Do You Need a Smart Home or a Thoughtful Home?

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By April Khan, Appliances Connection You may be wondering if there?s any real difference between the two phrases -- and the answer is yes.? Each home offers a different set of benefits and obvious downfalls, and both terms are tossed around a lot. So how do you know which one is best for you?Let?s take a look at the definitions first:

Smart Home ? A smart home is a home that contains either smart appliances or a central smart system like Nest. Smart appliances are connected to the internet or programmed with auto-start features.

Thoughtful Home ? A thoughtful home is one that contains appliances that are designed to meet everyday demands. These products have intuitive features that use several metrics to ?predict? your needs.

When looking at the two definitions together, it?s clear to see the obvious difference between the two. Thoughtful home appliances are smart, but they?re also intuitive. Let?s use Nest as an example. Once you set your thermostat a couple of times, Nest keeps track of these habits and will automatically power on the thermostat at just the right temperature for you.? A smart thermostat wouldn?t automatically pick up your habits and ?intuitively? switch anything on, but it would allow you to set a timer or the temperature through a smart app.

What?s Your Life All About?

Still not sure which smart home best suits your needs? Factor in your lifestyle. If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you?re probably better off with a thoughtful home:
  • Are you always on the go?
  • Do you forget to turn things on or off?
  • Are you not tech savvy?
  • Are you lazy? (Just kidding)
If you answer yes to any of the following questions then you?ll be better off with a smart appliance:
  • Do you like to ?interact? with your appliances?
  • Do you work from home?
  • Are you trying to cut energy costs?
  • Do you entertain guests frequently?
This is in no way an exhaustive list of what you have to look forward to in owning either type of appliance. However, it should give you some idea.

Name Your Price

Price is often a factor for choosing the right appliance. Although a specific appliance may check every box you have, the price may be a little steep. So think, how much are you willing to pay for your new appliance.

You?ve probably heard that smart appliances are overpriced by family or friends, and there?s a reason for this misnomer.

First, smart appliances ?do? a lot more than the average appliance. Let?s take a refrigerator for example. A refrigerator is designed for two basic purposes: to store and cool food. It doesn?t do much else. However, a smart refrigerator contains some of the following functions:
  • Predictive temperature control
  • Digital thermostat on the exterior or interior of the refrigerator
  • Special shelving for different types of food
  • Ample storage
  • Energy Saving mode
Let?s discuss the last item in this list. Most smart refrigerators are Energy Star certified.? According to EnergyStar.gov, to earn the Energy Star certification the appliance must:

?Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants caused by inefficient use of energy??

Therefore an energy efficient refrigerator will cost more than its counterpart, but the costs are recouped through energy savings over time.? Some of the energy saving features found on a smart refrigerator are:
  • Door-in-Door technology ?allows you to store food in a special compartment outside of the main gallery.
  • Cooling drawer ? allows you to set the temperature to what you need.
  • LCD screen ? allows you to see what?s in your refrigerator without needing to open it. It also shows you what food is about to expire and which foods you need to purchase.
The repeating theme in all of the above sample features is that you don?t need to open your refrigerator. This keeps the gallery from warming up and having to pull more energy to cool down.

The last feature is both smart and thoughtful. It is capable ? on Frigidaire models ? of communicating with your smart phone. This means you don?t have to be present to see any of the above information.

There are dozens of smart appliances for your kitchen and laundry room, and many are predictive ?thoughtful?. If you want to check any out, visit Appliances Connection.
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