras) that is connected to your phone and other sensitive areas can be a prime target for hackers and criminals if they gain access.
It May be overly complex
With all of the features on the fridge, the space on the screen can be cluttered and confusing.
Determining if a Smart Refrigerator is a Good Fit for You
You are a ‘techy’ person who wants to have the latest and greatest toys for your house when they come out
You have a family with different schedules for your kids, lots of food and meals to prepare, and your own busy schedule
You want to save on the energy bill for your house
The high up-front cost doesn’t scare you off
Determining if a Smart Refrigerator is a Bad Fit for You
You just want an appliance to keep your food cold. You don’t care about all of the bells and whistles
The added cost of a smart fridge isn’t worth the added features to you
The look you want for your kitchen doesn’t work well with a massive computer screen on the fridge door
You want to save money on your kitchen remodel (if your fridge is part of a larger kitchen remodel)
You’re going to learn the pros and cons of smart dishwashers and if they are a good fit or a bad fit for your needs.
The Pros of a Smart Dishwasher
Control your dishwasher from your phone or Alexa devices
Choose different washer cycles remotely
Monitor dishwasher performance on your phone
Alerts you when the dishwashing cycle is complete
Alerts you of malfunctions or if repairs are needed
More energy efficient than a regular dishwasher
Some models save water from previous cycles to use in the next cycle
Increases drying to reduce drying time
Some models have a transparent window to view the washing cycle during operation
The ability to view the dishwashing cycle in operation is a fun feature for people who haven’t seen it before
The Cons of a Smart Dishwasher
Higher upfront cost
Typically more expensive than a traditional washer
Maintenance costs can be higher, especially if the smart functions break
Will most people start their dishwasher from their phone? Likely not, you load it up, then press the start button on the washer.
If purchased, the viewing window could break, costing you repair costs
It means you are hand washing until it is fixed
Determining if a Smart Dishwasher is a Good Fit for You
You like the function of connecting your phone to everything in your home. Including your dishwasher
The viewing window will bring you enjoyment. Most dishwashers do not include this feature
The additional cost of a smart dishwasher doesn’t bother you.
Determining if a Smart Dishwasher is a Bad Fit for You
You just want a simple, run-in-the-mill dishwasher
You want a cheap dishwasher. If you are looking to save money, a smart dishwasher isn’t for you
Unnecessary features that will likely go unused
Smart ovens can do extra things that normal ovens and ranges cannot do. You’re going to learn the pros and cons as well as if they are a good or bad fit depending on your needs.
The Pros of a Smart Oven
Controlled through smartphone
Turn temp up or down
Adjust cooking settings (convection, conventional, or broil)
It will tell you if you forgot to turn it off
Useful if you are out of the house
Easily monitor the cooking process while away from your kitchen
Stovetops can be customized for cooking any size/shape of pan or pot
The Cons of a Smart Oven
Due to the heat, computing components may not last
It will cost more than a traditional range oven
No large screens so additional features are limited
Determining if a Smart Oven is a Good Fit for You
You want to be able to control your oven away from your kitchen
You cook a lot and have to adjust the cooking settings for your recipes
Don’t mind paying extra for an oven for your kitchen
Determining if a Smart Oven is a Bad Fit for You
The ability to control your oven from your phone is unnecessary
The added cost of the smart oven is not worth it to you vs a traditional oven
Next Steps for Your Smart Appliance Research
In this article, you learned the pros and cons of some of the most common smart kitchen appliances. Now you know if these smart appliances are right for you and your kitchen.
If you have more questions about putting smart appliances in your home or want more information on what a kitchen remodel would look like in your home, contact our sales staff and they will be more than happy to answer your questions.
Michael brings over 2 decades of building and remodeling experience to his position as the Owner and Visionary of Custom Built. Michael’s passion to make an impact on the home building industry has led him to serve for over ten years at the local and state Home Builders Association, culminating as President of the HBA of Michigan in 2020.