BENTON HARBOR, MICH. – Whirlpool has introduced a smart washer and dryer that can be wirelessly controlled by the Nest Learning Thermostat.
Whirlpool said the laundry pair, available exclusively through The Home Depot’s website, represents a first step in a broader collaboration between the majap maker and Nest’s new “Works with Nest” developer program for connected home devices.
Consumers can connect the frontload washer and dryer, model numbers WE and WF L98HEBU, to their Nest account through the Whirlpool Smart Appliance app, available at the Google Play and App store. Whirlpool said the thermostat’s Home and Away mode can then signal the washer and dryer to maintain the freshness of the laundry load if a cycle ends while the consumer is out, or switch the dryer into a slightly longer, more energyefficient cycle.
In addition, for households enrolled in Nest’s Rush Hour Rewards program through a participating utility, the washer and dryer can automatically delay the start of a cycle during high-demand energy periods.
The washer and dryer retail for $1,599 each.
“Our relationship with Nest underscores our commitment to developing innovations that answer and anticipate consumers’ needs,” said Brett Dibkey, integrated business units VP/general manager. “We are focused creating dynamic consumer experiences that make a house feel like a home.”
He added that the collaboration is part of a Whirlpool corporate strategy to build relationships with companies like Nest “that demonstrate our shared passion for creating consumer-inspired products … It’s an exciting time as we look at the future of the home appliance industry and the number of possibilities on the horizon.”
In other laundry news, Whirlpool’s Duet steam dryer, model WED87HED, became the first clothes dryer to receive Energy Star certification.
Dryers were permitted to contend for Energy Star status for the first time after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved new specifications in May. Qualifying gas, electric and compact dryers will use about 20 percent less energy than next year’s minimum efficiency standards thanks to improved sensors and the use of heat pumps to recirculate hot air.