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Smart Home

GE's connected air conditioners promise smarter cooling this summer

GE's new app-enabled AC units offer connected comfort for the hottest months of the year.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Updated to include additional comment from GE on compatibility with third-party smart home platforms.

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GE's new Energy Star Connected Air Conditioner.

GE

GE wants to save us from the summer heat with a pair of new, app-enabled window air conditioners -- the largest and most powerful connected models on the market, according to GE. Stick one in your window and download GE's app, and you'll be able to control it from afar on your phone -- handy when you want to start cooling things down before getting home.

The two models (AED10AV and AEC12AV) sell for $350 and $440, and boast 10,000 and 12,500 BTUs of cooling power, respectively. That's a step up from Frigidaire's smart window air conditioner, which clocks in with 8,000 BTUs and sells for $430.

And, though it's much more plain-looking, it's also an upgrade from the Quirky Aros, a $300, 8,000-BTU smart AC unit that GE helped produce back in 2014. That model was a hot seller when it first debuted, although Quirky, a crowdsourced invention startup, has since filed for bankruptcy.

You'll be able to control the air conditioners from afar using GE's smartphone app.

GE

In addition to controlling the temperature remotely on your phone, you'll be able to create custom cooling schedules in the GE app and monitor your AC unit alongside GE's other connected home products, including the brand's GeoSpring smart water heaters.

The new smart AC units are also interesting given that GE Appliances was recently acquired by the Chinese manufacturer Haier in a $5.6 billion deal finalized earlier this month. Haier has a history of its own with smart air conditioning, including a model that was the first appliance to meet Apple's MFi standards, which certify products for design, quality and compatibility with Apple's iOS mobile platform.

A GE spokesperson tells me that compatibility with third-party smart home platforms like Apple HomeKit, IFTTT, and Amazon's Alexa likely isn't in the cards just yet, saying instead that it's a goal for the product's next generation. As for generation one, you'll find it on the shelf at major retailers nationwide starting today.

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