Home Tech That Saves Energy and Money

auDIeEach year, further improvements in energy-saving technology are helping homeowners save some “green” while being good to the planet, too. Stroll into your neighborhood Home Depot, however, and you’ll see that all energy tech is not created equal.

Far too often we’re asked to sacrifice style for sustainability, but Earth-conscious appliances needn’t clash with your home’s overall elegance and functionality.

Here are five trends in home tech that cut energy costs with the grace of a butterfly and the tenacity of a worker bee.

Smart Thermostats

There is nothing particularly “sexy” or new about thermostats, but a smart thermostat in your household is definitely something that can save energy and money without requiring regular maintenance. Thermostats of today, such as Nest, are equipped with advanced sensors and run on algorithms and cloud computing systems for centralized data storage and automated temperature adjustments. This means the thermostat learns and memorizes habits and patterns so it can automatically change the temperature, remember schedules, and adjust according to real-time weather updates. Although a bit steeper than your regular bulky thermostat, it does offer savings of up to 30 percent per year, which means it can pay for itself relatively quick.

Smart Appliances

Home appliance brands are racing to manufacture a fleet of next generation smart appliances, from fridges that monitor your diet to high-speed washing machines that will save you a great deal of laundry time. New smart appliances not only save energy and money, but space as well. Smart appliances are typically slim appliances, which means you can fit more into them into smaller homes and apartments. Newer, more energy-efficient models also trim the fat where consumption itself is concerned – see this site for more information – thereby helping to pay for themselves when you upgrade. Smart appliances are also less prone to fewer technical issues. ,They come connected to the Internet, and are able to automatically troubleshoot technical problems as they surface, thus minimizing downtime and idle energy consumption.

Power Adapters

Many households will have anywhere between 5 to 20 devices being used at any given time, which means the need for frequent battery recharging and costlier monthly bills. Smart power adapters and battery packs can help cut back your energy bills by up to 13 percent. Although not exactly a significant number, it can add up if your exact dollar cost per month is around $100. Advanced power adapters now cut off the power supply after the device has been fully charged, so you don’t have to worry about incurring high “vampire” electricity costs when you leave your device charging overnight.

Heat Pumps

You won’t see them at work, but these ultra-efficient heat pump systems can provide substantial energy savings by moving around heat from one space of your household to another as needed. These pumps will run on fuel and is promised to reduce heat consumption by up to 30 percent. Other types of heat pump are available including natural gas pumps and air conditioners, which use ultra low emission combustion burner, and gas heat pumps, which are relatively cheap.

Indoor and Outdoor Lighting

Since its inception, LEDs have come a long way. You’ll find many lighting systems today being controlled remotely with custom-made hardware and software, which means lighting is only used when necessary and even brightness settings can be adjusted to use the minimum amount of power required. Solar panel technology is also gradually replacing traditional power sources of households and vehicles, which save an average household in New York City as much as $16,000 over a 20-year leasing contract.

Home technology continues to pave the way for a brighter future, where households can use new technology to empower their energy-spending choices operate with the environment in mind.

Saving Money This Summer With Energy Efficiency

PV_installation_for_fish_cooling_in_Baleia_CEIf you are a household that is serious about budgeting and saving money, maybe for more important things like vacation, a second home, your kids college or even retirement, then you will be delighted to know that these savings can extend to your energy costs as well. In fact, energy efficient homes can save up to 43 percent or more on average, than their non efficient counterparts, saving hundreds of dollars in energy costs each year. If you are serious about saving money, simply incorporate these energy saving tips to help increase your savings while getting your home summer ready.

 

Make LED/Energy Star Your Light Choice

 

When replacing your lights, lamps and fixtures, both inside and outside, consider swapping them out for more energy-efficient lighting sources such as CFLs and LED’s etc., to increase energy savings. This way, you’ll not only enjoy energy savings while inside, but you’ll also be able to enjoy energy savings when outside.

 

Renewable Energy

 

Solar, wind and geothermal energy, or renewable energy, which reduces energy consumption and saves money by replacing power plants and fossil fuel expenses, is on the rise. According to Energy Companies Alberta, at least 17,000 megawatts of these energy sources are under construction, doubling electric generating capacity since 2004 and accounting for 2.4 million jobs worldwide. As of today, more than 65 countries have national goals for incorporating the use of renewable energy and have already enacted policies to meet those goals. As a result, both private and multilateral agencies are integrating renewable energy into their mainstream portfolio.

 

Switch to Energy Efficient Window Treatments and Coverings

 

Energy efficient window treatments and coverings block out the sun, which helps prevent heat from seeping through your windows. They also trap cool air in, which allows you to set your a/c unit on a higher setting, so you use less energy and increase savings.

 

Plug Your Home’s Leaks

 

Drafty windows and doors allow cool air to escape and hot air to enter. Seal, caulk and weather-strip your windows and doors, and install foam gaskets behind outlet covers, to save up to 5% or more on cooling costs.

 

Keep Your A/C System Running Efficiently

 

Regular maintenance of your cooling system helps preserve your system as well as its parts. Also, avoid putting heat generating appliances such as lamps and televisions etc., near the thermostat, which can cause your system to run longer. You should also avoid placing furniture and other objects in front of your system’s vacuum registers. Vacuum registers remove dust build up. Blocking them blocks airflow, which hinders their function.

 

Change A/C Filters Regularly

 

Clogged or dirty filters restrict airflow, which can cause your unit to work harder or run longer to cool your home and increases energy use. For maximum benefit, it is recommended that you replace your unit’s filter monthly.

 

Install a Programmable Thermostat

 

A programmable thermostat makes it easier to adjust your home’s temperatures while you are away. For example, set your thermostat to warmer temperatures while you are away, and adjust it to a cooler temperature when you are home.

 

Incorporate Ceiling Fans

 

Ceiling fans effectively circulate air throughout the room. If you use air condition in your home, a ceiling fan will allow you to increase the setting on your unit with no reduction in comfort, and in some cases, eliminate the need for a/c altogether.

 

Don’t Heat Your Home with Lighting and Appliances

 

On hot days, avoid using heat generating appliances and lighting, which can increase your need for energy consumption. For example, approximately 15 percent of electricity generated by incandescent lighting actually results in light, while the rest simply turns into heat. So when possible, use natural light, but avoid direct sunlight, or replace high energy lighting with energy efficient lighting, which runs cooler. You could also consider minimizing other heat generating activities like using the oven, running the dryer and burning open flames etc., to help keep your home cooler.

 

Choose Energy Star Products

 

When replacing select features in your home, replace them with Energy Star products to realize increased energy savings. For example, an Energy Star model refrigerator with a bottom or top freezer design can save you an additional 2 to 3 percent on your bill. If your air conditioner needs replacing, an Energy Star model can save you up to 10 percent, and so on.