With energy efficiency a major aim of home improvement nowadays, finding a way to stay green can be a difficult task. Using your heating less frequently or showering for a shorter period of time will certainly lower your energy bill, but are there alternative ways to keep prices down without compromising on comfort?
In 2015, we have progressed to a point where smart tech is now able to adapt and self-modulate in order to increase its efficiency. A smart meter alone can save a homeowner around £65 a year on their bill and revolutionise the way in which energy is consumed. So let’s take a look at the areas where smart tech is helping around the house.
Thermostats have allowed us greater control over our heating for decades. But manual control can only improve efficiency at a human rate and, as a species , we aren’t always reliable. Over time, an automated thermostat will learn the heating habits of its owner, optimising the way in which the system distributes this warmth. If the radiators are predominantly used in the evenings, the thermostat might instruct the boiler to fire up at 6pm, heating the house before the owner arrives home at 7pm. In this way, the boiler is only ignited at peak times, minimising all unnecessary use.
You can even switch your heating off from outside your property. Wi-fi connectivity allows you to access the system from your smartphone and shut it down from anywhere in the world. Reduce your workday stress with the installation of a simple app and know your day’s wages aren’t paying for a costly energy error.
Light energy is often wasted in much the same way, as it is far too easy to leave a lamp on during the day without realising. Regulating your circuits from one central panel can allow the peace of mind a homeowner deserves in this day and age. Lights can be programmed to activate at selected times, with the intensity set as a changeable variable. For those who want a more natural wake up call, the network can be synced with the internet in order to coincide with the sunrise and sunset.
Smart bulbs are also designed to minimise your carbon footprint. Each one has a potential lifespan of around 22 years and can save you considerably more energy than an average 60-watt bulb. With this level of efficiency, it is now as easy to change your energy output as it is to change the bulbs themselves.
When does a shower become a downpour? We never really think about the time we spend in the bathroom, but monitoring our water use is a surefire way to go green. According to research, an 8 minute shower uses in excess of 60 litres of water, meaning that the average UK family with a power shower is spending £918 a year on keeping clean. Compare that with £416 per year for a normal shower and £208 a year for the recommended 4 minute wash, and you can see that there’s money quite literally going down the plughole. .
The smart solution is to optimise your showering routine to conserve as much water as possible. There are a few forms of tech that can help manage your consumption, one of which is the shower meter. This device is actually powered by the waterflow from your system and displays real time quantities so you can keep track of your daily expenditure. Limiting the time you take to wash can save you upwards of 8,500 litres of water a year, with no effect on your health or hygiene.