Connected, or “smart,” appliances have features that simplify routine chores like cooking, cleaning and doing laundry.

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Q: We’re trying to “smarten up” our home with cool new tech, and were wondering what’s new in the world of appliances?

A: Whether remodeling an entire room or looking to add a single upgrade, it’s important to select the best products that will last for years to come. One of the best investments you can make is in your appliances. With a vast array of choices on the market today, you’ll want to carefully consider your options and select appliances that provide the features and style you want at a price that fits your budget.

Connected, or “smart,” appliances are becoming more popular and user-friendly, and they offer features that simplify routine chores like cooking, cleaning and doing laundry. From digital readouts to wireless connectivity, today’s innovations give you more smart choices than ever before.

Consider the following tech-enhanced appliances for your next upgrade.


A connected oven allows you to control functionality using a smartphone and customize your cooking experience with helpful tips and information. Preheat your oven on the go using your mobile device or access gourmet guides that direct meal preparation, including desired doneness and what type of pan to use.

Another tech innovation to consider when selecting an oven is convection. Convection cooking lets you cook multiple items at the same time without sacrificing consistent quality. For example, multiple racks of cookies will bake evenly, no matter their placement in the oven.


With a connected refrigerator, you can verbally instruct the fridge to fill the ice machine and raise or lower the temperature. Additionally, many fridges can now self-diagnose issues and alert you which replacement part to order or the precise error message to give the technician so they can diagnose the error.

Hands-free faucets

Reduce the spread of germs and messes with hands-free and single-touch faucets. Not sacrificing style or functionality, these faucets come with all the features of a traditional faucet, but they also include a unique sensor and water-flow mechanism. Simply touching any part of the faucet or placing objects directly under the faucet head turns the flow of water on and off.

Washers and dryers

Use an app to stay up to date during each step in the laundry process thanks to notifications from connected washers and dryers. Some washers are equipped to send digital reminders to start and stop wash cycles based on fabric care needs.

If no one is available to unload the dryer, you can receive a smartphone alert to activate a wrinkle shield function. For the ultimate in connectivity and energy savings, some units offer technology that pairs a connected washer and dryer with a home monitoring device. You are then able to automatically activate or delay the start of a cycle based on your device’s ability to recognize when you are home or away.

Appliance purchases are an investment in productivity, from cooking up culinary creations to removing tough stains. Don’t simply replace an appliance, select an option that is high-tech, faster and efficient enough to meet your needs for years to come.


Brad Faber is showroom manager at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery and a member of the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties, and HomeWork is the group’s weekly column. If you have a home improvement, remodeling or residential homebuilding question you’d like answered by one of the MBA’s more than 2,800 members, write to