Installing energy-saving technology is a great idea, whether you’re moving into a new place or upgrading your current home.
Different devices and types of technology can increase the comfort of your home and help you save money. They can also help you become more environmentally conscious.
There’s an increasing array of devices and software programs that can help you increase your energy efficiency. Below you’ll find 6 ways that you can use green home technology to help the environment and your wallet.
1. Programmable thermostat
A programmable thermostat is easy to install, and you can program it to change the temperature at times when you don’t need as much heating or cooling, including when you’re at work, on vacation or asleep. Some thermostats allow you to control them an app on your phone or on your computer, making it easy for you to change the temperature when you’re not home.
2. Smart home automation systems
Smart home systems integrate and can improve various functions. For example, a smart alarm system combined with cameras or sensors that monitor specific areas can keep your home safer by letting you know via your smartphone when someone is there. Smart thermostats can adjust and control temperature automatically Other programs control lighting with similar precision and efficiency. For example, with some of the latest lighting systems, you can turn off lighting by room or area, or create a schedule for when certain lights should switch on or off. That way, even if someone leaves the lights on in one room, they’ll still turn off at a designated time. Some systems control smart appliances, turning on an oven, for instance, so it’s already pre-heated when you get home; turning off a coffee maker you accidentally left on; or closing a garage door at your command.
3. Energy-efficient windows
Energy-efficient windows can decrease your heating and air conditioning costs. Switching from single-pane to double-pane windows requires an initial investment, but the cost savings will add up as you spend less on energy bills. Older windows allow hot or cold air to escape through cracks, and single-paned designs don’t retain heat or cool air as well. If you aren’t ready to upgrade your windows, you can insulate each window, which can cut some of the air leakage.
Window coverings can also help. By keeping windows shaded on hot days, you can cut down on air conditioning usage. On cold days, keep those same window shades open to allow in natural, warm sunlight.
4. Energy-efficient air conditioners
In addition to using an energy-efficient air conditioner (look for one with an Energy Star rating), energy-savings solutions include closing off air conditioning vents in parts of the home you might not be using. That way, you’re not cooling an area that’s sitting empty, which is a great way to save energy during the summer. Also, consider raising the thermostat temperature a few degrees higher from where you normally set it. A new normal for you might mean lower energy bills, and you’ll still be comfortable. If you’re using a window air conditioning unit, be sure there’s a tight fit so air doesn’t escape out the window.
5. LED lights
Controlling your lighting makes your home more comfortable, makes it easier to see and helps you relax. You can do this with automated systems by changing out some your light bulbs. LED lights use less energy and are cooler when running than traditional incandescent lights, and they also last longer. Swapping out light bulbs helps your home go green and can save you money in the long run. Consider installing smart bulbs for even more control over your home lighting; these devices pair with a smartphone app, so you can turn them on or off or switch their color remotely.
6. Energy-saving devices
Home appliances including refrigerators, hot water heaters, dishwashers and clothes dryers consume a lot of energy. Consider purchasing energy-efficient appliances with Energy Star ratings if you’re in the market for new appliances or are looking to upgrade. Their energy-saving technology is an easy way to reduce your energy usage.
Are you on a roll with saving energy around your home? Keep up the momentum. Learn even more ways to use green technology to improve the energy-efficiency of your appliances.