The Rachio Iro is an EPA WaterSense certified sprinkling system, making it a popular option for homeowners looking to reduce their water usage with the convenience of an automated, app-enabled smart sprinkler system. If you’re considering purchasing these sprinklers, here are some things you should know.
Owners of smart homes save approximately $198 per year on utilities. If you’ve automated your home in some way already or if you’re just considering doing so, you can increase that savings and help the environment by automating your sprinkler systems. As the Iro sprinklers are EPA WaterSense certified, you may be eligible for rebates on the cost of the controller once they’re installed in your yard.
Conventional sprinkler systems typically allow you to program watering times, which is a great convenience, but Iro takes this one step further. The smart sprinkler system automatically adjusts the schedule based on the time of year and the climate in your area. It makes sure the soil’s water absorption rate is optimal, a key factor in eliminating run-off and overwatering. Iro also checks weather reports. If the forecast anticipates rain, the sprinklers won’t run. If you prefer, you can install a third-party rain sensor that will override the information Iro receives from weather reports. If you’ve ever looked out the window to see sunny skies, although your smartphone is telling you it’s pouring, you understand why this is a good alternative.
As with most home automation features, you can control Iro remotely through an app on any of your web-enabled devices. This allows you to alter your watering schedule or turn the sprinklers on or off from anywhere. If you’re on vacation and get a text from a neighbor letting you know that it’s hot and the lawn is burning up, you can turn the sprinklers on without leaving the beach.
You might not think of your home’s sprinkler system as a safety device, but Rachio Iro does its part to help keep you and your family protected. The sprinklers can connect to Nest Learning Thermostat and, if the thermostat detects a fire in the home, it can send a signal to your Iro system. Once notified, the system can turn the sprinklers on to help reduce the flames in your home and possibly prevent the fire from spreading.
The price point of $250 MSRP is significantly more than conventional sprinkler controllers, although the potential cost savings could help Rachio Iro pay for itself in a few years. If you’re interested in water conservation or you live in an area where water shortages are a concern, Iro could be well worth the cost.
Downsides to Rachio
The Rachio system leaves room for improvement when it comes to connectivity. No mention is made of integration with other smart devices besides Nest. And if your Wi-Fi goes out, you’ll have to reprogram the controller through the app. This can be a hassle, as you have to reenter your zip code, sprinkler head zones, soil type, and each sprinkler head’s water schedule. If you have a landscaper who handles your lawn maintenance, including watering, they will need to be able to download and access the Iro app. We wish this could be done through the wall controller, as it would be a lot more convenient.
Is This Right for Me?
Overall, the Rachio Iro smart sprinkler system would be most beneficial to those who have a large yard, a variety of plants, travel frequently, or those who would like to put lawn maintenance out of their minds. Lastly, if you think you might sell your home in the future, Wi-Fi controlled systems increase your home’s “wow factor,” which could raise your home’s resale value.
Written by Hillary Johnston
A proud mother of four, Hillary is passionate about safety education. She holds a degree in Public Health and Disaster Management. Learn more