Are you a tech geek who has a soft spot for doing your part to green up Mother Earth? There are countless ways to use more sustainable technology in the home, but they’re not all necessarily marketed as “green technology.”
Maybe you’re keeping an eye out for new appliances that have Energy Star ratings, but there’s more than one way to lighten your carbon footprint while preserving the heft of your wallet. Routine home upgrades can make a big difference on your budget and conservation efforts.
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For example, did you know that ductless heat pumps are a great way to cut your energy usage by as much as 50 percent? Instead of relying on a traditional backup system that wastes precious energy, this one lets you personalize it by going with a 100-percent ductless system … or cherry picking which areas of your home to use it.
As an added bonus, you can even score a rebate and/or tax break when you install this system. However, there are further technological advances to consider.
You can look at smart thermostats, but you should recognize that they’re not all created equally. Go with a designer model such as Nest Labs, which the iPod designers dreamed up, to control the temperature of your home based on your lifestyle and schedule.
Its sleek, contemporary, and stainless-steel approaches make it a form of home décor in its own right. Dependent on cloud computing and sensors, Nest monitors your habits to optimize your home heating. It’s been estimated that you can shave 30 percent off your energy bill with this model.
The right power adaptor is an easy and affordable installation that costs less than $200 and saves homeowners up to 13 percent each year. A reputable company like Green Plug offers a solid model that promises better connectivity between home devices that require power and the energy supply.
Once a device like that busy coffee brewer has the power it needs, the power line is automatically shut off.
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The automated home
Home automation isn’t just a drool-worthy addition, it’s also a great way to save money. Consider automated lights that work around your schedule and “know” when a room is empty.
They cost less than $200 per light switch, but can save you a lot of cash depending on how forgetful you (or the kids) are about the lights. In the winter months, when people stay in and the days are shorter, automating your lights can be a great way to double up on those heating conservation efforts.
Use technology for a fatter bank account, to score tax benefits, and to boost your home’s value. Who knew home updates could be so easy?