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Smart Appliances: Give the Latest Washer/Dryer Technology a SpinOctober 9th, 2015 by
What if your washer and dryer could text you to let you know when your clothes were clean? Wonder no longer—smart home appliances have arrived to put a new spin on your laundry routine. Find out how a high-performance washer and dryer with integrated smart technology can help lighten your load on laundry day.
How Washers Work
First, clothes are loaded into the washing machine’s inner drum through a door in the top or front of the machine. After you select the temperature and speed at which you want to wash your load, a set of valves opens to allow soap and water to enter the inner drum and wash over your clothes. This inner drum, which is perforated and lined with small paddles, is where the clothes are washed; the outer drum surrounds the inner drum and keeps soapy water from escaping the washing machine.
When the drum is full of water, the valves switch off and the inner drum begins to rotate. In some machines, an impeller (a rotating hub that creates currents in the water) or agitator (a spindle that uses fins or vanes to spin clothing items) helps to move clothes around as well.
Next, the valves reopen to allow clean water into the drums to rinse your clothes, at which point the inner drum begins to rotate again. Once the clothes have been rinsed, the inner drum spins even faster to somewhat dry the laundry out.
How Dryers Work
After the clean, wet clothes are placed in the dryer and you’ve chosen the temperature settings you want, a motor uses a belt to turn the drum of the dryer while heated air is drawn into the moving drum. This hot air dries your laundry before passing through a lint trap and escaping through an attached vent. The dryer then switches off once a preselected amount of time has elapsed.
What Makes a Smart Washer or Dryer?
New washers and dryers are using wireless technology and other innovations to help laundry day go as smoothly as possible. If a smart washer or dryer sounds like a good fit for you, here are some of the best options:
Whirlpool’s Smart Top or Front Load Washers can interpret readings from a thermostat to decide which settings to use. For example, the washer might start a load when it senses that you’ve left, or it might use a quieter setting if you’re home. This smart front-loading washer can also be timed to run during times of the day when electricity costs less. The accompanying Smart Front Load Electric Dryer can also be programmed to work at more cost-efficient times of day, run at a lower setting for longer if it detects that you’ve left home, or even text you if it senses a blocked vent. Whirlpool’s smart appliances can be controlled from your smartphone.
The Samsung Activewash is a top-loading machine that incorporates a small sink in which you can pretreat or hand wash heavily stained or delicate items before loading them into the washer. This saves you the trouble of having to carry them from a kitchen or bathroom sink.
The TWIN Wash system from LG includes an additional, smaller drum that slides out from below the main washer. This drum can wash delicate loads while the main drum washes normal ones, saving you the time and water that would otherwise be spent doing two separate loads. Like the Whirlpool Smart Front Load Washer, the TWIN Wash can be connected and monitored through WiFi and can let you know when your load is ready. The Mini Washer can even be purchased separately and added to other non-smart washing machines.
Though some may be more expensive up front, a smart washer/dryer combo can save water, time, and money in the long run and make laundry less of a chore. Troubleshooting your smart washing machine or dryer? Get in touch with a Best Pick appliance repair company to keep your smart laundry machines working like new.
Sources: Consumer Reports; Explain That Stuff!; Digital Trends; DoItYourself; GizMag; Gizmodo; HomeTips; The Independent; TIME; SFGate.