Want to Conserve Energy? These 8 Tech Tools Will Help
For many American families, conserving energy is an important topic. From turning off the lights when leaving a room to cutting down on hot showers to washing clothes only in cold water, today’s families are constantly trying to find ways to slash their energy bills. And, believe it or not, technology can help them become more energy efficient.
One of technology’s primary purposes is for developing new ways for handling old problems. Here are eight cutting-edge tech tools that are designed to help American homeowners curb the age-old problem of rampant energy consumption. We know; using technology to help reduce energy waste seems like an oxymoron, but it really is possible. Just give a few of the following a try, and you’ll see a difference on your energy bills.
Energy Saving Power Adapters
Personal electronic devices, like smartphones and tablets, might be small, but their impact on your home’s energy bills can be pretty big. In fact, these devices account for 13% of the typical home’s energy use, mostly because their power adapters continue to draw electricity even when the device is fully charged.
But there is a revolution taking place in the world of power adapters. Companies like Green Plug, Inc. are paving the way to a world in which your phone’s charger automatically shuts off once your phone is charged.
If there’s one area where technology has made a huge impact, it is in lighting. Old fashioned incandescent lights are notorious for their electricity-eating, heat-producing characteristics. As a result, they were replaced by cooler-running, low-energy-use compact fluorescent light bulbs.
But these too had their issues, most importantly being the toxic chemicals contained within the tubes. Now, with LED lighting, all of these problems are solved in a super-bright bulb that’s designed to last 50,000 hours, or 50-times longer than an incandescent.
Did you ever think that your washing machine would have an Internet connection? Well, with the coming wave of SMART home appliances, that’s exactly what you’re going to be seeing. Soon, all of your major appliances will have Wi-Fi connectivity included.
This will enable your home to have appliances like a washing machine that will automatically run during off-peak hours, or a refrigerator that will actually track your diet. Thanks to their Internet connections, they’ll even be able to self-diagnose any problems or maintenance needs.
Remember when programmable thermostats were all the rage? Get ready for the next big thing – high-tech SMART thermostats! These thermostats, such as the ones being created by Nest Labs, are equipped with sensors that automatically adjust your home’s temperature according to your lifestyle and schedule.
According to independent studies, these new thermostats can help save as much as 12% on heating bills and up to 15% on cooling bills.
Wireless Outlet Controls
Unlike the old plug-in timers, modern outlet controls can be controlled wirelessly via your smartphone, tablet, or any desktop or laptop. These devices plug into your outlet, and then your lamps, space heater, or even the room’s window air conditioner unit is plugged into the device. Because the devices are connected to your home’s network, you can control from virtually anywhere, even outside of the home.
Electricity Use Monitor
It’s hard to know for sure exactly how much energy your home consumes. But with an electricity use monitor, you can determine the cost to run any appliance or device in your home over a set period of time and this will help you gauge your use. Simply plug the appliance or device into the monitor and then plug the monitor into the outlet.
The monitor will conduct an assessment and provide you with information such as cost per month and phantom load consumption. Do this for a few weeks, and you will have a clearer picture of where your home’s energy is going and what you can do to help reduce it.
Home automation makes it possible to control virtually any electrical device in your home from any Internet-connected device. For instance, if you’re late for work and once you get to your office, you realize you forgot to turn the coffee pot off, then all you have to do is log into your system from your computer and turn the coffee pot off.
Home automation, or SMART home technology, not only helps make your home safer, but it also enables you to take a hands-on approach to how your home uses and saves energy.
What if you didn’t have to worry about conserving energy because you generated your own? With solar panel technology, that can be a reality. By having a solar power system installed in your home, you can essentially take your home “off the grid.” As an added bonus, if you generate more electricity than you use, you can even sell it back to the electric company at a profit.
For more information on ways to make your home energy efficient, be sure to check out The Anatomy of an Energy Efficient Home!
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