IFA 2010: Trends in electrical home appliances

Innovation, ease of use, energy efficiency

Alicante/ Berlin, April 2010 – Whereas in the consumer electronics sector the attention is on media devices for the home and on the move, the focus of the home appliances industry is on ease of use, lifestyle, health and wellness products. Outstanding design, total ease of operation, intelligent technology and – it goes almost without saying – the latest home appliances from leading manufacturers feature highly efficient use of water and energy resources. Despite consuming less energy devices have more functions and are becoming easier to use.

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Ease of use, lifestyle, health and wellness are the current trends

Simple controls and ergonomic design are important features of household appliances. Smart electronic controls, sensors and ingenious mechanical features are all intended to make them even easier to use The latest washing machines include a whole range of special programmes for even cleaner clothes. Dishwashers make extremely efficient use of water and employ special minerals to assist the drying process. Driers have self-cleaning condensers, make use of heat pump technology and can even assist with ironing. A slight contact is all that is needed to operate cookers and small appliances, and there are no handles on the doors and flaps, which are activated simply by a touch.

Cooking at home is becoming more popular than ever before. Numerous TV shows with celebrity chefs provide tips for tasty dishes and inventive cooking at home, be it with family or friends. Innovative new large appliance concepts such as induction hobs, high-speed baking ovens with a variety of combined functions and cooking programmes, as well as smaller appliances including food processors, blenders and grills provide an ideal “armoury” for the home cooking enthusiast. The trend towards eating healthier foods continues. Steamers, either built into ovens or as standalone devices, as well as a wide range of small electronic home appliances are available to help careful preparation of foods.

Refrigerators need to keep foods in good condition for lengthy periods of time. Air filters, moisture control, separate storage compartments and areas where items are kept at freezing point ensure optimum cooling and storage. In many cases the design of appliances sets new standards, with integrated ice makers and LCD TVs providing welcome additional features.

The market for coffee makers continues to boom, and the variety of products on offer has expanded accordingly. Choices include traditional coffee makers, fully automated devices, espresso coffee machines, coffee pad machines, with automatic coffee pad detection, and devices that are perfectly integrated into kitchen interiors.

Personal care and beauty appliances are becoming increasingly popular. All kinds of hair care and hair styling products are now on the market. To these can be added a wide range of other body care appliances, for example body groomers. Beauty and modelling shows provide all kinds of ideas and suggestions here.

Protecting energy and water resources

Manufacturers of home appliances have long since made energy efficiency and protecting natural resources a priority. Great progress is being made, with new, innovative types of appliances being invented all the time. Their aim is clear, and that is to save energy and water costs while retaining outstanding functional features and ease of use. A 30 to 50 percent reduction in energy consumption among washing machines, driers, refrigerators and dishwashers over the last ten years is an impressive reflection of these efforts. The range of energy-efficient appliances on the market is growing all the time. Thus kettles and coffee makers which consume significantly less energy are now also available.

Despite new EU demands for energy-efficient home appliances coming into force and setting limits for energy consumption, replacing old and inefficient devices can produce considerable savings. 180 million appliances aged ten years and older are still being used in households around Europe. Washing machines and driers average more than 12 years of use, fridges and freezers nearly 17. Thus according to a survey by ZVEI, every year in Europe 44 TWh of electricity is being needlessly consumed due to the use of old and inefficient appliances. The industry and trade are called upon to continue their combined efforts to educate customers to protect energy resources.

Replacing old appliances offers a huge potential for reducing energy consumption, as the following statistics show.

If a 15 year-old appliance is replaced the energy savings are as follows:

Dishwasher: electricity: – 35 %, water: -50 %
Washing machine: electricity: -35 %, water: -50 %
Drier: – 45 %
Refrigerator: – 50 %
Freezer: – 65 %
Fridge freezer;: – 65 %

Reducing the electrical consumption of a fridge freezer by 65 per cent saves around 70 euros in annual energy costs.

For the consumer there is a threefold benefit to buying modern, energy-efficient appliances. They protect the environment, significantly reduce energy costs and they provide added benefits as a result of innovative concepts, new features and improved ease of use.

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