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A water heater is one of your home’s biggest energy hogs. Only heating and cooling systems come as close to consuming more energy – and dollars.

A typical water heater – the ubiquitous tank-style unit located in many American basements and utility closets –constantly heats, and heats, and reheats stored water so that it stays hot, whether you need it or not. That’s a lot of wasted energy.

From Energy Hog to Energy Helper

If your water heater is 10 to 15 years old, it’s time for a better – or maybe even a different – kind of heating unit, says the non-profit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. Its SmartHouse.org website has an excellent primer on available styles, their pros and cons, and info on how to choose the right unit for your home. 

But beyond these basics, there is yet another variable to be considered. That is: Should your new water heater be a smart water heater?

    Smart Water Heaters as Replacements

    Consumers all over the world are replacing conventional units with smart water heaters. In fact, reports the research firm Global Market Insights (GMI), swapping in smart water heaters is a trend driving growth in the overall market, which is expected to reach 165 million installations worldwide by 2026.

    If you are among the millions of homeowners planning to replace an older water heater in the next few years, you might want to choose a smart water heater for its ability to provide greater control over operation and efficiency.

    For example, a smart water heater can:

    • Make variable control easy­­­ – You can lower the water heater’s temperature during times of the day when no one is home.
    • Be remotely controlled via web-based or mobile apps – You can be anywhere in the world and still adjust the water temperature.
    • Receive automatic software upgrades from its manufacturer – Upgrades delivered “over the air” can often provide additional value-added services or functionality.
    • Alert you to impending maintenance issues – Smart units can stop breakdowns or water leaks before they happen.
    • Monitor and adjust its own energy levels – Sensors and connectivity to other smart-home devices, such as smart thermostats or motion detectors, can optimize the appliance for energy efficiency and water consumption.

    Furthermore, GMI reports, water heater manufacturers are constantly investing in new smart designs, and “exploring ways to integrate advanced technologies and features such as voice activation, remote control, and leakage detection.” In other words, you can expect the units to have even more bells and whistles over the next few years.

    Who Makes Smart Water Heaters?

    Among the companies offering smart water heaters today include Ayla customers A.O.Smith, Aquanta, Midea Group, and Rinnai. Other familiar manufacturers include Rheem, EcoSmart, Robert Bosch, Whirlpool, and Haier.

    So, if your old water heater is nearing its expiration date, perhaps it’s time for the energy and money-saving benefits of a smart water heater.

    Manufacturers: The biggest advantages of smart water management devices go to their makers. To find out how your company can tap into the data generated by smart appliances to save maintenance costs, iterate and improve your products, provide customers with better service, and create new revenue streams through add-on features and value-added services, contact Ayla now.