while adding a touch of aesthetic pleasure to one’s household"/> while adding a touch of aesthetic pleasure to one’s household" />
Kya deLongchamps looks for hi-tech appliances that will lighten the load while adding a touch of aesthetic pleasure to one’s household
CONFRONTED with appliance improvements, my question is — what can you do for me? The advertising is just perplexing imagery — zombie housemaids, half undressed, crawling the Carrara marble to a machine caught in a shaft of daylight.
Is she spin drying her undies at the Louvre? I’m a harried, middle aged worker/mother with 20 minutes to shore up the domestic chaos on a Tuesday evening. To earn its ticket price and place, the technology must lighten the load, trim the bills, and give some blasted enjoyment out of the chores. And yes, add a pleasing visual presence to the labour. I like sapphire blue port-holes and chrome trim as much as the next girl.
Dishwashers are vital in any family home, but let’s face it they haven’t changed a great deal in twenty years. Water usage is down to as little as 5l on economy settings, but apart from automatic bump- open (to allow the machine to air dry and cool dishes) and improvements in internal tailoring like flat cutlery racks and moving prop tines, it’s a necessary but hardly scintillating buy.
Samsung’s Water Wall with its moving spray bar and super efficiency caused a ripple, but AEGs Comfortlift FSS62800P 13 place dishwasher has finally addressed the single outstanding dread of mechanical dishwashing — bending and lifting out the heftier ware and pans from the bottom basket.
Awarded the 2017 iF Design Award and RedDot for engineering excellence, the rack simply slides out and ascends on beautifully geared brushed steel arms up to the user. Stacked plates presented at waist height? We love it. The firm has tightly patented the system to ensure rival Miele cannot offer similar action for at least five years.
The machine is only integrated at the moment, and runs on a 39db, hard to even hear, making it ideal for an open plan situation.
Great price: AEGs Comfortlift FSS62800P, €1095, Murphy Electrical, Castle Street, Cork (€1390 Littlewoods).
Budget contender: Bosch 12 Place Setting White Freestanding 11.7L Dishwasher SMS40C32GB with ActiveWater and a host of sensor technology in a prestige brand for just €299, in a range of stores. Prices may vary.
So they cannot hand you your bottom dish rack, but Miele have finally taken their keen talents to bag-less machines. Don’t be put off by a C energy rating, a contentious issue for vacuum makers, including James Dyson who argues that the savings between A to G are as little as €6.65pa.
The CX1 Comfort Powerline (1200w) is available as a standard or pet version and features new 100kmph single Vortex technology. Quieter than most wands at 76dB, and styled up in black and white with a clear bin, the CX1 cylinder waltzes in 360 spins on Miele’s Dynamic Drive casters, designed to avoid that dig-and-stall in heavy carpeting.
The self-cleaning master filter automatically combs off the Gore-tex surface with
rotating prongs, ejecting the choking mung into a dedicated bin. This can also be prompted with a Comfort Clean function in the hand. Again, another real life annoyance addressed.
The handle operates from a wireless and highly cushy handle with ergonomic, illustrated buttons for whipping through curtains to hard flooring. A tap of the foot allows brushes to drop down out of the EcoTeq Plus multi-purpose floor-head. With HEPA 13 filtration, well worth a rally on the showroom floor.
Great price: Miele CX1 Comfort Powerline (1200w) €329.99, DID Electrical outlets.
Budget contender: Second machine for a flick at that fur or an apartment dweller? Dyson V6 Cordless Handheld (wand style), with a powerful direct drive cleaner head, reduced to just €299, Harvey Norman.
Washing machines really are better than ever, producing good results at frigid 30C, and given the right RPMs gifting the dryer a damp not wet load. Even with €250-€400 to spend you can expect 8kg machines and stain eradicating perfection, once you use the right detergent products.
Look for at least A++ rating (A+++ is now commonplace), sensor operation to deal with different levels of soiling and LED read-outs which really are useful to prompt irregular materials and temperatures. Don’t expect apps to self-diagnose small issues or the ability to track energy use or to phone in a load — largely set dressing for mobile addicts with €600 plus in hand.
Direct drive drum operation is the latest star of the suds in terms of energy and water efficiency. However as the spectre of water charges here wilts away, the savings may not be enough to prompt an extra spend.
LGs innovative True Steam/Steam Softener and Steam Refresh is my choice for added performance. Marketed as ActiveOxygegn by Bosch, a cool fog drives 99.99% of allergens out of clothing, and allowing you to hygienically perk up most clothes in just 20-30 minutes.
The technology requires no chemical additives making it a hypoallergenic addition for disinfecting baby’s wardrobe in a longer cycle too. LG’s top machines are tricked out with TurboWash – sprayed water delivery for a load in 59 minutes, but keep in mind that additional speed in any machine will decimate the energy performance. AddWash (Samsung) and ‘pause’ facilities (LG) have seen off the eternal seal of a started machine.
Great price: LG F4J6TY8S 8kg direct drive with True Steam functions and Motion Direct drum, €829.99, Littlewoods.
Budget contender: Beko WTG841B1B, 8KG. In black it looks far more than the money and is feature packed with an A+++ rating (B wash, B spin) 1400rpm and variable spin speed with 15 programs including a full 28-minute wash. €329.99, Argos.
NOTE: Remember to cruise real, in-the-trenches consumer reviews for any machine or appliance you are considering. Individual experiences vary, but by following a dozen comprehensive reviews, you will have a fair idea of strengths, weaknesses in-home performance.
Returns periods on faulty goods for full refunds and replacement vary by retailer, after that your set guarantee largely falls between the seller’s policies, goodwill and the manufacturer’s responsibilities enshrined in your customer rights. Read the small print, and consider the economic value of any extended warranty. Go to: ccpc.ie
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