When I think, “Smart Home,” I imagine futuristic appliances that anticipate my every need — helping me get dinner ready, unlocking the door as I approach, or even helping me wake up in the morning with a cup of coffee. Crazily, these appliances are available right now, and they use the power of your home’s wireless network to let you operate them via app, and talk to other things in your home. They also usually come with a steep price tag, leaving many of us wondering if the expenses is truly worth it. Are these wifi appliances going to make my life easier? And will they truly do all that they promise? Let’s look at a few categories, and I’ll give you my opinion about whether you should splurge, or just stick to your “dumb” appliances for a little while longer.
Thermostats? 100% yes. Having a wireless thermostat is fantastic on a few fronts. One, it really helps you take control of how much money you spend heating and cooling your home. The data is all there for you to see, and tweak over time, to save you money. Two, you can operate a wifi thermostat remotely with a smartphone app, so if you can set the house to “away” mode while you’re on vacation, and have it warm up for you while you’re on your way home from the airport. Lastly, you know those moments when you’re lying in bed, and it’s too hot or cold, but you don’t want to get up to change the temperature? Enough said.
Ovens? No thanks. While I love to see innovation in kitchen appliances, so far the applications for a wifi-enabled oven are that I can pre-heat it while I’m away from home with it’s app (which, I dunno, sounds kind of scary to me), and that it might even have an internet-connected screen on it that can find recipes (I have screens that can handle that already, thank you). I’m feeling like you can pass on paying the premium price for a wifi-enabled oven range and invest elsewhere.