When it comes to green technology, solar power, wind power and other technologies often steal the spotlight. However, there are a number of gadgets and technologies helping to improve the energy efficiency of homes and businesses on a smaller scale as well. These five gadgets that you may not know about offer innovative ways to reduce your carbon footprint and add a little green to your lifestyle or business.
1. Belkin WeMo Home Automation Outlets
Using a smartphone app, Twitter or the IFTTT service, WeMo home automation outlets give you the ability to control power to any device or appliance that uses a standard electrical outlet from anywhere that you have Internet access.
The plugs use your existing wireless network to communicate for easy installation. Additional accessories, such as the WeMo Switch, allow you to trigger the outlet with motion sensors and other inputs as well. From turning on lights automatically when you enter the room to turning on your heater on your way home from work, these gadgets offer easy ways to reduce energy consumption.
2. Smart Appliances
Utilizing Smart Grid technologies, smart appliances offer numerous ways to reduce the environmental impact of your daily activities. High-energy appliances, such as clothes dryers and water heaters, will automatically determine the best times to run to reduce power consumption and load during on-peak hours. Smart stoves and ovens use Infrared LEDs and other low-cost technologies to reduce energy consumption and speed up cooking. Smart appliances are not all about convenience. Many of them offer excellent power saving and efficiency benefits as well.
3. Low-Wattage Space Heaters
With both the carbon impact and price of natural gas, propane and electricity rising, space heaters and other climate control systems are a large source of energy waste and consumption. New technologies, such as radiant and mica-thermic panels, allow personal space heaters to generate heat while consuming substantially fewer resources. They provide direct, near-instant heat to help keep you comfortable. Instead of wasting money heating an entire building, low-wattage personal heaters provide ways to keep designated areas comfortable as needed. Cozy Products has illustrated a heating cost calculator to better describe how space heaters can be good for your bottom line.
4. Smart Thermostats
Smart thermostats, such as the NEST Learning Thermostat, take the guesswork out of saving money on heating and cooling bills. Smartphone apps and a web interface allow you to control your heating or air conditioning system remotely while built-in technology analyzes your usage patterns and daily routine to help automatically reduce energy consumption.
For example, the NEST can automatically adjust temperatures while you are away and set them back before you return to provide energy savings without sacrificing comfort. Full reports and manual timers allow you to customize and analyze your energy usage to help establish good habits and further the benefits of the device.
5. Smart Power Strips
A commonly overlooked source of energy waste is standby energy loss. With the increasing amount of devices in a home, energy consumption is already at an all-time high. What you might not know is that even when your television is turned off, your DVR is not recording or your phone has finished charging, it is still consuming trace amounts of electricity. As the number of devices in the home increase, these small traces begin to add up.
Smart power strips offer numerous ways to combat this form of energy loss. From detecting when your phone has finished charging to completely cutting the power to your television using a motion sensor that detects when you leave the room, these devices offer an easy to implement way to improve the energy efficiency of your home or business.
Green gadgets not only provide convenience, but energy savings as well. These five gadgets offer ways to reduce your carbon footprint, lower electricity bills and help to reduce damage to the environment. Best of all, they are affordable and simple to install in any home or business for immediate results.
Willie Pena is a freelance writer, video producer, visual artist, and music producer. He prefers the Oxford comma. In addition to writing for firms such as IBM, Colgate, Transunion, Webroot and a multitude of private clients and websites, he also shoots, directs, and edits the hit celebrity web series Teens Wanna Know. Catch his rare blog posts on williepena.com, or connect with him on LinkedIn.