There are so many technologies out there for the home, it’s a wonder that they aren’t a staple of homeowners associations nationwide. From large investments like solar panels to WiFi light switches, smart and green home technology is undergoing a revolution, and you can be part of it. In this article, we will cover several examples of green technology for home, or green home technology, how to save money and help the environment at the same time.
Even if you don’t have a lot of money, energy-efficient and green home technology can improve your lifestyle while saving you energy costs over time. From simple to complex, there is technology out there accessible to anyone wishing to reduce their carbon footprint and improve their quality of life.
Let’s look at some specifics.
Anyone using incandescent bulbs is wasting money and energy. The price of LEDs has come down to the point that it is actually cheaper at this point to purchase them over traditional bulbs.
You might question that while browsing them at the hardware store, but the big win with LEDs is their lifespan. Your average incandescent bulb lasts about 1000 hours. If you left it running constantly, you would be replacing it every month or two.
LEDs can easily last 10-25 times longer. For twice the cost up front, you’ve saved yourself years of hassle, headache, and upkeep costs.
They also use much less energy to produce the same amount of light. A 60W bulb can be replaced with a 9W LED bulb. That’s about one seventh the amount of energy. Think about how many lights you have in your house. Energy savings add up fast.
Need a specialty light for a candelabra or chandelier? Not a problem. LEDs are made today in just about every style imaginable, and come in several different flavors to give you different kinds of light, and different looks to the bulbs themselves.
In short, LEDs are a train that everyone should be on right now.
The Internet of Things (IOT) has come a long way in a short time. Now, most of the items in your house can be made WiFi compatible. You can preheat your oven and start a bath while leaving the office using your phone so that everything is ready when you get home.
Aside from clever time-saving devices, some of these gadgets can help you save energy. Smart on/off switches can be rigged for time or based on motion. Even your security system can be set up in a way that the cameras only record when something is moving. Everything comes with a sleep mode these days.
Whether you just want a remote control house or you want to save money or help the environment a little, smart home technology for your switches and appliances can get you there.
We could hardly have a discussion about green home technology without this one coming up.
Solar panels are costly to set up. There are several ways to rig them, either grid-tie, off-grid, or otherwise depending on your needs and how much you want to spend.
You can even start with a small array and work up from there to keep the costs down.
When averaged out, they won’t save you as much money as changing out your light bulbs, but they will reduce your power demands from the energy company, which means less fossil fuels being burned to supply that power.
You could also go really small, using solar charging stations for your phone and other USB gadgets without plugging them into the wall, as these devices are known to leak energy even when fully charged.
It may not look like technology at the outset, a bunch of foam and fiber with a severe lack of touchscreens and computer chips, but insulation technology has come a long way.
Anytime you make a major modification to your house is a good time to think about upgrading the insulation. New types are available that use cellulose fibers rather than fiberglass and are more Eco-friendly.
Even if you are using Styrofoam, the end result is that the air conditioner and heater don’t need to run as often, they don’t burn up power, and you have effectively reduced your carbon footprint. It’s amazing the difference that a little more insulation can make.
You can also add insulation to the outer structure as well. Need to re-shingle or put new siding up? Ask your contractor about mat underlayment materials that can give your walls and roof a boost in R-value. Typically this is very thin foam that acts as a windbreak and also adds a thin air gap in addition to the stated R-value of the material. And it’s super easy to install, and cheap.
Upgrade Your HVAC
The Air Conditioner is about the most wasteful part of any climate control system. By using newer Energy Star rated models, you can rest easy knowing that your air conditioner is performing at the top of the line.
The same goes for heating systems. If you are using an old gas burner and it’s getting clogged up, consider upgrading to an electrical unit or at least something more efficient. The higher efficiency, the less your fuel and energy costs, and the smaller your carbon footprint in the winter.
Double and triple paned glass have become the new standard in window design. Windows are holes in your house’s insulation shield, and heat will escape. If you want a serious insulation upgrade on an older house, windows are about the most cost-effective way to do it.
You can also check the areas around the windows for leaks by holding a candle near the trim. If the flame starts to flicker, you have an air leak, and it would be prudent to get it sealed.
Smart Power Strips
20% of all energy waste in America at the moment comes from fully charged devices that are plugged into wall outlets! It’s hard to believe, but that’s what the experts are claiming.
Once a device is charged, it will continue to draw vampirically from a wall outlet while wasting power.
You can put a stop to this.
Smart power strips operate on their own built in sleep technology, or load-sensing technology as it is known in the industry. They contain a type of auto-switching device that searches for a power need and supplies current only when a need exists.
A charging plug connected to a fully charged phone won’t request enough power to activate the device, and thus, when your battery is full then the power is cut to the charger automatically. Less fuss, no worries, and energy saved.
Thoughts on Green Technology for Home
There are a lot of things you can do around the house to save energy, and most of them will save you money at the same time. Green technology for the home isn’t a purely planet-saving effort anymore. These technologies put more cash in your wallet while you save the earth, making them a no-brainer.
Big corporations are adopting this kind of technology to increase their bottom line, and so can you. Make the world a little more sustainable, improve your quality of life, and feel better about a green tomorrow, today.
Check out our resources library.