With the costs associated with energy rising so quickly these days, many homeowners are pushing for more efficient ways to use electricity while simultaneously being proactive in using less of it overall. This seems like a constant battle: while we can be smarter about the energy we do use, all the gadgets and electronic devices we have cause us to use more electricity than we would in their absence.
Technology can be a saviour in this case, however, by helping up understand just where we are wasting money and where we can be more conscious. The following apps and gadgets will help you take charge of this situation and reduce both the cost and overall consumption of energy in the home.
Monitoring Vampire Energy
All of those appliances you have plugged up are using energy – even when they are not on or charging. Likewise, even having chargers and adapters plugged into the wall can be consuming energy, which over time becomes much more than someone would think. Products like the Belkin Conserve Insight ($30) can be used to determine just how much energy is being used by each one of these products. Best of all, you can program in your cost per kWh and determine how much each one is costing over a period of a month or year. While it may take some time to recoup the savings, this gadget is perfect for those seeking to make their energy use more efficient in the long run.
Finding Loss of Heat
When heating bills seem like they’re going through the roof, maybe that is because your heat is literally going through the roof. Products like the Black and Decker Thermal Leak Detector can be used to detect areas of the home through which heat is escaping. For just $50, this tool can be used in a simple point and shoot fashion, sending out an infrared beam to detect the temperatures of a given area. By using this, you can find trouble spots where your heat is leaking through, and in the process, fix it. This will also help with summer cooling costs as well.
Compare Against Your Neighbours
With tools like MyEnergy, you can monitor your energy usage and compare it to others in your neighbourhood. By entering details about not only electricity use, but also water and gas, you can get an idea of whether your home is operating at as efficient of a level as it could be based on what nearby residences are doing. This data is also helpful in keeping track of your own progress as you make simple improvements and conscious energy decisions to reduce your home’s overall energy consumption.
Light Bulb Finder
Ready to upgrade your home lighting from those inefficient bulbs to something a bit more energy conservative? With the iOS app Light Bulb Finder, you can find a more energy conscious bulb that will give you the same results as any current fluorescent or incandescent bulb. Simply input the fixture and wattage, and the app will fetch a range of choices to consider. You will also be able to see the cost of each bulb and the estimated savings over its lifetime.
Our thanks go out to Thomas Lachlan who is an interior designer with Gotcha Covered, a company supplying and installing timber plantation shutters in Sydney. Thomas has helped us in collecting the relevant information to help create this post.