Smarter Appliances


 Like something out of a Matrix movie, these new appliances function with high-tech efficiency and do the thinking (and cooking and cleaning) for you.

Photo courtesy of KOBE Range Hoods
  Product: KOBE RA-02 Range Hood
Why it’s smart: A contemporary-style hood, this one is packed with advanced characteristics like powerful internal blowers that offer peace and quiet and a touch-screen LCD panel for easy control. Think-for-you automatic features include an ISC (Integrated Sensor Control) that turns on to exhaust heat and gas and a mechanism that shuts off power after a time delay.


Photo courtesy of Kuppersbusch

Product: Kuppersbusch Induction Cooktop
Why it’s smart: This sleek cooktop with a built-in wok option gets cooking in 6 seconds flat. Twice as fast and more efficient than gas or electric, induction coils produce a magnetic field that creates an all-over, even heat. Plus, the black glass-ceramic surface remains cool to the touch—no more burns!

Photo courtesy of Fagor

Product: Fagor Tall Tub Dishwasher
Why it’s smart: Equipped with an eco-sensor, it measures the level of soil in the wash water and fills the tub with fresh H2O only when it is necessary. It’s also super-quiet, absorbs drying steam so dishes don’t come out “drippy” and includes a programmable time delay up to 9 hours, water softener and digital display.

Photo courtesy of Fisher & Paykel Appliances

Product: Fisher & Paykel Active Smart French Door Refrigerator
Why it’s smart: This fridge boasts an ergonomic design with its French doors that provide a wider access to a large internal space, allowing for storage of large items like serving platters. Other innovative technologies include a sensor that learns your daily usage habits and continually adapts with the climatic conditions for excellent food preservation. Another noteworthy element: a “bottle chill” mode cools a beverage, fast.

Photo courtesy of Siemens

Product: Siemens ultraStack Washer and Dryer
Why it’s smart: Not only does this compact 24-inch washer and dryer (shown here) stack on top of each other and fit in the smallest of laundry room spaces, they are loaded with specialty cycles and features that will make you wonder why you ever needed a dry cleaner. There are nine dry cycles to choose from and 15 wash programs, including specialty cycles: wool, hand-wash, delicates, intensive, sanitary and refresh.


A colorful history

Laundry rooms weren’t always this colorful. Kenmore was the first to start the trend away from popular white-toned washer and dryers in 2001 with the introduction of a graphite color to its Elite HE series. Now, 7 years later, the series offers everything from Barolo, a rich red wine hue, to Twilight, a blend of navy, aqua and metallic shades. Many other companies have followed suit.

What it will cost you

  • KOBE hood, $1,340-1,610
  • Kuppersbusch cooktop, price varies
  • Fagor dishwasher, $1,399
  • Fisher & Paykel fridge, $2,499
  • Siemens washer/dryer, $1099 each

Helpful sites

Maintaining your dishwasher

  • Prevent rust by checking for nicks and covering them with a plastic coating material or sealant.
  • Clean clogged food out of the water sprayer or catch drain.
  • Seal gaps in the doorframe by replacing damaged gaskets (usually available at your local hardware store; if not, contact the manufacturer).
  • If mineral deposits are building up inside your dishwasher, place a small container of vinegar and detergent in the machine.
  • Keep the dishwasher clean enough to clean dishes.

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