This post is sponsored by Ruud Heating, Cooling & Water Heating. We’ve partnered with them to share our process of making our home more comfortable and energy efficient. Ruud has been innovating for over 120 years, so if you’re looking at new HVAC equipment, we encourage you to find a Ruud-approved contractor and request that this outstanding equipment be installed in your home.
Making a home more energy-efficient seems like a major task. Light bulbs, windows, attic insulation, heating/AC – even down to how well insulated your receptacles on outside walls are. All of this can be daunting and there’s so much to remember, we can sometimes neglect the every day work horses in our homes. One prime example would be our water heaters.
You may recall back in September we wrote about replacing our old furnace that was leaking Carbon Monoxide into our home mid spring earlier this year. A furnace going out is an obvious time to upgrade and the move to energy efficiency just made sense. But we haven’t talked much about our water heating issues, which can also be a major energy drain.
Our home was built with 1992’s highest standards, which includes two, 40-gallon water heaters. For their time they were really energy efficient, and they’ve worked well almost that entire time. I say “almost” because about 2 years ago they started showing signs of their age. It reached a point where we could only afford the repairs on one of the units, so we ended up turning the other one off sometime in June of this year. We started looking into options to replace them. We researched and read endless forums of the pros and cons of tankless (which is what we initially hoped to get) vs. keeping two water heaters in place. Those conversations can get heated we’ve learned. Some believe tankless water heaters actually promote more consumption, but the opposite is actually true with the Ruud tankless water heaters. The hot water is on-demand, so it’s hot as soon as you need it. We ended up bringing in some HVAC experts where we learned that, unfortunately our home and it’s current venting and piping couldn’t accommodate a tankless water heater without major renovation. So we decided on two 40-gallon Ruud Ultra Series connected water heaters (provided by Ruud). We chose the ones we did because they are among the most efficient gas water heaters on the market and, more importantly, they can be connected to the Ruud EcoNet system with our HVAC.
In the last post about our furnace, we touched lightly on the Ruud EcoNet System, but we wanted to share more about why it matters, because it’s not just a gimmick or “cool new thing.” Water and air account for roughly 65% of a home’s energy consumption together, but water heaters themselves account for about 20%. That’s a lot of energy being used by an appliance that doesn’t cross most of our minds until it breaks.
The Ruud EcoNet System is the first smart home system that gives you control over heating, cooling, and water heating. It works through one central hub, making it easy to manage energy usage and monitor diagnostics and maintenance schedules. On top of that, the entire system is controllable through a downloadable app (which is super easy to set up), so you can set your furnace, AC unit and water heaters to vacation mode from wherever you are. Here are a few of our favorite features of the Ruud EcoNet System:
• Control 65% of your homes energy usage, setting schedules and saving as much as 30% on utility bills.
• Managed through one central hub in home, or through the EcoNet App from anywhere your phone has Internet.
• EcoNet automatically sends alerts to your phone when it detects equipment issues, water leaks, or when it’s time for regular maintenance like changing a filter in your furnace.
• Turn water heaters off when you’re out of town and set them to turn back on automatically shortly before you get back so there is hot water ready for you.
• Compatible with Nest, Wink, and Logitech Harmony smart home systems.
Ruud has virtually every water heater option available, including 80-gallon, 40-gallon and even tankless. All together, having greater monitoring and control over our energy use has not only helped us reduce our consumption, but has helped us understand better where we can make responsible changes to our habits.
To learn more about the Ruud line of EcoNet appliances, or to find an installer near you, visit www.ruud.com/econet.