Going green is a concern for almost everyone as the realities of climate change and our warming planet have become too real to ignore. We often think of combatting climate change on a global scale where we’ll invest in renewable energy, decrease carbon emissions and become more energy efficient. However, that support for energy efficiency doesn’t have to be left to global leaders and scientists. There are lots of ways that everyday citizens can do their part to fight climate change. By making these five changes to your home’s technology, you’ll be five steps closer to living a completely green life!
By switching to a smart thermostat, you can not only help to save the planet but you can also save yourself some money! Statistics show that with a smart thermostat, you can save 10-12% on heating and 15% on cooling your home, equivalent to almost $150. Considering that smart thermostats are about $250 to purchase, you’ll recoup your costs in under two years. Smart thermostats save you money by automating temperature setbacks - they use modern technology, such as motion sensors, to learn your habits and turn down your heating or cooling system when you don’t need it.
Water Efficiency Monitoring:
They say that knowledge is power and that’s they key to water efficiency monitoring. With devices such as the WaterHawk Smart Showerhead, consumers are able to learn more about their water use, which encourages them to use their water more efficiently. With the WaterHawk system, a small hydroelectric generator resides inside the water head and is powered by the force of the water - no need for batteries or plug ins. The generator is used to display the amount of water being used and the temperature of the water, through colored lights. With this real time monitoring, users are quickly able to adjust their water temperature and usage to be as efficient, cost-savvy and green as possible.
Energy Efficient Lighting:
Switching to energy efficient lighting solutions in your home is one of the quickest and most successful ways to go green in a hurry. With traditional incandescent light bulbs, 90% of their energy is given off as heat. That means you’re paying more for a light bulb that is worse at doing its job - giving light - because it’s giving off unnecessary heat. Luckily, you can make a quick switch to halogen incandescent, CFL or LED lights to save energy and save money. While these lights may be more expensive than traditional incandescent bulbs up front, their energy efficiency means they are actually money savers in the long run. It is estimated that you’ll save $75 per year by simply making the switch to energy efficient lighting.
Green On-demand Water Heaters:
The latest in cutting back on energy and money loss in the home is tankless, on-demand or instantaneous water heaters. Unlike traditional water heaters where water is constantly kept hot and stored, these on-demand versions only provide hot water when needed. In order to deliver the hot water, tankless water heaters depend on electric or gas burners to heat up the water as you need it. For homes using less than 41 gallons of hot water per day, a tankless on-demand water heater can be 24-34% more energy efficient than a traditional stored water heater. Even for homes that use more hot water daily, up to 86 gallons, the tankless heaters are still 8-14% more efficient. This energy efficiency translates to approximately $100 in annual savings. While tankless water heaters are more expensive up front, they have almost double the life expectancy of a traditional water heater, have easily replaceable parts, are more energy efficient and have lower operating costs.
We’ve said knowledge is power but with Sense, a home energy monitoring system, they believe that power is knowledge. Sense connects to your electrical panel and has a corresponding app on your phone. Reading the panel, Sense is able to tell you exactly what is happening in your home - how much energy you’re using, which appliances are using the most energy, when certain lights come on, etc. You can track and monitor your energy use from your phone and even compare your results with your neighbors. Nothing says “go green” better than competing with your community to see who can lower their energy usage the most each month. With Sense, you can learn more about your home and use that knowledge to make smart energy saving decisions.