3 Amazing Benefits of a Smart Irrigation System Controller

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    When it comes to keeping your lawn and landscape green, healthy, and thriving, water is an essential piece to your home yard puzzle.

    The main goal is to get enough water to your plants when they need it — never too much and never wasting a drop to areas that don’t need it like your sidewalk or driveway.If you have an irrigation system, you probably question what the best strategy is to use less water and focus those drops to exactly where they are needed.

    As with other technology we use in our daily lives, irrigation technology continues to improve, taking into account things that can help us water better.

    An irrigation system’s brain resides in the irrigation controller, and this is probably where the most advancements have been made.

    You may have an older irrigation system and wonder whether a smart irrigation controller is worth the upgrade to improve your watering strategy.

    Let’s talk more about the benefits of these smarter controllers so you can gain some knowledge on how they can help you elevate your outdoor watering strategy, keeping your Kansas City landscape thriving while saving you headaches, time, money, and water.

    Understanding the Smart Irrigation Controller

    First, let’s talk about what a smart irrigation controller is so you can recognize the difference between an older model controller and one with these smarter features.

    Older controllers have quite a few frustrations that have led to the desire for these smart irrigation controllers.

    First of all, anytime you need an adjustment, you have to be home to provide access to the controller for your irrigation technician. Usually located in your garage, if you’re not home, your irrigation professional can’t get to the controller to do his or her job.

    Next, if your irrigation professional doesn’t get to your controller in a timely fashion, adjustments may not be happening in time to really benefit your lawn and plant material. Depending on the season and the weather, this could lead to a decline in how some of your plants look and perform.

    These two factors also lead to wasted money and water during the growing season.

    When you have an older controller, you might start noticing signs like low or high water pressure, sprinklers getting stuck, puddling of water around sprinklers, and uneven spray patterns. All of them can mean your current sprinkler system is outdated and needs a replacement.

    Enter smart irrigation controllers. These newer controllers tailor watering schedules and run times automatically to meet specific landscape needs. This means the controller will automatically reduce the watering times as the weather gets cooler and your plants need less water. Some brands of smarter controllers out there include Irrigreen, Hydrowise, Rainbird, and Rachio.

    Are Smart Irrigation Controllers Worth It?

    Now that you know what a smart irrigation controller is, let’s talk about why you should care.

    Because these controllers are wireless, they have quite a few perks. Check out these 3 key benefits of a smart irrigation system controller.

    1. Convenience

    A smart irrigation controller connects to the internet. This means that your irrigation professional doesn’t need to gain access to your garage to assess or adjust your irrigation controller’s output. While an irrigation pro is on your property assessing your system, he or she can access your controller easily, giving you a complete review of your system without you needing to be home.

    For busy folks, this is a huge advantage just for the sake of convenience. You don’t have to wait until you’re available for an irrigation tech to look at your system, and you don’t have to risk your plant materials’ health in the process if your schedules don’t align soon enough.

    2. Effectiveness

    Remote adjustments also allow for better use of water.

    Many smart irrigation controllers have rain sensors to detect when it’s raining, so your sprinkler system isn’t running when it shouldn’t be.

    Soil moisture sensors are also a part of these brainier controllers. They override your automatic scheduling times when they detect there’s enough moisture already in the soil around your plants’ root systems. This also ensures you’re not wasting water when your plants don’t need it.

    Some of these smarter controllers even have some additional bells and whistles that make them even more effective. For instance, some connect to local weather stations to optimize watering based on weather specifics like wind. Others use flow sensors to alert you to leaks or abnormal water usage patterns, so you can get ahead of any problems.

    3. Time & Money Savings

    When more than half of your household water can go into your landscape, watering your yard efficiently is one of the best and easiest ways to save water … and money.Your current system and the number of zones you have will impact the cost of installing a smart irrigation controller, but typically it will cost between $375 to $950, with the average running around $800.

    Depending on the number of sprinkler system zones you have and the types of zones — turf versus drip, for instance — smart irrigation controller water savings can range from 10% to 60%.

    Get Smart With a Better Irrigation System Controller

    When you invest in a smarter strategy for watering your home landscape, you’re investing in more than just a sprinkler system.

    You’re also becoming a better steward of your Kansas City environment. Water is a valuable resource, and saving it is a more sustainable strategy that can make you feel better about how you care for your home landscape.

    In fact, many companies are beginning to decline maintaining irrigation systems with older controllers because of the growing ineffectiveness of these older clocks. Or if they do maintain the system, they will add a surcharge since they may have to drive to the property every time a sprinkler system adjustment is necessary. For smart irrigation controllers, you will get a perk of no surcharge for unlimited remote adjustments.

    Now that you know more about smarter ways to water, you may be wondering where your sprinkler system fits into the picture. Is it an old system? Is the controller outdated? Are you wasting water?

    If you’d like to know more, give High Prairie Outdoors’s professionals a call. We’d be happy to check out your irrigation system and tell you how effective it is at watering your landscape and what improvements you can make to maximize your system’s efficiency and your plant health — all while saving water and money in the process.

    Ready to learn why High Prairie Outdoors could be your choice for professional irrigation in Kansas City? We’d love to learn more about you. Get started today with a free consultation. Together, we can prepare a custom plan that meets the watering needs of your outdoor living space.

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    About The Author

    Robyn is a 2009 Graduate of the Kansas State University Department of Horticulture. She grew up in South East Kansas where she graduated from Humboldt High School. She was a Kansas State University Leadership Scholar and President of the Horticulture Club. She married Bret in 2009 and they have a daughter Ellie, born in 2021. Their family is completed by three adopted dogs.

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