Skip to main content

Hook this device up to your water heater and watch your utility bill shrink

can device water heaters nest thermostats aquanta heater controller
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Behind space heating, water heating consumes the most energy in our homes, according to 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.

Aquanta Water Heater Control
Image used with permission by copyright holder

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.

Editors' Recommendations

Jenny McGrath
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Jenny McGrath is a senior writer at Digital Trends covering the intersection of tech and the arts and the environment. Before…
Your Google smart home devices just got a lot less talkative
A person standing in a living room while looking at a Google device.

Smart assistants are an indispensable part of any smart home, making it easy to give hands-free commands and control a variety of gadgets. Google is looking to further streamline the performance of its smart assistant, with the expansion of chime alerts to cut down on how talkative your Google Nest gadgets are when responding to instructions.

For example, after asking Google to turn on a fan, you’ll now be able to hear a quick chime to confirm the assistant has heard your instructions. Previously, confirmation would come in the form of a short sentence, such as “OK, turning on your fan.”

Read more
ElliQ is a smart home companion designed for your grandparents
ElliQ showing a workout while displayed on a white background.

Smart home gadgets are often designed for folks with decent technical chops. Installing a smart thermostat, syncing a smart speaker with your other electronics, or simply checking in on your Ring doorbell all require the user to be reasonably comfortable with technology -- and they all largely rely on a smartphone. That makes them less than ideal for older individuals who may not be keeping up with the latest tech trends.

ElliQ solves this problem, as it’s a smart home companion designed specifically for grandparents and older individuals who don't want to muck around with complex gizmos. Beyond offering an easy way to make calls, play music, or check the news, ElliQ is a bona fide companion that’s capable of interacting with people without any manual input. There’s no doubt it’s a compelling device, but it might not be the right fit for all seniors.

Read more
The best Google Assistant-compatible devices
The Google Nest Hub Smart Display on a nightstand.

Google Assistant is one of the most popular smart home ecosystems of 2023. Hundreds of devices are compatible with the technology, including smart thermostats, lights, cameras, and locks, among many others. Google itself makes plenty of gadgets that incorporate Google Assistant and Google Home, but you'll find an even longer list of third-party products that are designed around the powerful assistant.

Here's a list of various smart-home categories, each with a number of recommendations for the best products that are Google Assistant-compatible.

Read more