Whether you are looking to save the planet or just a little money, going green is now easier than ever. However, with so many gadgets available on the market, it’s hard to know which products are truly green and which are just riding on the eco-friendly bandwagon. Here are nine new products which can actually make a difference in your household energy consumption.
Climate control, and especially heating, accounts for about 30% of the average home’s energy bill. Programmable thermostats are one of the simplest ways to reduce these costs. There are a variety of smart thermostats available on the market. Some come as part of a complete energy management system that allows you to operate the thermostat from your smartphone or other Wi-Fi enabled device, and some simply come on their own.
One of the newest programmable thermostats is called Nest. The Nest “learning thermostat” actually learns your heating and cooling habits and then follows them so that you aren’t heating and cooling an empty house. Here’s a short video on the thermostat:
According to Energy Star, if every American home replaced just one light bulb with an Energy Star–rated bulb, we would save enough energy to light 3 million homes for a year and save a total of about $600 million in energy costs.
When it comes to LED lights, according to TopTenReviews.com research, the Philips L Prize (the U.S. DOE L Prize winner) provides the most bang for your buck (or the most light for your wattage). Using just 9.7 watts of energy, this light bulb produces 940 lumens, the highest of the ten lights which were reviewed.
Home Energy Regulation and Monitoring
There are also companies that provide complete energy management systems for your home. These include devices which can be integrated through a central operating system to give you remote access to your lights, appliances, and thermostat. You can conserve energy by turning lights on and off from your smartphone or adjusting your thermostat while you stay late at work.
If you want to start with a smaller investment, the Tripp Lite Eco 12-outlet surge protector with coaxial and telephone connectors can help you better control your energy usage. This surge protector features a netbook switch which allows users to select wattage for a variety of computers and other devices. It also offers 3600 joules of advanced surge protection. With normal use, this product has been shown to save consumers up to $40 in energy bills annually. This is in addition to the money you would save by protecting your expensive equipment from any unexpected power surge.
The Belkin Conserve Socket energy-saving outlet is an inexpensive gadget which allows you to set a timer for 30 minutes, three hours or six hours. This helps you control usage of big electricity drainers such as electric heaters and ensures that lights and appliances get turned off when they aren’t in use.
Energy Efficient Appliances
Energy Star has released their list of top energy-efficient appliances for 2013. Clothes washers have become more efficient recently. This year, Frigidaire comes in at the top of the list with an estimated annual energy cost of $80-$85.
Experts estimate that 8% of the average American household energy bill is created by electronics chargers which are left plugged into the wall when not being used to charge. The Belkin Conserve Valet energy-saving USB charging station can charge up to four smartphones or other USB-supported gadgets for 4.5 hours and then automatically turn off. It has been shown that this gadget can save you up to 67% of phone-charging energy costs when charging four mobile devices at once.
You can use the Viatek G-Ener-G power saving device to make many of your normally high-consuming appliances more energy efficient. The makers of this device claim it can save users up to 35% on energy bills. Using a harmonic resistant capacitor, it regulates the ampage of your high power appliances such as air conditioners, refrigerators, computers, microwaves, and washing machines.
The best part about all of these options is that they don’t require any major renovations to your home. You can make your home more energy efficient one gadget at a time.
About the Author: Rick Delgado is a passionate freelance writer in the tech and eco-friendly space.