5 Technological Home Upgrades that will Save you Money and Energy

Sunday, June 5, 2016

5 Technological Home Upgrades that will Save you Money and Energy


Are you looking to make your home more energy efficient, and save a few bucks? Here are a few great technologies that can help.

There are a number of technologies people can use to both make their homes more energy-efficient and to save money. Some of the technologies in question are improvements of old technologies, while others are brand new.

Solar Panels

Solar panels have come a long way since the 1970s. Any current list of solar power pros and cons will show many more pros than cons. Solar panels are connected to devices called inverters that convert the solar energy collected by the panels into electricity. They are tied into the grid so that if they produce more electricity than is needed, the excess goes to the utility which then gives the homeowner a credit on their bill. While solar panels are still not cheap, their price has dropped by 50 percent since 2010. Homeowners also have the option of leasing or buying solar panels, and people who buy solar panels can take advantage of various rebates.
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LED Bulbs

LED means “light-emitting diode,” which is a type of solid-state lighting. As such, it uses a semi-conductor to emit light, while incandescent lights use wires and gases contained in a glass bulb. The LED is much less fragile than a glass bulb and can even withstand vibrations. Modern LED lights can be six or seven times as efficient as conventional lights, and they use 80 percent less energy. They also boast a much longer life: 25,000 hours or better. Even if somebody left the LED on 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it would still last over three years. Finally, unlike CFL bulbs, they don’t contain mercury.

Cool Roof

A cool roof is one that has been designed to absorb less heat and reflect more sun than a conventional roof. While a standard dark roof can reach over 150° F in the summer, a cool roof in the summer will remain at least 50 degrees cooler. That means the homeowner uses less air conditioning and thus saves both money and energy. There are a number of ways to design and construct a cool roof ranging from simply painting a roof with light and reflective paint to installing plants on the roof and thus making a green roof.

Cool Roof

Smart Technology

A smart home is one in which various appliances have been connected to the Internet and can be controlled by the owner’s computer or smartphone. There are a wide range of smart devices. Programmable thermostats have controls that let the owner set a specific temperature for given times of the day. During the winter, for instance, the owner can set the temperature to be lower while they are at work and the house is empty. That could save them significant heating costs. Smart technology can also include light dimmers, motion detectors and automatic times that all control the lights and only turn them on when they are needed.

Tankless Water Heater

Also known as instantaneous or demand-type water heaters, tankless water heaters indeed don’t have storage tanks. Instead, when somebody turns on a hot-water tap, the water travels through a pipe surrounded by a heating element of some type. Depending on how much water someone uses, a tankless water heater can be 24 to 34 percent more energy efficient than a conventional water heater. They also last about 20 years, while a standard water heater lasts around 10 to 15 years. Unfortunately, they limit the amount of hot water that can be used at any one time. Taking a shower while running the dishwasher is thus a poor idea.

There are many options for somebody who wants to upgrade their home and make it both more energy-efficient and economical. Some options are cheap and easy to implement, while others require more money and effort. All are worth investigating.

By Lizzie WeakleyEmbed

Author Bio: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. Lizzie enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowba.


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