If you’re like most people, your home is the largest consumer of energy of things you own and your biggest carbon footprint contributor. Making your home more sustainable and efficient will have a far greater impact than many other personal changes you could make. With the dizzying number of devices, upgrades, retrofits, and DIY tutorials out there today, knowing how to make your home more sustainable can be a challenge. Here are 5 of the easiest (and most impactful) changes you can do to make your home more sustainable.
Install a Smart thermostat
Smart thermostats adapt over time, learning what temperature ranges are acceptable to you during different types of weather. As they learn about your temperature preferences, they adjust automatically based on data from local weather reports. And using data about your schedule, they can adjust the temperature to suit your preference by the time you wake or arrive home.
Like other smart devices, smart thermostats can also be adjusted from anywhere using an app. The app might also be able to provide you with feedback about your energy use and offer suggestions about how you could save money on your energy bill.
Install Leak sensors
Smart leak sensors use your home’s wiring to detect changes in ambient humidity that could indicate leaks from your pipes or roof. If your system detects leak, it will send a message to your phone alerting you of the problem. While roof leaks could happen anywhere, it’s best to place the sensors in areas where leaks are most likely to occur – the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.
Install Solar Panels on Your Roof (for Green Energy)
Adding solar panels to your home is a a very smart investment that gets easier to justify every year. Currently, the federal government offers tax rebates that amount to a total of 30% of the cost of the system. In addition to this federal tax credit, many states (like California, New Jersey, and Massachusetts) offer additional incentives and tax credits in order to incentive the adoption of solar power. There are many different types of panels on the market, in all shapes and sizes. The newest and ‘sexiest’ panels come in all black and look much more modern than the older gray and blue cell models. PowerScout.com offers a very thorough guide around all the top models/brands of solar panels.
Put in Smart light bulbs
Smart light bulbs are capable of being turned on and off remotely or through a voice-activated home management system. Some of these bulbs require a bridge to link your smart home management system to the bulbs, so check the bulb requirements before purchasing them.
Some smart lights can produce a range of colors and hues, and are perfect for creating ambience. For instance, if you’re hosting a party, you could program the lights to cycle through their many colors to add to the mood. If you’re into gaming, you could set your smart lights to sync with the on-screen action. And if you wake in the middle of the night, you might prefer a less-intense blue or purple light in your hallway or bathroom.
Swap Out Old-School Plugs for Smart plugs
Smart plugs allow you to identify the exact source of your energy consumption. The plugs operate like standard pass-through plugs, but connect to your wifi network, allowing you to check your energy consumption data. Just snap the smart plug into your standard wall socket and then plug the device whose power consumption you’re interested in monitoring into the plug. You can check the power passing through each plug on the bundled app.
Some smart plugs even allow you to set energy consumption limits, so that after a certain device uses a given number of watt-hours, the plug (and the connected appliance or device) will automatically shut off.
Smart plugs can also transform traditional appliances into smart versions. For instance, by plugging your coffee machine into a smart plug, you could remotely activate it each morning before you even leave bed, and your coffee would be ready by the time you’re dressed and ready.
There’s always a gazillion and one things you could do to reduce your home’s impact on the earth. But these are 5 of the easiest and most impactful ones.