If you are building a new home from the ground up, it is easy to incorporate all the eco-friendly items that you want. However, if you have an older home that was built before a lot of today’s green solutions became available, you might be wondering what you can do to make your current home more eco-friendly. Here are five tech innovations to make your home greener. plus additional reading:
Image via Flickr by joncallas
When solar panels were first installed on homes, they were quite the eyesore and weren’t even that efficient. However, today’s solar power units come in varying sizes and looks, with many of them designed to add character and beauty to your home. Plus, they are extremely efficient at powering your home as well as at returning energy to your local power company — which earns you credit and saves on your monthly costs.
Solar Water Heater
If you are going to have solar power, why not change out your water heater and get a solar-powered water heater as well? Water heaters typically cost you around $30 per month, or $360 per year, to run. You could cut that cost and make your house greener just by switching to a solar water heater.
Older toilets waste a lot of water, but an easy fix can help you not only save on water consumption but also save money. Go shopping for a new toilet and look for the WaterSense label. These toilets are specially designed to reduce water consumption and will save you anywhere from 20 percent to 60 percent depending on how old your existing toilet is.
If you have a standard thermostat that you adjust manually when you want the heat or air conditioning turned up or down, you end up wasting a lot of energy. You may not think that is the case, but recall all the times you forgot to turn it down when you left for work and all the times you went to sleep with the air conditioning running, then woke up freezing in the middle of the night. But with a smart thermostat such as the iComfort, you can program it to a schedule that meets your needs while saving you energy consumption.
Rainwater Gathering System
Imagine that every time it rained, you collected that water to feed your garden. Not only would you be using natural resources, but you would also save on the amount of water you pulled from your community source. Although it might rain only an inch at a time, when you install a rainwater gathering system, it is pulling all the water that falls into your gutters and directing it to a storage barrel — which translates to quite a bit of water that can be used in the future. Plus, rainwater gathering systems are inexpensive and easy to install. (Just be sure to check first whether your state’s water rights laws allow the use of rain barrels.)
You may not have the newest and greenest house around, but with these five tech innovations, you can reduce your footprint and make your home eco-friendly — and future generations will thank you.