If you’re replacing a refrigerator, you may have encountered a new kind of appliance and might be wondering what a smart refrigerator is and what it does. Here’s an overview of smart fridge features and benefits so that you can decide if buying one is worth it to you.
A smart refrigerator is a kitchen appliance that connects into your smart home system. By connecting your refrigerator to the internet, you can control it with your smart hub or smart phone. A connected smart fridge can bring you many benefits that you might want to consider as you are setting up your smart home.
One of the most important smart refrigerator benefits is one that impacts your wallet. A smart kitchen helps you measure and control power usage by all of your appliances. Since kitchen appliances, particularly refrigerators, make up a large percentage of your household energy usage, improving efficiency has a direct connection to the size of your power bill.
Smart refrigerators are more energy-efficient than traditional models and include various features that offer additional energy savings. These include sending you alerts if your refrigerator door is left open, regularly monitoring for issues, and allowing you to see inside of your refrigerator without opening the door and consuming energy.
Another smart fridge benefit is that you get fine-tuned control of the temperature and moisture in each compartment. You can create the right environment for preserving everything from apples to zucchini. Maintaining the right humidity and temperature extends the length of time your food stays edible and protects its nutrient content.
Keeping track of your food will help you know what you have available and when items will expire. Sensors and cameras in your smart refrigerator track when food is removed, making it easy to keep track of when you need to restock. You can log in items and know when to use them before they spoil. You can cut down on food waste and prevent being out of key ingredients with food tracking.
Another answer to the question of what a smart refrigerator does is that it lets you know when it isn’t working properly. Home automation helps you keep track of the health of your appliances, including your smart refrigerator. It sends notifications to connected devices, like your smartphone. You can troubleshoot issues through the smart interface or get service for the appliance before you find yourself with a broken refrigerator full of spoiled food.
Your smart fridge connected to a smart home assistant like Alexa or Constellation Connect is ready to answer your commands. You can adjust temperature, check inventory, order food and drinks and create and send a shopping list. You can even ask what recipes will work with the items you have on hand if you are stumped on what to make for dinner. Some models have multimedia features so that they can play music or video on the screen on the front of the unit.
Now that you can answer the question, what is a smart refrigerator, consider the next question. Is it worth the price? A smart refrigerator will cost anywhere between 20% to double what a common top-freezer refrigerator will run. In 2022, that is somewhere between $1,300 and $5,000, with certain ultra-premium brands costing even more.
You should look at your own needs and how you and your family use your refrigerator to make your decision. You can also consider how much energy your current refrigerator uses to calculate your potential savings and estimate the cost of food you throw out due to spoilage.
The typical refrigerator lasts ten to fifteen years. Smart refrigerators are relatively new on the market, so lifespan data isn’t available. Some people worry the technology will break before the refrigerator does. As with anything, care and maintenance can extend the life of any appliance.
How much space do you need? You may need a larger refrigerator if you have a big family or if you regularly store fresh foods or frozen foods for future use. Don’t buy more capacity than you need because you will be paying more to keep a bigger unit running.
Related to capacity is size. A smart refrigerator may be slightly wider than a unit with similar capacity in order to accommodate the LED screen and other features. Be sure that the refrigerators you are considering will fit in your kitchen.
Capacity is one thing. Usable capacity is another. Being able to reconfigure the space will allow you to accommodate a turkey one week and a large sheet cake another. Adjustable shelves ensure that you set up your fridge interior to make the most of the space.
To really be useful, your refrigerator needs to fit the style and layout of your kitchen. Some models can be fully customizable to blend into your kitchen decor.
Not all smart refrigerators have the same sets of features. Examine what each offers and don’t pay for extra whistles and bells you don’t need. Smart features include cameras and sensors, touch screens, a smart filter for odor control, and connections to an Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
Some allow you to make voice-activated phone calls and texts. Interactive displays can double as media centers for showing recipes or playing videos. Pay special attention to privacy and security safeguards for this appliance and any other in your smart kitchen.
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