It’s no secret that the energy you use in your home adds up fast. Between heating, cooling, electricity, water and everything in between, it’s easy to become dismayed at how much energy goes into everyday life.
Add family, friends and the chaos of a busy schedule into the mix and energy usage tends to be an increasing factor. Luckily, there are plenty of options out there for making energy conservation a simple part of your daily routine, and incorporating eco-friendly values into your lifestyle. Here are 10 of the hottest green technologies to consider.
1. Water Heating/Usage
When it comes to water, a large portion of energy usage occurs when heating it. Try a solar water-heating system and let the sun do some of the heavy lifting for you.
If that just doesn’t cut it, consider investing in a tankless water-heating system. The benefit is that you heat only the water you need, and nothing more. This more sustainable way of living makes perfect sense.
2. Green Energy
A rooftop wind generator isn’t only for commercial buildings. Several companies manufacture and install rooftop wind generators for residential homes, and they can generate up to half of your home’s energy needs. Fit to size, they do the same job as they would for a large complex, and you’ll receive all the energy benefits that go along with that.
If most of your energy and electricity output is coming from heating and cooling your home, consider installing double-pane windows. They are designed to hold in heat and retain a cool atmosphere. When you’re working toward being green, sometimes a little insulation goes a long way.
3. Green Flooring
While it may not come to mind at first, when you’re going for a green look, consider bamboo flooring. Bamboo is a highly renewable natural resource that is also durable and moisture-resistant.
Similarly, save a tree by replacing wood flooring with Fiberon composite recycled flooring. Made from recycled plastic, the surface looks natural and makes excellent outdoor flooring as well.
If you want to be even more green, consider avoiding wood altogether and opting for polished concrete floors, guaranteed to give your home a modern flair.
4. Green Roofing
While they may seem like the green standard, solar panels are by far the biggest asset to any green home. Installation costs are quickly made up as energy bills are reduced drastically over time.
If you’re looking for a more natural aesthetic approach, try a garden rooftop. This involves an actual garden patch over the top of eco-friendly roofing to double the effect. It’s the best of both worlds — growing some green and saving some green.
5. Sustainable Decorating
Kick the green fun factor up a notch by incorporating inspiring home design and décor into your eco-friendly efforts.
For example, installing a rainwater harvesting system is a great way to recycle water to use for watering plants or flushing. This saves an enormous amount of tap water and completes the rain cycle in an efficient manner. Even better, the harvesting system itself can be constructed from recycled plastic and can double as a planter to display flowers.
Or you can incorporate natural elements into your home such as twigs, pinecones and acorns. What’s better than bringing the outdoors in and getting free décor?
6. Smart Electronics
Smart electronics are akin to robots that shut off the lights when you leave the room. If you can’t remember to unplug appliances when they’re not in use but want to keep your home an eco-friendly haven, consider picking up a smart energy power strip.
These handy devices will actually turn off appliances that aren’t being used after a certain amount of time, and can drastically reduce your electricity bill every month. Let technology work on behalf of your green efforts, and leave your home every day knowing that even when you’re gone, you’ll be working toward energy savings and efficiency.
7. Green Watering
If you have a flower garden, or even just plants around your home, then you should consider a rain barrel. It saves on your water bill and helps to conserve water for more important purposes, such as showers and washing dishes.
All you need is a large barrel that you can set outside. As it rains, the barrel will collect rainwater, which can then be used for watering your plants. If you want to fill up your rain barrel even faster, put it under the downspout of your gutter. You can also install a tap to make it easier to get the water out.
8. Green Heating
Aside from solar panels, there are other ways to save both money and the environment when it comes to heating your home. These include a geothermal heat pump.
The initial cost is slightly higher than a traditional heating source. However, a geothermal heat pump will reduce costs over the long term and save planet Earth. In addition, this type of heating system is much quieter than a traditional one. Read all about the pros and cons of these heat pumps to see if one is worth your investment.
9. Green Flushing
Your toilet is a source of a lot of water waste — think of it as money down the drain. In fact, your traditional toilet actually uses more water than any other fixture in your home.
You can cut your water usage in half by changing your toilet. A dual low-flush toilet allows you to choose how much water you use each time you flush, saving water and lowering your water bill.
10. Green Management
If you have tried one or more of these options but are still concerned that you are using too much energy, you should consider energy-management technology. This system provides you with a monitor that lets you know what in your home is using the most energy, either outlet by outlet, or with a whole home energy management system.
All of the information collected is sent to your computer, which then tells you what needs to be changed, if anything. Now that’s smart technology!
While some of these options are simple, others involve installing equipment that will work to help you save energy, even when you’re not home. Don’t be put off by the cost of these larger items; green energy tax credits can offset a large part of the initial expense that comes with making vital green changes in your home.
These are 10 of the hottest and most accessible green technologies on the market right now. Pick and choose the ones that are best for you, or invest in them all and watch your home go from energy drainer to energy saver in no time.
What is your favorite green technology?