Having a home that is energy efficient can save you money, and it has become a growing trend on the real estate market. Big budget projects like solar power can be one way to get your home to save energy, but there are a bunch of other simple, smaller steps–like installing energy efficient devices–you can do to keep your energy bills down and help the environment. Smart thermostats, LED lights, and tankless water heaters can all help your wallet and save energy.
Thermostats made a huge leap forward when you were able to program them to adjust the temperature based on time. Now, the technology has made another step forward by recognizing your patterns and adjusts accordingly. As nearly 40% of your energy bill is related to your heating and cooling, smart thermostats can have a huge impact in your monthly usage.
While fluorescent bulbs contain mercury, which turns off a lot of consumers, and halogens do not find the quality of halogen bulbs to be sufficient, LED lights offer a nice option for those looking to get the most light for the least amount of money. On top of that, they are safer than the alternatives.
Smart Power Strips
Smart power strips help you save the energy they may produce without having to go through the hassle of making sure unused appliances are always unplugged. Instead, smart power strips cut the phantom power to these devices, which can really come in handy for power strips that are harder to reach, like those that are under the computer desk or behind the television.
Energy Star Appliances
If you’re in the market for a new appliance, whether it’s a refrigerator or a microwave, looking into an Energy Star appliance can save you on your energy bills. Some Energy Star appliances can pay for themselves in just a few months by how much it can save you. Not all appliances qualify for the Energy Star label, so be sure to look for the label. A refrigerator that qualifies, for example, can save 9% of the energy used by a refrigerator that does not qualify.
As mentioned earlier, phantom power can really cost you some money, costing you as much as 8% of a home’s power. This occurs when you have something plugged in, but not turned on. Charging stations allow you to charge your handheld devices, but will turn off the phantom power when the device is done charging or after a certain length of time. This will allow you to have peace of mind when you’re trying to stay connected to the world around you on your assorted devices.
Tankless Water Heaters
The conventional setup of a water heater tends to waste energy, especially when there is no need for hot water. These devices heat water by using an extreme amount of energy to heat the needed hot water all at once. Not only do these spend a lot of energy, it also puts a lot of strain on the unit and this can force you to spend money on repairs, or worse, a replacement. Tankless water heaters directly heat the water as it is used, while having only a small reserve tank for moments of intense use.
Infrared Heating Panels
There are a lot of benefits to using infrared heating panels, but one of the major reasons to make the switch is how energy efficient they can be. They work by turning electromagnetic radiation into heat, no matter how cold the air temperature is. These can save you up to 70% over conventional heating methods, produce no emissions (lowering your carbon footprint), and have added health benefits. Infrared heating panels also leave dust undisturbed, which can benefit people with allergies and keeps a stable humidity.
A lot of people might overlook the role windows have on the general climate of your home, but it can make a big difference. Big windows can lead to drafts, which could send your heating system into overtime to try and compensate for the heat leakage. Smart windows can save you somewhere in the neighborhood of 30% on your energy bill by keeping unwanted heat out in the summer and unwanted cold out in the winter.
Converting to a more energy efficient home may seem like it comes with a heavy price tag, but there are plenty of small steps you can make in order to move in the right direction. A couple of simple changes here and there can really show the benefits on your next energy bill.