Let’s face it, we can all use a little bit of greening up. These 10 gadgets, gizmos, and ideas help you make your home a little bit more energy efficient and earth-friendly via the use of technology.
1) The Body Dryer –Save energy and water by never washing a bath towel again thanks Body Dryer on Indiegogo. At the heart of it all, the Body Dryer means to be one additional step to help conserve resources. If you think about how often you wash towels, consider the water and electricity used to clean and dry them. There is a pretty significant difference in energy. Even a minute’s use of the Body Dryer (lets assume for a totally furry guy) ends up as a fraction of the energy needed to run a washer and dryer for a full load. Not a drop of water is required either.
2) Connected by TCP Wireless LED Light Bulb Kit –With Connected by TCP, you only get one color–soft white. It’s a very similar temperature to that of an incandescent bulb, in fact. When you buy it on Home Depot, you’ll pay $90 less than Hue, and replacement bulbs are $30 bucks, $40 less expensive than Hue’s. While we love Hue and Lumen’s ability to change the bulb’s color on whim, from a functionality perspective, it’s not necessarily a feature you can’t live without. Connected by TCP lets you add up to 250 bulbs to one Connected by TCP gateway, compared to Hue’s 50 bulbs, making it potentially more expandable for larger homes. According to Energy.gov, residential LED bulbs use up to 75% less energy and last a whopping 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. In fact, some can last for more than 20 years. You might pay more for an LED bulb initially, but it will pay for itself and then some over the years. Refit all your home fixtures with LEDs and start saving money–and the environment–immediately.
3) Alarm.com Geo Services– Alarm.com–one of the major players in the smart home arena received the Consumer Electronics Association’s (CEA) Mark of Excellence Award for Energy-Efficient Product of the Year. The technology uses your location in conjunction with a smart thermostat to make automation a no-brainer, literally. It automatically optimizes for savings when you are away and for comfort when you are home, without you don’t have to lift a finger. According to Alarm.com, while most smart thermostats guess about activity around the house by looking into one room, this technology analyzes a variety of data to optimize energy management. If you are an Alarm.com subscriber (which you must be to use the service) you opt-in by enrolling your smart phone. Provided you don’t leave your phone at home, your casa will adjust to save energy when you leave and readjust to a comfortable temp before you return. You don’t have to pull your phone out or even open an app. Alarm.com uses thermodynamic modeling to determine how your home heats and cools. This helps to create more efficient geo-fences that create opportunities to save money and energy while also ensuring that the home is always comfortable upon return.
4) Go Solar- Next time you visit a Best Buy store, you might be able to leave with the mother of all home tech upgrades: Solar Panels. We’re not talking about the wee ones meant to recharge your smartphones or tablets when you’re out and about. Best Buy is partnering with SolarCity to sell photovoltaic systems to homeowners. There are many questions that need to be answered in order to determine what a solar panel installation would look like for each individual home, of course. Solar panels have been gradually dropping in price over the years, reducing the amount of time it takes for the equipment to pay for itself through energy savings. There’s always that upfront cost to swallow, although SolarCity is helping clients by providing free installations. Once the solar equipment has paid for itself, homeowners will be able to enjoy lower electricity bills free and clear.
5) Honeywell Smart Thermostat with Voice Control –This powerhouse of a thermostat not only lets you create efficient schedules based on the time of day and users, but allows remote operation via the web or using a smartphone with the Honeywell app. This remote control is a great energy-saving tool because if you are going to be gone for a long time and forgot to turn the AC down, or better yet, off, you can just grab your smartphone and set it remotely, then turn it back on a few minutes before you get home.