Behind space heating, water heating consumes the most energy in our homes, according to Energy.gov. Yet as thermostats get smarter, water heaters remain relatively dumb, beyond some tankless innovations.
A Kickstarter campaign from Sunnovations wants to get in on the smart home game and lower your utility bill all at once. Aquanta is a retrofittable water heater controller that learns homeowners water usage patterns via sensors that measure energy going into the tank, as well as the energy it takes to heat the shower, run the dishwasher, and all the other household tasks requiring hot water. Once your Aquanta figures out you bathe every morning at 7:00, it sync its water-heating to that schedule.
A Wi-Fi-connected control box displays data on a dashboard, which is where you can control your water heater. An app sends maintenance alerts if the device detects a leak and also lets users turn off the water heater when they’ll be away from home for a while.
Because the device is retrofittable, it should work with the water heater that’s already in your home, provided it’s not tankless or over 120-gallon capacity. Those with a knack for DIY or handy around the house may be able to install the Aquanta themselves, but a plumber can definitely help the clueless.
Right now, Kickstarter backers can get an Aquanta for the early-bird price of $79, though the quantity is limited.