Consumers are always looking for more ways to save money and make their home more energy-efficient. With the growing concerns regarding climate change, it has become more important than ever to play our part in reducing our carbon footprint. A range of energy-saving home systems can help you achieve your energy-saving goals, reducing your monthly bills while not having to compromise on comfort.
The Must-Have Energy Saving Home Systems
Many “green” gadgets are now available on the market, giving you a wide variety of different ways that you can reduce your energy consumption. Some devices can lend you a helping hand by directing you as to where your energy is most used, while others will minimise wasted energy through advanced technology and system development.
Some systems are more reliable and effective than others, and it can be more beneficial for you to spend a little extra on building systems to save you money in the long run, and reduce your energy consumption. With this in mind, we have come up with some of the best systems and ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint while continuing to use your favourite appliances. These systems are:
- Smart Thermostats
- Energy Management Systems
- Energy Star Appliances
- Smart Power Strips
- Design System
- Upgrading Heating Systems
- Energy Smart Light Bulbs
1. Smart Thermostats
A smart thermostat is also known as a communicating thermostat and allows you to programme a temperature setting depending on a specific time of day or temperature. This allows you to make sure that your heating warms your house up at certain times of the day, such as the morning or afternoon ready for coming back to work. You can also programme the thermostat to turn the heating on if the temperature goes below your prefered setting. New and advanced thermostats work on Wi-Fi and connect to an app on your phone; this allows you to turn your heating on or off during the day, so that your home is nice and warm as you get back from work.
One of the many advantages to having a smart thermostat is that it has the ability to learn all of your household patterns, getting to know what time you turn on the thermostat and what temperature the house hits before you turn it on. This allows the device to set itself to turn on at specific times of the day, saving energy in the long run. According to a study carried out by Nest, a smart thermostat can save you an average of 10-12% on your heating bill. However, this is subject to how warm you like your home, how often you turn the heating on, and how much energy you require to heat up your property. For a more accurate calculation of how much money you could be saving with a smart thermostat, fill your details into the UK Power calculator.
Some other thermostats will require you to programme the setting yourself, which is one of the reasons why almost 50% of homes are not using their thermostat to their full advantage. Whether it be because you don’t know how to set up the thermostat or you have forgotten to, it is likely that you are not using your thermostat correctly. Whereas, with a smart thermostat, there is no need for you to figure out how to set it up, as it will register when you are more likely to turn your heating on and off, and it will begin to do it for you.
2. Energy Management Systems
Much like a smart thermostat, an energy management system will turn your lighting and appliances on and off via remote control or an app on your smartphone. This means that you will never have to remember whether you left the kitchen light on or forgot to turn off your hair straighteners. Through this system, depending on how advanced your device is, you can even monitor your electricity usage. Your app will inform you of when you use the most electricity during the day, helping you to find ways to reduce your usage.
Using an energy management system has two main benefits; it is cost-effective and helps to reduce your carbon footprint. An energy management system reduces costs in multiple ways, from allowing you to make smarter choices about your energy usage, to allowing you to ensure that energy is not wasted while your appliances and lighting are not in use. By being able to see how much energy you are using, you are able to adjust your electricity usage accordingly to reduce your monthly energy bill. To find out more about energy management system benefits, such as identifying appliances that use the most energy, then take a look at Electronic House’s article.
3. Energy Star Appliances
One of the biggest mistakes that a homeowner can make is to purchase cheap products thinking that it is going to save money. Realistically, these appliances will probably be costing you more in the long run in terms of your energy bill. When purchasing appliances such as microwaves, fridges and toasters, it is important to try and look for Energy Star graded products. Energy Star essentially means that the product will use as little energy as possible to run, and, therefore, will reduce your energy consumption.
Some energy appliances will use solar energy, such as homes using Immersun’s renewable power systems. Many of the Energy Star systems are able to power on low temperatures and energy settings, while still working at a high level of efficiency. Other benefits of using Energy Star appliances include:
- Savings – Energy Star appliances use minimum energy, ensuring that your monthly energy bill is significantly reduced.
- Environmentally friendly – with the use of energy-efficient appliances, you are lowering your carbon footprint, which will, therefore, benefit the environment.
- Lasts longer – most Energy Star appliances will last longer than your average, cheap appliance, so you will be spending less in the long-run purchasing new microwaves and toasters.
Four of the most energy-consuming appliances include tumble dryers, washing machines, refrigerators and dishwashers. For this reason, it is important to ensure that these appliances are energy efficient to reduce as much energy consumption as possible. If you’re looking to create a home with low energy consumption, then Mother Earth Living has a helpful guide on finding the best appliances for your home.
Photo Credit – The Spruce
4. Smart Power Strips
Smart power strips are another great way of monitoring your energy consumption in your home, as they are designed to monitor your electrical outlets. Some outlets will have an automatic shut off system, which will switch the power off if it hasn’t been used within a certain amount of time. This is ideal for appliances that you don’t use regularly, or are worried you might keep on throughout the day. Some power strips will also be colour coded, allowing you to place appliances in certain outlets depending on how often you plan to use them. For example, there will be one outlet that will always be on, whereas others may have a timer attached.
To save you money on your electricity bills, energy strips can turn off appliances when not in use. This will, therefore, eliminate the chances of unused outlets, such as chargers, wasting energy throughout the day. Most smart power strips are not expensive to purchase, depending on how advanced you want the power strip to be. For example, you could opt for a cheaper strip with few outlets and controls, or you could upgrade your system with a time guard fuse switch. The time guard switch allows you to programme settings via your phone, giving you access to control the electricity usage and set timers for how long you would like the electricity to be used.
5. Design System
The way in which your home has been designed will play a big part in whether it helps you reduced your energy consumption by retaining heat. There are multiple ways that you can design your home to become more energy-efficient, and while it may prove a little more difficult, it comes with various different benefits. Some ways to improve home efficiency include:
- Insulation – Most homes will have insulation to help retain heat, which is usually placed in the roof. Insulation works by trapping the heat in the fibres of the insulation material, keeping the heat that you produce in the home. This will keep your property feeling warmer for longer, and reducing the amount of energy used to heat up the home.
- Double-Glazing Windows – Some older homes will still have single-glazed windows, which while they were advanced for their time, are no longer comparable to double-glazing. The insulating properties of double-glazing will make a big impact on your home, and although it may be slightly costly, it is an exceptional investment on your home.
- Block Out Draughts – Draughts around the home, whether it be through the windows or the doors, can make it feel cold. Placing a draught excluder or sealing the cracks under doors and windows will surprisingly make a big difference.
All of the different ways in which you can make your home feel warmer and retain heat will inevitably have an impact on the properties value. If you are thinking of putting your home on the market, then we would highly recommend making improvements onto your home, as they are a key selling point to potential buyers.
6. Upgrading Heating Systems
If your heating system is out of date, then you could find that your home is harder to heat up, and the system is using more energy than is actually required. There are now an abundance of different heating systems that you are able to take advantage of and can help to reduce your energy bills. The price to have your heating system upgraded will depend on the type of home you own and how many radiators are in your household. For example, according to Household Quotes the average cost of a 3-bed house with around 9 radiators is roughly £3,500.
It is important to know when is best for you to install your heating system, as there are certain times of the year when you will be using the heating more often. For example, during the winter is when you will be using the heating the most. Therefore, ensuring that you have your heating system upgraded before the colder months set in, will ensure that you can get the most out of your system as well as minimising the chances of a boiler break down in times where heating is vital.
7. Energy Smart Light Bulbs
While it’s not necessarily a home system, smart light bulbs are something that can save you considerable amounts of money when paired with some of the devices and systems that have been listened above. LED light bulbs are now available in most hardware stores, and you are able to purchase LED devices for around the house, such as lamps, Christmas lights and mirror lights. While they are slightly more expensive to purchase than your ordinary light bulb, they can last up to 50,000 hours, which is the equivalent to 13.7 years. They use less energy to power, and can even produce a brighter glow. For some more benefits on using LED lights around the house, take a look at The Lightbulb Company’s recent article.
Creating An Energy-Efficient Home
There are multiple systems and devices that can help you to create an energy-efficient home. While some of them may be on the slightly pricer side, we always recommend investing in a few systems to enhance and elevate your property. Immersun provides a range of products that can help to keep your home warm, including our award-winning solar diverters, iLink and Wireless Sensors. Feel free to contact the team for more information on how you can make your home more energy-efficient.