The Best Tech Gadgets For Creating A Green Home
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Thanks to a boom in eco-friendly technology, there are plenty of ways to make your home more sustainable, cut down on your energy usage and save on your energy bill. From artificially intelligent lighting to smart thermostats, here are the tech gadgets that prove going green at home is easy.
If you often forget to turn the lights off when you leave the house, this is for you. Smart lighting offers convenience by allowing you to control your lights remotely while also reducing electricity usage through energy efficient LED bulbs.
One of the most popular smart lighting ranges is the Phillips Hue. Lights (available in every form from bulbs to light strips, lamps and downlights) are controlled via Wi-Fi, so you can check your lights are off via an app on your phone, even if you’ve already stepped out the door.
The app also has a timer function, so you can set lights to go off at preferred times (useful if you regularly forget to switch off lights at night). You can also dim lights directly from the app, without needing to install special switches or wiring, to cut down on energy usage.
The Hue system also offers battery-powered motion sensors. Place them around your house and your lights will automatically switch on when someone steps into a room, and off when no motion is detected.
Heating and cooling are the largest energy drain in the average Australian home, making up 40 percent of total energy usage. Smart thermostats aim to increase energy conservation by automating heating and cooling.
A leading product in this category, the Nest Learning Thermostat automatically adjusts the temperature in your home based on the weather and humidity outside. It tracks your day-to-day routine and temperature preferences to automatically schedule heating and cooling and it automatically powers down when you’re not at home. The newest version also uses in-built motion sensors to make sure you’re only heating and cooling the rooms you’re actually in. The Nest monitoring system also makes recommendations for energy conservation, so you can learn how to cut down on usage at home.
Whether you’re attempting to minimise your carbon footprint or just want to save on your energy bill, it’s important to know how much energy your home is actually using.
That’s where energy monitors come in. The Neurio Energy Monitor attaches to your home’s electricity meter and allows you to track your energy usage in real time.
The data is fed to an app on your phone and displayed on graphs. You can even see an appliance-specific breakdown of home energy use, so you can identify where you’re using the most energy and find opportunities to conserve electricity.
Water efficient shower heads and timers
About 30 percent of all water used in the average Australian home is due to showering. Normal shower heads can pump out anywhere up to 20 litres per minute.
Switching to a water-saving shower head (which uses 9 litres of water per minute or less) can save up to 20,000 litres of water per year, based on a daily six minute shower.
Wider shower heads such as this Caroma model allow for a similar shower experience to a conventional shower head but with significant water savings. Aerated shower heads like the EcoCamel Jetstorm inject air directly into the water stream so it feels like higher water flow, while still reducing water usage.
Smart shower systems integrate artificial intelligence and sensor technology to give you a personalised shower experience while reducing water waste. The U by Moen allows you to control shower settings including temperature and shower length through voice, phone and a wall-mounted controller.
According to the EPA, up to 50 percent of water used outdoors is wasted due to inefficient watering methods. By installing a smart water system, you can cut down on water waste but still keep your lawn looking its best.
The Gro Water Sensors uses local weather data, location and vegetation to create a customised sprinkler schedule for your garden so you avoid overwatering. It also allows you to set up watering zones within your garden, so the places that need more or less water are well taken care of.
Charging phones and tablets is something most of us do daily. But instead of plugging into the nearest wall outlet at home, consider switching to a solar-powered charger.
The Anker PowerPort Solar uses the power of the sun to charge your phone or tablet. Simply lay the device out in sunlight to power it up and you’ll be able to charge up to two devices at once. Plus, it’s lightweight and folds up easily so you can take it from home to work or even on a hike if you want to.
EnergyAustralia’s Go Neutral program is an easy way to have a positive impact on the environment. Opt-in today for carbon neutral electricity at home, at no extra cost. Find out more at energyaustralia.com.au
Published 01 November, 2018