Changes coming to home appliances thanks to COVID-19

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing appliance makers to rethink what consumers want when it comes to their kitchen and laundry rooms.

The innovations could be coming to nearly every aspect of your home.

Be on the lookout for some of these products that are being designed to help you minimize touchpoints and keep your home clean and sanitized.

There are already stove tops that can sense where your pan is on the cooktop surface, and there are voice-activated appliances that can turn on and off without having to press any buttons.

But appliance makers are taking even more steps to help fight the spread of germs.

You will see UV lights added to water dispensers and appliances that can send a signal to let you know when detergent is running low.

Other innovations include shorter washing cycles and steam cycles designed to help you clean things faster and keep a healthier home.

"Some of these features we are going to start to see rolled out in the coming months, and some are already available in your appliances, and quite frankly, we are all rediscovering these features and really seeing them maybe for the first time and saying, 'Wow, what does that sanitization button actually do for me?" said Jill Notini with the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers.

If you are interested in upgrading to these types of appliances, start looking now. The best place is a manufacturer's own website so you can see what they offer, how it works and why it might be a good fit for your family.

Starting to look now will help you avoid delays in getting the product to you because appliance makers think there will be a big demand for these items.

A word of warning, though. Right now, there are no tests to prove a product can eliminate COVID-19 in things like food or clothes. If you see that claim, find out exactly what the appliance does and how it cleans or disinfects.

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