The massive Consumer Electronics Show has just wrapped up in Las Vegas, where companies eagerly showed off their latest gizmos and gadgets. Some items demonstrated there are familiar, like even higher definition televisions, and some may be a bit creepy, like wearable computers. One trend in recent years has been the explosion of smart, connected appliances. While some question how far this trend will go (asking things like “why would my toaster need Wi-Fi?”), many connected appliances can make life much easier for the log home owner. Here are some of the ideas in connected appliances that seem the most useful.
Thermostats are no longer simple mechanical devices with one setting, as programmable thermostats have been available for several years. New models are much easier to use, shedding the hard to program reputation of days past. Models like the Nest Thermostat learn your behavior and program themselves. You simply change the temperature to what feels comfortable at a given time, and the thermostat will learn your patterns and program itself. The Nest and other thermostats, like EcoBee, are even connected to the internet and controllable by smartphone apps. This can be very useful if you come home early from work or vacation and want to have the home nice and toasty when you arrive.
Smart Washers and Dryers
While your old top-loading washer may still work, new models have many handy features. Front-loading washers are more efficient with water and energy use than older models, and new models can do additional tasks like pretreating and steam drying. Connected washers and dryers can allow you to change their settings remotely, eliminating the hassle of returning to the laundry room if you want to change the wash or dry cycle. These features also make it easy to leave the house and run other errands while knowing exactly when the laundry will finish.
It can be a pain to wait for an oven to preheat before starting dinner, but new connected ovens allow you to start the oven before you arrive home, thus saving valuable time. You can also control useful features like the convection setting from a smartphone app. Some ovens have a touchscreen tablet built in, which allows convenient access to your recipes while you cook.
So, do these new household technologies sound like they’d be a good fit in your ideal log home? Is all this connected tech a welcome addition, or an unnecessary undertaking? We’re curious to hear what you have to say. Leave us a comment here, or on our Facebook page. And, if you have any questions about designing and building a log home of your own (with or without an oven that can Tweet you) call Real Log Homes today or fill out the form below for more information.