When Good Ideas Go Bad: Toshiba's Washing Machine/Air Conditioner

Regular readers know that TreeHugger is fond of the gadget mash-up. Combine a sink and a toilet or a lamp and a broom, and we're (usually) happy as clams; it makes sense to us to double up on functionality, reduce materials and cut back on stuff, all at once. Toshiba has taken this idea and run with it, but no one told them where to run (they may have missed the starting gun) and they came up with this: a combination washing machine/air conditioner.

While this idea fits the model we like -- take two appliances that people need but who don't have to be in use at the same time, and combine them into one handy, convenient little package -- the Franken-washer-conditioner seems to be a "not because we want to, but because we can" invention. Toshiba claims the machine's cooling capability keeps mold and other airborne nasties from thriving in your laundry room, which isn't a bad thing, for sure, but do we really need our laundry rooms to be climate controlled?

It won't cool the air in your entire home, though for $2600 (that's 310,000 Yen, and they'll be available, at least in Japan, starting in September) maybe it should. We'll stick with solar-powered air conditioners and waterless washing machines, thank you very much. via ::Gizmodo

Tags: Air Conditioning | Appliances | Energy Efficiency | Gadgets

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