Top 8 Energy Saving Devices for your Home
Everyone wants to save energy, but where to start is a big question that many give up on answering. A professional home audit can cost a lot of money, and you may wait for weeks for the professional to even show up. If you want to take manageable steps to reduce your energy bill and save money in doing so, read our guide on gadgets that can slash your energy consumption and lower your electricity bill.
What is Smart Technology?
Energy savings have always been a hot topic. Far from purchasing unattainably expensive appliances that once decorated the windows of the most expensive home goods stores, saving energy today is easy and fast, as it only takes a few hours of your time to see your energy bills drop by a total of 30-50%.
The key to energy savings lies in cutting energy costs at the source – your home energy usage. With smart technology, it has become easy to monitor and better understand how much energy you use, as well as to automate your energy-saving habits. Needless to say, smart technology has a big say in how this is carried out.
Smart technology, where “smart” stands for “Self Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology,” is a technology that can follow a number of predetermined factors and make some basic decisions on its own. From tracking movement and turning on the light switches in your home to measuring the temperature and watching the time to turn on the heating, this technology can help slash your energy use by using energy only when needed.
Smart Gadgets to Reduce Electric Bill
The best example of smart technology that does not cost a fortune is smart gadgets. These devices are available in most tech stores, cost little, and have a payoff time that is generally shorter than three years. With a small initial investment, you can automate many tasks around your home to ensure that your energy bill is lower and that most energy can actually be used. Let’s consider some smart and energy-efficient gadgets that can lower your energy costs:
1. Solar panels
By far the priciest on our list, solar panels can help offset up to 100% of your energy use. This technology uses sunlight to move electrons in its delicate circuitry and provides free currently to substitute for the expensive one you pay to your local utility company. Solar panels are versatile and scalable:
- They are easily scalable, as you can purchase as many modules as you want/need,
- They are suited to every surface, and there are even flexible solar panels that you can mount on your RV rooftop,
- Solar panels are becoming progressively cheaper, with over 80% reduction in price over the past 15 years,
- Solar panels can offset a part or all of your energy use,
- Solar panels also generate SRECs, that you can sell on an SREC market,
- They may be combined with a solar battery for living truly off-grid,
- They can be connected to the grid, in which case the grid acts as if it were your battery, and
- Solar panels offer many more benefits.
2. Programmable Thermostats
The next best thing and possibly a huge money-saver are your programmable thermostats. These thermostats act like any other with an important difference: they can change the temperature setting on their own, depending on what your energy needs are at that particular moment. Saving you money on both heating and cooling bills, smart thermostats are truly smart devices: some of them can even learn on their own and automate saving money for you.
3. Energy Monitors
Energy monitors or energy usage monitors help save even more energy by letting you know how you use energy and which of your appliances is the biggest energy user in the house. Unlike programmable thermostats, which are fixed, energy monitors can be plugged into any wall outlet. The device you want to monitor is them plugged into the monitor itself.
When the device or appliance is on, the monitor measures energy usage. This allows you to see where your energy is going, save energy and lower your energy bills. One of the ways that you can lower your utility bills with an energy monitor is by switching an old appliance that uses more energy than it should. Another way is to change the time when the appliance is in use so that it only draws power in the off-peak hours.
4. LED Bulbs
LED light bulbs are the next best solution for saving energy. As every incandescent light bulb uses up to 130 Watts of power, the total part of the utility bills that you pay for lights only can be staggeringly high – up to 30%. To avoid these unreasonable costs, you should install LED light bulbs.
LED light bulbs use up to 90% less energy than your old lightbulbs. Switching to this new technology can help you save money. If you decide to purchase smart light bulbs, you will also be able to enjoy the benefits of changing the hue of the light as well as the quantity of light – all with the help of your smartphone or even automatically.
Yet another way to save energy is to combine LED bulbs with smart light switches. These switches have a motion detector and can turn lights on whenever there is someone in the room. When nobody is present, the lights automatically go off, so you’ll never have to worry about forgetting to turn off the lights, even when on vacation.
5. Smart Windows
Smart windows may not be as cheap as some other solutions on our list, but they are still a great way to reduce your energy use. There are many types of windows that can be considered smart. While some can make electricity, as they have integrated solar cells in them, others contain smart devices and special films that can make them more opaque or translucent – depending on the time of the day and your needs.
Smart windows can, for example, help heat your house in the winter or keep it cool in the summer. By letting in more light during winter days, they help your house heat up in a passive way. By blocking light during summer mornings and evenings, they help block the light and thus keep your house cool.
6. Tankless Water Heater
A water heater with a tank will dissipate some of the heat stored in water one way or another. There is, however, a way to counteract this energy loss. A tankless water heater can help you save by only heating water when you need it. This will prevent spending more money than you absolutely have to.
7. Smart Power Strips
Smart power strips can monitor energy use and shut off appliances and devices. Whenever the energy use drops, it means that the device is in standby mode – now, there is a way to automatically turn off this vampire consumption. You can save even more by connecting as many appliances to the smart power strip as you can – they are perfect for home offices and entertainment centers.
8. Eco Chargers
Normal chargers use electricity whenever they are plugged in. To slash this vampire consumption, some companies have come up with eco chargers – special chargers that reduce the energy they spend whenever not in use. There are also models that can completely shut off their energy use, although they come as pricier smart devices.
How much will LED lights save me a month?
An LED will save 90% of your energy use for that particular fixture. To calculate how much, you will need to consider the time of use in an average day or month, the size and wattage of your incandescent bulbs, as well as the price of electricity in your area. Let’s look at an example:
• One light bulb, 100 Watts of power, is installed in a kitchen and is on for 5 hours on an average day (4 hours in the summer and 6 in the winter). The electricity in your area costs $0.20 per kWh
1 (lightbulb) X 100 Watts X 5 (hours) X 30 (days) = 15 kWh a Month
15 kWh (a month) X $0.20 per kWh = $3,00 a month
Your LED bulbs will save around 90% of this use, so around $2.7 for this single fixture every single month. Now, count the number of fixtures in your home and multiply.
How can I cool my room cheaply?
To cool your room cheaply, you should do several things:
• Shut your windows and blinders when there is direct sunshine shining into your room,
• Prevent any hot draft from entering during the hottest part of the day,
• Leave your window open at night, when it is fresh outside (use a mosquito netting),
• Purchase a smart thermostat to save on cooling energy,
• Check your HVAC system outlets – dust may block some of the cooling effects.
Can I switch off refrigerator at night?
You should not turn off your refrigerator at night. Although your fridge will stay cold, the temperature inside may still rise and cause all your food to go bad in a much shorter time than if your fridge was left on day and night. This can result in hundreds of dollars wasted in food and cost you way more than you can actually save. A large fridge costs less than $30 to run per month.
Does leaving a lamp plugged in waste electricity?
Most lamps have a switch that completely shuts off the current. This means that you do not waste any electricity by leaving your lamp on. However, some models with motion sensors, touch sensors, or built-in wireless phone chargers use some electricity even when off.
To be more efficient when it comes to heating and cooling and overall temperature control and electricity use, you may want to consider installing smart devices. These devices enable remote control over Wi-Fi, control over Alexa voice commands, or Google assistant and often come with added benefits, such as surge protector and energy use monitoring devices. A simple, smart thermostat and LED light bulbs can reduce your utility bills by around 30%, and other connected devices can enable a significant improvement in the quality of your and your family’s life.