Did you know that every time you turn on the lights or turn up the AC, you’re contributing to your carbon footprint?
Luckily, there are some fairly easy ways you can be more environmentally conscious—and even save some money each month. Here’s how to save energy at home and go green with smart gadgets.
Residential electricity usage accounts for 40% of the U.S.’s total energy consumption, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports.
But it’s tough to scale back your electricity use when you don’t know what, exactly, is using up the most energy.
Maybe it’s your washer and dryer.
Maybe it’s your water heater.
Maybe it’s your HVAC system.
Sense does. Sense is a smart home energy monitor that connects directly to your home’s electrical panel. You need to have it professionally installed, but over the course of a few weeks, Sense will identify energy-using devices in your home by pinpointing their unique electrical signals. It then provides you with a detailed breakdown of how your energy is being used, so if your kids are sneaking late-night microwavable snacks, you’ll know.
Sense can help you identify sources of energy waste in your home, too, and its app also lets you set goals and monitor your progress through the month. If you want to reduce your carbon footprint by 10%, it will help you find ways to do just that!
For very little effort on your part, these small changes can result in major energy conservation. The environment will thank you!
Heating and cooling are responsible for the majority of your energy usage—46% on average, Direct Energy says. And according to the New York Times, the chemical compounds created in many HVAC units trap significant amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. That’s a huge hit to our environment.
To do your part for the planet, you may want to invest in a smart thermostat, such as the Google Nest Thermostat E. This model has a number of energy-saving features. As an added bonus, it reports saving customers an average of 10% to 12% on heating bills and 15% on cooling bills—not too shabby!
Essentially, smart thermostats like Nest learn your habits, like when you’re usually at home, out of the house, or in bed. They then create optimized schedules for your heating and cooling system—automatically turning the heat down when you’re at work, for instance, and back up when you come home. With very little effort on your part, these small changes can result in major energy conservation. The environment will thank you!
Another way to manage heating and cooling usage is by covering your windows strategically. The U.S. Department of Energy explains that 76% of sunlight that hits standard double-pane windows enters to become heat. That can be scorching in the summer! Window coverings are key in preventing this heat from warming up your home and requiring you to use your HVAC system.
You can save yourself the hassle of opening and closing your blinds or shades multiples time a day with a system like Soma Smart Shades. This product works with your existing window coverings, allowing you to open and close them via your smartphone. You can also put them on an automatic schedule, so they’re closed when the sun is directly on the window and open for the rest of the day.
The best part is that the Soma Shades align with your green-home strategy: They use a solar-powered battery, so they won’t have any impact on your energy usage.
While lighting doesn’t have nearly the same impact on your energy usage as heating and cooling, it’s another area where it’s easy to conserve energy with a few simple upgrades. For instance, Arcadia explains that LED bulbs use 75% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs. Plus, LEDs last 25 times longer.
If you want to go a step further, you can upgrade to smart bulbs like the Philips Hue Light Bulbs. Not only are these bulbs LED and Energy Star-certified, but you can control them remotely and put them on automatic schedules using the associated app. If your kids frequently forget to turn off the lights, these smart bulbs can save you a ton of energy—and a headache.
If you’re researching how to save energy at home to be more environmentally conscious, consider these smart gadgets that make it easy to lower energy usage—without radically altering your lifestyle.
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