Are you tired of seeing high energy bills every month? Many people are looking for ways to use less energy, both to lower their bills and reduce their impact on the environment. Luckily, there are lots of gadgets that can help you save energy and money. These devices are easy to use and won’t require a lot of setup on your part.
While you shouldn’t expect instant results or huge savings right away, if you make these changes, you’ll start to see lower bills and save a lot of money in the long run. Get ready to transform your home and live a more eco-friendly and cost-effective lifestyle.
LED bulbs offer several advantages over traditional incandescent or fluorescent bulbs. They are highly energy-efficient, consuming significantly less electricity to produce the same amount of light. LED bulbs also have a much longer lifespan, lasting up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs and significantly longer than fluorescent bulbs.
“These bulbs use on average 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs,” said Andrew Meyer, CEO of Arbor. “There are a multitude of brands to choose from, such as Cree, Feit, Philips and GE, to name a few.”
Cree Lighting offers exceptional quality for a great price. You can get a two-pack of soft white bulbs for less than $9 from Home Depot.
Also consider smart bulbs, such as Philips Hue. These have the added benefit of being dimmable and controllable via a smartphone app. You can also set a schedule, so the lights are never on when you don’t need them.
“Having a smart thermostat is a great way to improve your home’s energy efficiency and reduce your overall utility spending,” said Christen da Costa, CEO of Gadget Review. “Leaving your thermostat too high or low when no one is home or not properly adjusting the zones on your HVAC system can mean you’re wasting money heating and cooling an empty house or areas of the home that see the least traffic.
“A smart thermostat can help control your home’s energy consumption by adjusting the temperature to reduce energy consumption during low usage times such as during the day Monday through Friday when most people are at work. Plus, with features like geofencing and programmability, you don’t have to worry about returning to a home that’s an icebox in the winter or a furnace in the summer.”
Cisco DeVries, CEO of OhmConnect, agrees. “Smart Thermostats, like Google Nest or Ecobee, monitor your energy use and behavior and will automatically adjust its settings to make your home as energy efficient as possible. Smart thermostats can save you an average of 10% to 12% on heating and 15% on cooling — that’s nearly $145 annually. Enabling homes to be smarter will allow people to control their energy usage — and their bills.”
The two biggest contenders in this arena are the Google Nest Thermostat and the Ecobee Smart Thermostat. Both are great options, and the decision largely comes down to personal preference. But if you are already invested in Google’s ecosystem, choose the Nest. If you prefer Apple products, choose the Ecobee, which works seamlessly with Apple’s HomeKit.
Smart blinds are automated window shades that offer the convenience of being programmed or remotely controlled to open or close at specific times. By integrating with smart home systems and voice assistants, these blinds offer seamless connectivity and can be operated with simple voice commands or through smartphone apps.
“You might be wondering how this could save on your electricity bill,” said Sonia Madaan, founder of EarthEclipse.com. “It’s all about temperature control. By closing the blinds during the hottest part of the day, you can significantly reduce the need for air conditioning. And, in the cooler months, opening them to let in sunlight can help warm up your rooms naturally, reducing the need for heating.
“I installed these in my home last year, and I was amazed by the difference they made, especially during summer. By taking advantage of natural light and shade, I reached for the AC remote much less frequently. So that’s why, in light of their potential to save energy, I think smart blinds can be an excellent addition to any home.”
Madaan recommends the MUSCLEAREA Smart Motorized Blinds, available on Amazon for $113.99 (as of June 2).
Smart Plugs and Power Strips
“The truth is that just because you turned the device off doesn’t necessarily mean it stops using electricity,” DeVries said. “Some electronic devices that are off but remain plugged in to a power source will continue to draw electricity — these devices are called energy vampires.
“Devices like cable boxes/DVRs & game consoles, microwaves, coffee makers, space heaters, phone charges and powered toothbrushes can account for 20% of your monthly electricity bill. To overcome these energy vampires, use smart plugs or smart power strips. These smart devices will detect when you’re no longer using a device and turn off the power supply.”
David Bakke, energy saving expert at Dollar Sanity, recommends an option from Kasa. “This smart power strip allows you to easily turn off the outlet that doesn’t need charging or is taking up too much energy. By turning off the outlet, you can save more money.”
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