You have the necessary appliances like a refrigerator, stove, or microwave, and now you’re wondering what you can do to make your house more energy efficient. Here are some great pieces of technology that can make your house eco-friendly and even save you a few hundred dollars each year. Let’s take a look at a few of them!
By Jeremy Atkins, Rocket Homes Real Estate LLC
1. Smart Power Outlets
There are two main types of power outlets out there. One is a “connected” outlet and the other is an energy saving outlet. Connected outlets sync to your Wi-Fi network allowing you to control the power output to appliances remotely. Leave a fan on while at work? No need to let it run all day – just hop on your phone and turn it off. These are usually in the $25-$60 range depending on the unit.
Energy saving outlets go a step further by turning the outlet off completely. Kind of like flipping a switch on a circuit breaker. This saves you from the dreaded “vampire power” which is when a plugged-in device uses electricity, even when it’s turned off. These are a great way to keep your energy usage down and even save upwards of a $150-$400 per year. Energy saving outlets, like these, can be found for around $6-$25.
2. Smart Thermostats
For someone like me who loves tech, smart thermostats are amazing. They connect to your Wi-Fi network and your furnace. Over the course of a week or two, they learn your schedule and heat up or cool your house down automatically right before you get home. They also adjust for when you leave. This is another boon for us forgetful folks. I can hear Ron Popeil now “Set it…and forget it!”
Most smart thermostats can be controlled remotely and allow for scheduling via an app or on the device. They’re easy to use and will help you save an average of $145 a year. The main players in this market are Ecobee, Nest, and Honeywell and they range from $170-$250.
3. LED & Smart Lights
Not as rare or expensive as they used to be, LED lights are a pretty amazing way to reduce your carbon footprint. A basic, 60-watt equivalent LED light bulb will use 10-15% of the energy needed of an incandescent bulb. They even give off less heat, which will help with your air conditioning bill in the summer too. You can find them for as little as $3 and they go up from there.
This wouldn’t be a “tech” article if I just talked about regular old LED lights. Good thing there are smart lights! I bought some Philips Hue lights a few months ago and they are awesome. I have them set to turn on at sunset because my wife is usually home then. Today, she has a meeting and isn’t home yet so I just went into to the app on my phone and turned them off. I even have them programmed to turn off at 8 am every morning just in case my wife or I forget to turn them off. Some versions can even allow you to adjust the color and sync them to music! Unfortunately, these can be pretty expensive at around $50 per bulb but could save you around $2-$4 per year.
4. Dual-Flush Toilet
Traditional toilets use more water than we usually need when we flush. That’s where dual-flush toilets come in. These unique thrones have a light flush option which, depending on the toilet/kit, uses a half-gallon less water per flush than a full-flush version. If you need more…ahem…flushing power, use the full flush mode and it’s business as usual. There are multiple manufacturers that sell toilets with this capability and you can even find kits online to convert your regular toilet to a dual flush. With these upgrades, you can save around $200 per year in water savings depending on the size of your household.
I’m always on the lookout for ways to help me save money and green tech has certainly helped. I’m thrilled to have made some of these energy efficient upgrades and I can’t wait to add more. Whether it’s a simple replacement LED light, new smart thermostat, or a dual flush toilet, you too can make your home more energy efficient and even save some cash.