A smart fridge is a great way to save energy
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What is a smart fridge, and should you invest in one?

Kimberly Hutchings
April 24, 2023

These days, you can add smart features to almost any home appliance – from smart washers and dryers that can be pre-scheduled to run when energy is most efficient to robotic vacuums like the Roomba that take the chores out of your hands. Smart homes are the way of the future, allowing us to create a more connected, streamlined and eco-friendly existence.

And one of the easiest ways to level up your home's IQ? Just head to the kitchen!

According to WGSN's 2025 Home Lifestyles White Paper, smart technology in the kitchen is forecasted to grow from a $17.42 billion industry in 2021 to a $32.61 billion one by as early as 2026 — and smart fridges play a significant role in this. 

But what is a smart fridge exactly? And are they really worth the investment? We're diving into these answers and more, so keep reading to determine if a smart fridge is right for you.

What is a smart fridge?

Smart fridges are also known as internet refrigerators or connected refrigerators. The main difference that sets them apart from a regular fridge is their ability to connect to the internet through wi-fi, Bluetooth or 5G networks.

Typically, these refrigerators feature a screen on their front door, and their internet functionality enables them to provide a wide range of additional features that more traditional models would be unable to offer.

For example, some smart refrigerators allow you to look inside your appliance, thanks to internal cameras, without even opening the door! This is an excellent way to reduce energy waste if you’re like us and spend a lot of time staring into the fridge contemplating what you'd like to snack on (guilty!). 

Generally, the features available depend on what model you opt for. In other words, not all smart fridges are built the same. For instance, Samsung's Family Hub Refrigerator allows you to stream music, manage a calendar and leave notes from its screen, while Food AI technology helps you manage grocery lists and meal prepping throughout the week. Comparatively, other, more basic smart fridge models offer simplified features, like the ability to send a text notification to your phone if you accidentally leave the door open.

Benefits of a smart fridge

As we mentioned above, the features of a smart fridge can vary significantly from model to model, which means that certain smart fridges will have benefits that others do not. 

But broadly, there are a few benefits that you can count on from most smart fridge models, so let's take a look at those.

1 | Smart fridges help minimize food waste.

Firstly, smart fridges help minimize food waste. Features like internal cameras can be monitored remotely through your smartphone allowing you to check what you already have at home while you’re on the go. This can help avoid buying duplicate, unnecessary ingredients on those last-minute grocery runs. Additionally, more recent models will even monitor expiration dates, helping you know what to use up first before it goes bad. 

These features are pretty essential when you consider that one-third of all US-grown food is wasted annually. The greenhouse gas emissions from just one person's food waste can equal that of a passenger car driving 1,336 miles every single year! By getting more connected to what you have in your fridge, what needs to be used and when, smart fridges can help you minimize your impact on the planet and your wallet. Goodbye, moldy grapes!

2 | Smart fridges can connect with your other smart appliances.

Another great benefit that most smart fridges provide is the option to connect to other smart appliances within your home, such as a smart thermostat. Through the screen on your smart fridge, you can control your home's temperature, allowing you to set scheduled times to turn off your AC or furnace, dial back on energy consumption during peak usage times (like OhmHours!), or simply just adjust for your comfort.

3 | Smart fridges can help you reduce your energy footprint.

Finally, we can't talk about smart fridges without considering energy efficiency. One of the most significant benefits of investing in a smart fridge is its impact on your energy use and they have quite a few features that help make it possible. For instance, some smart fridge models can monitor electrical use during certain times of day, saving their most energy-intensive tasks for off-peak hours when electricity is more affordable. Similarly, some others can help you to avoid energy over-consumption by monitoring internal issues (like if something is blocking airflow) and sending you a notification to fix it before it impacts the appliance's ability to function efficiently! These features help you to keep your fridge working at peak performance, minimizing wasted energy (and helping you to reduce your electricity bill in the process!).

Is a smart fridge right for you?

Now that you know what a smart fridge is (and why they're so awesome), the question remains, is a smart fridge right for you? Like any major appliance investment, deciding if a smart fridge is suitable for your home is a personal choice, and cost may play a significant consideration for many. On average, a smart fridge can sell for 20% higher to nearly double the price of a standard refrigerator — roughly $1,300 to $5,000+ USD, depending on the model.

The higher cost may be a deterrent for those looking to upgrade their kitchen on a budget, but if a smart fridge is something you can afford, the benefits can be pretty worth it. From reduced food waste to greater energy efficiency and the fun features that allow you to find recipes, play music while you cook, and more, all with the touch of a finger, smart fridges can play an essential role in helping us all live a more intentional (and eco-friendly) lifestyle!

If you’re ready to take the leap and invest in a smart fridge, consider the following factors to help you along in the buying process:

  • Size & Capacity: How much room will you need in your fridge to store the food you require week to week? Make sure you're investing in a size that works for you and your family both now and in the future (the average fridge lasts 10-20 years you know!).
  • Smart Capabilities: Which smart fridge features will best support your day-to-day lifestyle? Consider how these differ from model to model and which ones might best meet your needs.

Both Bosch and Thermador are reputable names in the appliance industry and offer a great place to start exploring your options!

make any fridge a smart fridge with a smart plug

Get Rewarded for Saving Energy

Okay, so you've gotten smart about your refrigerator, now why not get rewarded for being the energy-saving aficionado that you are?

OhmConnect is a free program that rewards its members simply for saving energy and living a more eco-friendly lifestyle. The process is simple. They'll send you a text or an email when electricity is most expensive in your area, empowering you with the knowledge you need to know when to power down and save.  

By saving energy during these peak times, you'll automatically save on your energy bills while also gaining points that give you access to weekly prizes, rewards (like your dream kitchen), and so much more. 

And the best part is, OhmConnect will sell the energy you've saved back to the grid, sharing the profits with YOU! It's simple, free to join, and no strings attached. Click here to learn more and become a member today! 

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