Muncie, IN NEWS – The tips to save energy in your home haven’t changed for years. Keeping your thermostat at a reasonable temperature, installing double-pane windows, turning off lights when the room isn’t in use, taking shorter showers and unplugging energy vampires — these do help you save money on the bill at the end of the month.
But they all require constant effort, and sometimes it’s more than you’d like to put up with. Instead, here are four gadgets that will help you conserve energy without lifting a finger.
Contrary to the latest smart thermostats, the traditional thermostat is actually quite dumb. Whether you’re home, at work or away on vacation, its temperature stays the same unless you manually turn the knob, flip the switch or move a lever. Most people will leave the thermostat untouched before work, leaving the air conditioner or heater to work overtime when no one is home to enjoy the balanced temperature.
Smart thermostats like Nest learn your comings and goings, and connect to your smartphone via a Wi-Fi connection, so you can save energy when you’re away and enjoy the cool or warm temps when you’re relaxing at home. Depending on the climate where you live, a smart thermostat could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars each year.
For some, home computing and gadgets are completely out of hand. We have desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones — all of which can do 90 percent of each other’s tasks. Not only do those devices (especially the desktop and laptop) consume energy, but they clutter our digital lives and make tasks more complicated when they should be simple.
Now that tablets are legitimate workstations themselves, try consolidating to an iPad Mini 4. It’s small, lightweight, portable, runs the latest iOS productivity apps and works well with accessories like attachable keyboards and durable cases to make it a working powerhouse.
Incandescent bulbs, the ones we use in our lamps and ceiling fixtures, produce the warm glow we know and love to light our home, but they also consume a ton of energy. Incandescent bulbs, on top of not lasting very long (another contributing factor to its waste), produce lots of friction which is why they’re hot to the touch. The excess heat is wasted energy and one of the causes of a high electric bill.
LED bulbs have come a long way in the last 10 years. They’re relatively inexpensive, last for years and produce the same warm glow that traditional incandescent bulbs have done for decades. In 2016, there is no reason not to outfit your whole house with them. Plus, LED bulbs do some pretty fun things these days. Phillips Hue connects your bulbs to Wi-Fi and lets you change their colors with a smartphone app. This is perfect for mood lighting, setting a scene, or just having some fun during a party.
Your Power Strips
Even when your electronics are turned off, their “idle mode” is still consuming energy. This is common with TVs, computers and other entertainment devices that go into standby when you assume they’re completely shut. To save energy, a smart power strip can truly disconnect your devices from the power source when they’re turned off by disconnecting power to anything plugged in. When you power up your TV for a movie or show, it’s truly being powered on from a complete off.