In 2023, a smart home is far from an indulgence or passing trend. Listening to tunes from connected speakers, adjusting thermostats remotely, connected home appliances, and locking doors via a security app… these are just a few of many examples which illustrate how new technologies are being used in our homes.
With the number of smart homes expected to surpass 400 million worldwide by 2024, investing in home appliances that use tech like AI and IoT to enable our digital homes will soon become everyone’s normal.
Especially because buying home appliances which feature the latest technology is one way to save money on household bills (e.g. switching to a smart thermostat can slash your heating costs by an average of 31%). Savvy consumers also want to minimise waste of all kinds (food waste, water waste, using excess product unnecessarily) in an effort to lead more sustainable lives. And let’s not discount the ways that new technology can enhance and streamline our lives, so chores take up less time and don’t feel like a hassle. Read on to find out how new technologies are making your everyday home appliances more efficient than ever before…
The better the tech, the more energy-efficient the product
Considering that washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers contribute 14% of the costs on a typical energy bill (according to the Energy Saving Trust), choosing energy-efficient models for these bigger home appliances can make a difference in terms of the small things, like how much detergent you use per cycle.
It also impacts the big ones, like the cost of your water and energy bills - you can potentially save hundreds by switching to a more energy-efficient model). Plus by using home appliances apps such as Home Connect, you can Check water and energy estimates for your washing programmes before you use them.
Thanks to tech advances, the new breed of white goods on the market operate more effectively and efficiently while using less energy, something UK consumers are hungry for in the face of rising costs and concerns about sustainability. Research from Mintel found that 48% of UK consumers were willing to pay more for energy-efficient appliances.
Take Bosch’s i-DOS washing machines*: precision-engineered with intelligent dosing technology, these machines have integrated sensors which understand how much detergent and water to use for each wash – down to the millilitre.
Skip manual dosing and save detergent with i-DOS – with Detergent Scan you can just scan your detergent with your Home Connect app and i-DOS will do the rest. The feature automatically sets the optimal dosage for your detergent and softener, depending on the water hardness of your location, so that you always achieve perfect laundry dose with minimal effort (and detergent). There’s even a five-year warranty in place on select models** so any parts, call-out charges and labour costs are covered if you ever need them.
Home drying technology has also come a long way in terms of using less heat while drying more efficiently than before. Bosch’s Heat Pump dryers have sensors gauging both temperature and moisture at various points during a drying cycle, so the machines automatically sense when your load is completely dry. If you're not sure of the right programme to use, Bosch dryers with Home Connect can do it for you. Selected washers and dryers work together, by using sensors to analyse your wash and selecting the ideal drying programme for you. This will save you coming back to check if your laundry is dry.
The ease of controlling your appliances with an app
There are various benefits that come from being able to control your devices remotely, especially convenience at your fingertips. This is especially handy when you’re not in the same room, you’re at work or on your way home and want to check on the laundry progress or preheat the oven for dinner.
Some apps take the whole “let’s make your life easier” premise even further, like Home Connect, which automatically reorders dishwasher tablets when you're running low, so you never run out. The app also enables you to avoid peak energy times by running cycles exactly when you need them – and you can control your appliances even when your hands are full using voice control.
Smart controls can be particularly beneficial for keeping tabs on your appliances that always need to stay on, like fridges and freezers, which account for roughly 13% of an average household’s energy bill (according to Energy Saving Trust).
Avoid wasting energy and money while you're away by setting your fridge-freezer to holiday mode using the Home Connect app. It will also notify users if the temperature of the appliance has changed significantly (suggesting a door left open too long or power cut). To minimise food waste, you can use the app to keep track of expiry dates, essential for those looking to cut costs and live more sustainably.
Smart lighting creates ambiance… and acts like security
Smart lighting systems replace individual light switches so you can control every room in the house with your voice or a tap of your fingers. They can also save you money by reducing energy bills, since they allow you to control which lights go on – and when. Many are straightforward to set up: simply replace your old bulb with a smart one and download the corresponding app to control it.
There are aesthetic benefits that come from smart lighting, too, ranging from colour-changing options for mood and ambiance, through to syncing your lighting with your entertainment and even adjusting your appliance display lighting. For those unfamiliar, it’s easier than you imagine, and you can pair your smart lighting and appliances simply with Google Home, Amazon Alexa or similar. Smart lighting tech can also play a role in helping with home security, too: motion or sound triggers can activate outdoor lighting automatically. Many of these apps have an “away mode” feature which allows you to set your lights to turn on and off at random, so it mimics the way people use their lights when at home.
Tech that saves you time
Lowering the cost of monthly bills, minimising water and product waste and making it easier to lead a more sustainable lifestyle can all be considered significant perks of new tech innovations. Now, let’s take a moment to appreciate how much quicker and easier technology can make those dull and tedious everyday tasks – especially considering studies have shown that the average Brit spends over 2000 days in their lifetime doing chores.
PerfectDry technology*** is one way to get some of that time back for other activities – you’ll never need to wipe a dish again. Available on selected dishwashers from Bosch, it incorporates Zeolith technology, where natural minerals work to transform humidity into warm air, so the machine dries dishes as it cleans, ensuring perfectly dry dishes (from glass to china to plastic) at the end of each cycle.
These dishwashers are 22.8% more energy-efficient and have other added bonuses - you can create a favourite the Home Connect app to make selection of your preferred programme (like PerfectDry) much easier. Accessible from all your devices it also displays on the appliance fascia on selected models. Great for households where different people use appliances in different ways.
*Calculation is based on a mixed load washed at 40°C with 38% manual over-dosing of liquid detergent vs. an automatic dosing appliance with 10 kg and 4D wash system: Investigation WL 1547/19 conducted by WFK Institute for Applied Research, dated 08/2019, and commissioned by BSH Hausgeräte GmbH.
**Offer dates: 01.04.23 - 31.03.24
T&Cs apply. Online registration required. Selected models only.
***Bosch PerfectDry dishwasher with Zeolith® technology with an energy consumption of 0,73 kw/h compared with a comparable Bosch dishwasher without Zeolith® with an energy consumption of 0,92 kw/h, values per cycle according to EU Regulation No. 2019/2017.