As consumers look for energy-saving products to help the environment and save money, manufacturers are offering more “green” gadgets than ever before. But not all are worth the money, and some are an outright waste. Here are the top gadgets available that are actually worth the price to help you live green and save money while you’re at it!
1. Programmable / Smart Thermostats
A step beyond the programmable thermostat, new smart thermostats learn how and when your family uses the heating and air conditioning system and follows your patterns for the smartest energy savings. Since as much as 40 percent of your home’s overall energy bill from heating and cooling. This system is a great place to make huge differences with a little investment. Though these thermostats cost over $200, many landlords are willing to credit this cost on your next rent payment.
If you still don’t have one, check our best programmable thermostats list and get yours today!
2. LED Lighting
Of all the energy-efficient lighting available, LED bulbs offer the brightest light for the least money. Halogen and compact fluorescent haven’t been quite as well received among consumers for several reasons. Some fear the mercury in fluorescent bulbs while others aren’t satisfied with the quality of light from halogen. LED is a good alternative, providing a consistent light for little money, and they are safe.
3. Energy Management Systems
These systems allow you to control your entire home via remote control. You’ll never have to worry about leaving lights on, whether the house will be comfortable when you come home, or if you left the coffee maker on. The lights, heating and air system, appliances, stereo, and security system can all be controlled from your remote or with your smartphone.
4. Energy Star Appliances
If you have to buy a new microwave, toaster oven, refrigerator, ceiling fan or other appliance, shop for Energy Star certified products. These appliances offer significant savings in operation, often saving you enough money to pay for the appliance in just a few months. Washing machine technologies have come particularly far recently, and you can now get a machine that costs less than $80 per year to operate.
5. Charging Stations
One common cause of energy waste around the home is phantom power. This results from electronics that are plugged in but not turned on, sucking as much as 8 percent of a home’s power for nothing. Charging stations are available which automatically turn off and stop phantom power leaks when phones or MP3 players are fully charged. Others shut off after a specific length of time, such as after 4.5 hours. Most cell phones are fully charged in this length of time.
6. Smart Power Strips
Instead of having to unplug umpteen appliances and electronics around the house every night, consider a smart power strip that cuts phantom power from anything plugged into it. This is ideal for hard to reach plugs on the floor, in the back of the kitchen counter, under the computer desk, and behind the TV.
These gadgets vary in price, but all are able to save you enough money on the power bill to justify the purchase price. Ask your landlord if he’s willing to deduct the price of some of these items from your rent in exchange for you doing the work of installation. This is an easy way for him to upgrade the property with little effort and expense.
Any new gadgets you’d like to add to this list that have helped you save money and energy? Share your thoughts in the comments below.