YOU Can Control Your Utility Costs
Tech To Know: Rheem EcoNet
Each summer, we talk a lot about your options for lowering heating and cooling costs by controlling the amount of sun that comes through your windows. But what about the rest of the year? Did you know that 65 percent of your home utility costs come from heating, cooling, and water heating? What if you could minimize those costs all year round? With some new technology from Rheem, now you can.
Rheem’s new integrated control system, EcoNet, allows home owners to control--from their smartphones or tablets--all of their homes' heating, cooling and water heating systems in every season of the year. The system’s control pad enables control of HVAC and water heating all from one place, but it’s the system’s apps that give you the real control. You can program an energy-saving vacation mode and easily turn it on from your smartphone or tablet no matter where you are. The system will also send you alerts if anything goes wrong, such as a water leak.
Control is key to reducing utility costs, especially control from your smartphone or tablet when you’re not at home, but there’s one more component that makes a significant difference: energy-efficient equipment. In fact, it matters much less how you’re controlling your appliances if those appliances are energy hogs. That’s why another key component of the Rheem EcoNet system is that it integrates with Rheem’s suite of energy efficient appliances, all of which meet the new Department of Energy standards passed in April 2015:
- The Rheem Prestige Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heater: Hybrid heat pumps, also called heat pump water heaters, use a compressor to heat water, much like a refrigerator cools but in reverse. Instead of transferring its heat to the room where it is located like a refrigerator, the hybrid heat pump brings heat from the room into the water heater, heating the water and cooling the room – bonus! The Rheem Presitage Hybrid Heat Pump has an energy factor of 2.45 (a rating of higher or equal to 2 is required to receive the Energy Star label).
- The Performance Platinum Series: High Efficiency Electric Water Heater
- The Performance Platinum Series: Powered Damper Water Heater (gas)
- The Rheem 96% AFUE Variable Speed Gas Furnace.
Of course, if you’re interested in cutting your heating, AC and hot water heating costs, Rheem’s system isn’t your only choice. A number of manufacturers make high-efficiency appliances that can help bring those bills down, and there are new control systems hitting the market all the time. Aquanta is a good example.
Aquanta is an after-market technology that attaches to your hot water heater and learns your habits—when you typically shower, take a bath, load the dishwasher, etc.—allowing the hot water heater (which is typically just heating water or off) to heat water when your demand is highest and to keep hot water at a necessary minimum at other times, reducing waste. Some techies are comparing Aquanta to Nest, the smart thermostat that learns homeowners’ habits and took the smarthome world by storm several years ago. That’s certainly a tech worth watching.
At Jackson Hole AV, we’re always watching all the tech that can make your home smarter and your life better. Come on back to Tips from the Top for more, and contact us if you have a home tech or AV challenge we can help with!