From what I could tell at the International Builders Show earlier this month, GE’s research and development department has been working overtime. The new products introduced at the show number in the dozens. Here are a few to take note of:
• Smart frontload washer and dryer: With these latest editions to the smart appliance repertoire available to us, it looks like my home’s IQ may soon surpass my own. This duo from GE, which will be available this summer, actually communicates with each other (and probably better than my husband and I do). The washer tells the dryer how much water is left in the load and the dryer features a “reverse tumble” action, again probably far superior than anything we humans can do. And that pedestal the washer sits on? That’s where you pour up to six months of detergent and fabric softener so the washer can dispense just the right amount for the load. Estimated retail prices: $1,299 for the washer, $1,099 for the dryer.
• Tankless water heater: While the concept of heating water when you need it, rather than storing it in a tank, has been around for years, some of the popular brand names, such as Rinnai or Takagi, are not familiar to many consumers. This summer though, you’ll be able to buy a GE tankless water heater, which the company says will save you up to 25% on your water heating costs. You’ll have your choice of models for inside or outside. See more on tankless water heaters.
• Refrigerator with two-drawer bottom freezer: According to GE, the popularity of bottom freezers grew 330% from 2000 to 2007. And here’s another twist to the story: a bottom freezer with two drawers, a smaller top drawer for everyday needs (like pizza snacks for the kids or frozen wheat grass for vegans) and a larger bottom drawer to store items like that leftover Thanksgiving turkey meat you’re still wondering what to do with. It’s available in a 25-cubic-foot or 21-cubic-foot counter-depth capacity with stainless steel finish. The estimated retail prices are between $2,299 and $2,999.