Guest Post by Amy Lizee
Since most of us spend of our time at home when we’re not working, it makes sense for us to be aware of our energy consumption when we are there. For that reason, there are a lot of home technologies that help us to monitor our energy consumption and even save energy in the process. Most people are unaware of their daily carbon footprint or how sustainable their homes are, but there are simple ways that we can all move to being more eco-friendly and viable even when at home.
Some of the technologies that are providing people with easy ways to monitor and cut their energy and water usage include the following.
1. Low Flow Showerheads and Toilets
Low-flow showerheads and toilets are beginning to gain popularity in the home. Hot water can account for up to 25% of a home’s total energy costs and 15% of it being due to showers! So, it makes sense to try and reduce the amount of hot water used. By installing low-flow showerheads, you can reduce your water, and energy, consumption by up to half! According to BC Hyrdro, if “10,000 B.C. households switched to low-flow showerheads, the annual energy savings could power 300 Canadian homes for a year.”
Hand-in-hand with low-flow showerheads are low-flow, energy efficient toilets. By installing this type of high-efficiency toilet, you can “save over 30,000 litres of water a year”! This is not only better for the environment, but also results in you saving money.
2. Water Usage Meter
You can also seek to save water and energy by buying a water saver usage meter. These handy little devices show you exactly how much water you are using so that you can take steps in order to reduce your water usage by not over watering your garden, for example. These meters fit on standard hoses, have LCD displays, a reset button for every usage in addition to an auto shut-off to help conserve power.
3. Energy Star Appliances
One of the best and most efficient ways to save energy in the home is to switch to appliances and products that do the work for you! There are many options in the realm of Energy Star appliances including fridges, dishwashers, laundry machines, dryers and even the smaller items such as blenders.
By switching to an Energy Star appliance, you will use “10 – 50% less water and energy than standard models”.
4. Energy-Saver Light Bulbs
Another easy way to save energy in the home is by switching to energy-efficient lighting in every room. For example, ENERGY STAR® compact light bulbs use “75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs”. Another option is to switch to halogen lighting. It has light output “similar to a regular incandescent bulb but uses up to 40 percent less energy”.
5. Solar Powered Gadgets
A Technology that is becoming steadily popular these days includes solar powered chargers and gadgets. While solar power for your home in the form of panels is still very expensive, we can instead harness the suns energy in smaller portions. These days the market has everything from solar chargers for our cell phones and mp3 players to solar alarm clocks to solar powered lights for the garden. They even have solar powered TV’s now!
Regardless of what type of technology suits your fancy, by switching even a few of your gadgets over to solar power, you will benefit from cost savings. Not to mention that you will feel better knowing that you’re reducing your carbon footprint and saving the environment.
Other ways you can upgrade to more energy efficient lighting is by using a 100-watt bulb in place of two 60-watt ones. The single 100-watt not only produces the same amount of light, but it is also more energy efficient. There are also many energy-saving devices that can be used in conjunction with lighting such as motion sensors, dimmers and automatic timers.
While these are some of the top energy-efficient items for the home, there are many other options in today’s market and many more arriving all the time. Green technology, though not necessarily a new trend, has been picking up in the past few years as people start to become more and more environmentally aware and responsible. As a consumer, the next time you go shopping for new technology, appliances or gadgets for your home, be sure to check out some energy-efficient models instead!