Energy Efficiency Innovations Changing the Game
The rise of technology has made a positive impact on a global level, and it can do the same in every single household. There are many innovations out there that allow us to keep doing the same things in our homes – refrigerating and cooking food, switching on the lights, cooling and heating the rooms – using far less energy.
These energy efficiency innovations are changing the game both in terms of environmental impact and the one on our wallets via utility bills. So let’s take a look at these helping hands that will make our homes more efficient and our lives much greener without much hassle.
One Certification to Rule Them All
LED light bulbs need no introduction. Here’s one innovation that has been present for nearly three decades, and it’s still a game-changer. They’re much cheaper than old incandescent lights while far more energy-efficient, they emit far less heat, and there’s no buzzing noise. If you can’t choose in a sea of variety, always opt for those with Energy Star certification – while they use 75% less energy, they’ll also last you 25 times longer.
But Energy Star goes far beyond lights. In fact, the kitchen, as the most frequently used space, is this brand’s main domain. The innovations that they’ve incorporated in their products are without parallel. The cost of running their dishwashers is around $35 per year since the entry of water is controlled by high-quality solenoid valves. Their washing machines use 33% less water and 25% less energy than standard ones. Even their refrigerators’ efficiency is 9% over minimum federal standards.
Of course, if you have a budget, go beyond the kitchen. Everything from their air conditioners to televisions meets the EPA’s energy-efficient specifications. Energy Star certificate is undoubtedly a smart investment, especially as there’s a chance of a rebate.
The Little Things
It’s okay not to have the money to replace all the appliances right away. But there are many little things you can start with. For example, a low-flow showerhead might not sound like a significant innovation – until you realize it eliminates almost half of your water consumption!
Then there are ceiling fans. Invented in 1882, their impact on heating and cooling is still huge – while they use the energy equivalent to that of the light bulb, they’ll keep the cool air to the ceiling during the winter and the hot one during the summer. The same goes for drapes, curtains, shutters, and blinds – they’ll keep the inside of your home cool during summer. If you combine these right, you may eliminate the need for HVAC entirely. And if you still need it, there’s an invention called the smart thermometer that deals with our innate forgetfulness.
A smart power strip will deal with that same forgetfulness when it comes to our devices by cutting off the power when they’re in a standby mode or idle. That’s an 80-watt saving just for a desktop computer.
Manipulating the Sun
Solar panels are probably the most popular energy efficiency innovation, although their prototype has been invented already in 1888. But as they’ve become a popular way to generate electricity and heat hot water in homes across the globe, their prices have risen.
Still, even a few years back, solar panels were a good eco-friendly investment in the long run. Once installed, you generate energy fully independent of utility companies. Plus there are various tax incentives.
But today in many countries solar power has become the cheapest source of electricity, cutting the installation costs up to 70%. If you live in an area that gets a lot of sunshine, now is the time to harvest it.
Another great way to manipulate Sun’s rays is the innovation called a cool roof. It will help you keep your home fresh during the summer without airconditioning all the time. As with solar panels, there’s some investment involved, but what many people don’t know is that the cool roof actually doesn’t cost more than a regular one. You’re not building a space shuttle on top of your home – it’s all about the coating that reflects sunlight more and therefore doesn’t absorb much heat. And this material can be installed on any roof style out there. Simply, when your roof needs replacement – make it a smart one.
As you can see, we didn’t talk about the latest state-of-the art home innovations. It is not about the new, it’s about the functional, and all energy efficiency innovations on this list have changed the game as they appeared and are doing it still. Maybe some of them were just a small step for technology, but all were a giant leap for both the ecosystem and our wallets.