Lessons for Policy, Industry and Science
Edited by Martin Junginger, Wilfried van Sark and André Faaij
Martin Weiss, Larry Dale and Michael McNeil 15.1 INTRODUCTION Household appliances are stationary or movable technical devices that use energy to provide, enable or assist consumer services.1 Commonly two categories of household appliances can be differentiated: 1. Large appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators or freezers are usually stationary devices, which use electricity or natural gas to provide routine housekeeping services including cooking, cleaning and food preservation in households, institutional and commercial buildings. Small appliances such as juicers, mixers, laptops, cellular phones, audio and video devices are usually portable or semi-portable devices, which predominantly use electricity to provide consumer services and entertainment. 2. Most large appliances have been produced and sold for many decades. Commercial production of electric washing machines dates back to 1908; electric laundry dryers appeared on the US market around 1915. Nevertheless, product characteristics and technical components of large appliances undergo continual improvements. Advances in other technology areas such as semi-conductor manufacturing and information technology have enabled the introduction of new and innovative product features to large appliances. Washing machines no longer only wash clothes but centrifugally dry them and offer various washing programmes for everything from sensitive to heavy-duty wash loads. Today, freezers and refrigerators are sold in different combinations and offer a variety of product features such as water dispensing, ice cube production for beverages, and even integrated TV entertainment. Many small household appliances such as mixers, juicers or radios have also been sold on the market for many years. However, other new small...
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