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Guide to Smart Water Heater Technology

Water is an integral part of our lives. Aside from being a bare necessity for survival, it is perhaps the single most important part of our daily living because we use it for domestic chores such as bathing, cooking, washing, and more. Over time, people have discovered that hot water is more useful compared to lukewarm water, and with that, technology has offered us many options to obtain hot water.

Up until very recently in human history, water was heated in kettles and pots, however, we are unable to get a continuous supply of hot water at fixed temperatures through this process. To solve this problem, water heaters were invented. They were able to provide us heated water continuously at preset temperatures at any time we want with just a touch of a button.

Water heaters utilize an energy source to be able to heat water until it reaches the programmed temperature level. However, the major flaw of a water heater, either electrical or solar, is it consumes a large amount of energy.

Once hot water is released from the water heater, then more cold water comes in and is constantly being heated. With this, a large amount of energy will be wasted when your taps are turned off.

New water heaters are being designed and upgraded to help reduce the level of energy consumption and reduce the cost of heating water when hot water isn’t currently in use. Some of the solutions invented were tankless water heaters, solar heaters, and electric showers. Today, there is the newest addition to the many types of water heaters which is the Smart Water Heater.

What Is a Smart Water Heater and How Does It Work?

Having a smart home is slowly becoming a trend and one of the smart home devices that have been invented is the smart water heater. When you think of a smart appliance, it’s somehow unlikely that a water heater will be the first thing that will pop into your head. But the invention of smart thermostats and other devices have got consumers thinking about the possible advantages of other smart devices, especially when it comes to saving energy.

Just like normal water heaters, smart water heaters are there to give you a continuous supply of hot water. But the difference is that smart water heaters possess cool features and energy-saving capabilities. You will be able to connect them to your smartphones, tablets, and even to your personal computers through Wi-Fi and even 5G wireless signals. They work hand in hand with a free app that you can download online. Therefore, as long as you have a Wi-Fi enabled device, you will be able to interact with your water heater at home anywhere you are in the world.

Imagine, you can turn your smart water heater off even when you’re in the office and turn it back on when you’re on your way back so your water temperature will be just right when you get home. It certainly reduces the energy wasted by regular water heaters.

Other Functions of Smart Water Heaters

Aside from providing you a continuous supply of hot water and enabling you to control it wherever you are, smart water heaters have other state-of-the-art functions to offer. Here are some of them.

Alerts and Built-In Leak Detection

The operating system of a smart water heater can scan every aspect of your heating system. When it discovers any fault, it will automatically send an alert to your smartphone.

With its built-in leak detection, you will get a notification even with just a single drop of water. Other smart water heater models can even be connected to a plumbing company to help you fix the system effortlessly. This way, you no longer have to check your system from time to time because the smart water heater will do it for you.

Learning

Since human beings are creatures of habit, another smart technology for smart water heaters is their learning capability. They are able to note the way you use hot water at home.

Smart water heaters can learn what time you usually take a bath in the morning and at what temperature. This way, it will be able to heat the water at the right time even before you set it. However, if you do not like this function, you can turn it off and input a hot water schedule via its touchscreen interface, which most smart water heaters have.

How Many Smart Water Heater Do You Need?

You might also wonder how many smart water heater units are needed in a home. Well, this will actually depend on how large your home is because if you have a larger home, there are more smart water heaters that can be incorporated into your heating system.

You can at least have two units installed because the water used in kitchens are usually at a much higher temperature compared to the water used in bathrooms. But even when you have more than one smart water heater at home, you can still control them using a single device.

Benefits of Using Smart Water Heaters

Smart water heaters are certainly very convenient devices especially for people who have busy schedules and for those who constantly forget to turn off their water heaters at home when they leave. But aside from that, there are other benefits you can get from using a smart water heater.

Safety

Smart water heaters promote safety because you can monitor them even when you’re not at home. When something is wrong with your heating system or if there’s a leakage, it will alert you and you can immediately attend to it. Unlike regular water heaters, having a smart water heater will prevent you from going home to a flooded basement or closet because you didn’t know that a valve has broken.

Saves Energy

As stated earlier, a lot of water heaters were created with the aim to lessen energy consumption. There are a number of ways that smart water heaters can save energy. One is that they allow consumers to lower its temperature when no one is home, and it is done through the use of web-based or mobile applications.

Another one is that smart water heaters can adjust their own energy levels. This is based on actual usage and can also be through coordination with other sensor-based devices at home like thermostats and motion detectors.

Saves Money

You might be wondering how a smart water heater can help you save money since they cost much higher compared to regular water heaters. Well, it can help you save money by lowering your electricity charges.

Since electricity charges differ at different times during the day, there are smart water heaters that can work like thermal batteries. Meaning, they can be programmed to heat water only when electricity is less expensive. With this feature, you will be able to save a lot of money over the course of a year.

Smart Water Heaters Controllers

Product
Visual
Where to Buy

Aquanta Networked Water Heater

Rheem EcoNet Wi-Fi Module for Electric Water Heaters

Rinnai Control-R Wi-Fi Module

Electric Water Heater Controller Kit

If you plan on connecting your water heater as part of your smart home, it’s important to consider what features are important to you. To know more about what they can offer you, here are some of the best smart water heaters in the market today.

1. Aquanta Networked Water Heater Controller

This smart water heater will give you control right in the palm of your hand even though it’s in your basement or garage. Just like the Nest smart thermostat, the Aquanta smart water heater works in conjunction with your existing water heating system to optimize its performance, help save energy, and enable you to control it via an app on your smartphone.

This smart water heater has a sensor that measures the energy being used as well as the level of water in your tank. Since its connected to your home Wi-Fi network, you will be able to see all of these important information on your phone, tablet, or computer. Through its app, you will be able to turn the water heater on and off wherever you are, and as well as receive notifications about leaks and maintenance.

Regular water heaters are designed to keep all the water in a tank hot. However, most households only use hot water for a few hours each day, therefore, having a tank full of heated water causes huge waste in energy. But when you use Aquanta, it will be able to monitor your water heater’s energy use against your household’s hot water use and it will automatically adjust to save energy. It also has an automatic overheating shutoff.

2. Rheem EcoNet Wi-Fi Module for Electric Water Heaters

If you are looking for an affordable smart water heater, then the Rheem EcoNet Wi-Fi Module is the one for you. It has a built-in leak detection that will send you an alert to your phone once it detects a leak. It also has a “vacation mode” feature that you can activate remotely to avoid wasting energy on heating water while you’re away from home for a few days.

This smart water heater is one of the Wink products that are designed to connect HVAC and other household systems. But don’t worry because even if you do not have the Wink Hub, it will still function properly, however, it is only compatible with latest generation water heaters produced by Rheem.

3. Rinnai Control-R Wi-Fi Module

This is a smart tankless water heater system which combines the ease and convenience of a Wi-Fi connected water heater with the energy-saving power of going tankless. To use this smart water heater, all you need to do is connect via its free app. Then, you will be able to monitor and adjust your water temperature at home remotely. With just a push of a button, you can start heating water because of its Wireless Demand Recirc accessories that can provide you hot water faster.

This smart water heater also has diagnostic and monitoring features. Meaning, you will be the first one to know if there’s any problem with your water heating system. Some of its advance models have the ability to activate circulation remotely. However, just like Rheem, it is only compatible with latest tankless water heaters that are produced by Rinnai.

4. Bobbie Smart Water Heater Controller

This smart water heater controller will enable you to control your water heater form everywhere through the use of its mobile app. Aside from that, it can also learn your habits on using hot water, meaning, there will always be hot water for you whenever you need it. It can also give you detailed statistics about how much energy you saved every month.

If you’re wondering if it will work with your water heater, then the answer is yes. It’s because Bobbie connects with the electrical system, making it compatible to all brands and models of water heaters on the market.

5.  Electric Water Heater Controller Kit

This DIY controller can be easily installed into your existing water heater.  You can turn your water heater on and off from anywhere.  It connects to your Wi-Fi network and you can install their App for easy control.  The kit comes with clear installation instructions.

Conclusion

Smart water heaters are indeed beneficial because they give people better energy management as well as greater control. With it, you no longer have to worry if you’ve forgotten to turn off your water heater after leaving your home because you can easily check it on your smartphone and turn it off. And, you can also turn it back on before you reach home, so you won’t have to endure a freezing bath after work.

It is a great device for those who are always on the go and as well as for those who are looking for more ways to save energy. So if you’re turning your home into a smart home, do not forget to include smart water heaters to your list. We hope the information we shared gave you an idea on which smart water heater is best for your home.

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