The continuation of the Green Energy Guide for Smarties is here in Part 4 of our 6 part series. Dig in and see how becoming a greener household isn’t really that far off. Inside this piece you’ll get info on hybrid water heaters, smart thermostats, and smart powerstrips.
⚡ Powerstrip – Inexpensive Green Energy Technologies
Green energy technologies range from the simple to the sophisticated. Here, we will examine the lower end of the cost spectrum.
Want to do something right now that will allow you to take a baby step towards using more green energy technologies? Augment your solar home with smart power strips. This is a great way to weave in some sneaky smart holistic energy saving craftiness into your house. First, what the heck is a smart power strip anyhow? Is it really any different from the ones we have been buying for years in order to expand the two slot receptacle plug outlet into a place to be able to plug in more stuff?
Yes, the new smarter strips do more than that. It’s an inexpensive solution that will add up to real money in your wallet over the course of a year.
Here’s some ideas that can save you thousands every year. These concepts can be mixed and matched for your own personal fit and with your ways to save money.
Did you know that “standby” power uses about 5-10 percent of the energy consumed in a home? One percent of the world’s carbon dioxide is said to be generated by this standby power. Standby power is the small amount of power that is held in electronics like computers, televisions, printers, scanners, monitors, and tablets so that they can power on quickly when the user demands it.
Smart power strips are designed to help combat this. Here’s an example of how these work. When a scanner or printer switches automatically to standby mode after being idle the smart power strip will cut the power being delivered to that device until demand is again requested. All of the other electronics plugged into the strip are unaffected unless they also fall to sleep.
Smart power strips are just one more piece of the energy conservation puzzle that make getting closer to net zero living a reality.
Inexpensive Green Energy Technologies
When getting started with green energy technologies it is recommended that you start small. Establish the pathway by becoming an adopter. It’s just like riding a bike. You just have to get started. Once you are flying down the road you’ll forget that you never knew how. The key is the experience.
Start replacing old outdated products with today’s green energy technologies one at a time. The old stuff was good in it’s time. Regardless of how much you care or regularly maintain your home, you will still have to make some house updates and replace some items and it’s time to kick that can down the road so that you can open the door to the awesome new features found in smart power strips and the like.
More Smart Powerstrip Features
There are a number of these smart strips that come with an app that you can download on your phone. One that comes to mind is made by the Koogeek company. The Koogeek smart power strip looks a lot like any power strip that would not make you do a double take.
The Koogeek power strip has three surge protected power outlets that you can plug just about anything into. When you sync it up to the app on your phone you can control the items plugged into your strip. Imagine that you have 3 lamps plugged into it. Imagine one lamp, a radio, and your stereo amp.
You can control any one of these devices from your phone. Want to turn the lamp off? Bam!. Need to turn on some music? Bam! Want to turn on everything at once? You got it. This thing is awesome. One more feature we need to mention here. You can command it to turn things on or off that are plugged into it from Alexa or via Google Assistant.
💻 Smart Programable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats are evolving from a gizmo that allows you to set hourly daily temperatures to devices that allow us to interact with our smartphones. Its another one of those green energy technologies that are designed to set you free and save you money.
Away on a trip for a few days? We used to have to manually adjust the temperature before we jumped on the airplane. When we got home we would crank up the air conditioner and wait for a few hours so that the home would become comfortable again. Waiting and discomfort was just part of the game. Not any longer.
Green Energy Technologies Gamechanger
Along came Nest. The new Nest thermostat is a game changer. It isn’t just a thermostat. It is a device that allows us to program specific temps and specific times. Beyond that, we can link these devices up to our smartphones so that the home temperature can be controlled from our phone. We can do this if we are sitting in the livingroom or on the other side of the country.
Imagine, getting ready to jump on an airplane headed to Phoenix while in New York city. It’s about a 4-hour flight. You pop open the Nest app and connect to your thermostat across the other side of the country. You turn the temp down from 82° to 73° just like you like it. Perfect sleeping air. You get home and you step into a place that is ready for living.
While you were away you didn’t have to keep it cranked up. Best of all you didn’t have to live in an uncomfortable temperature while the air conditioning worked for 4 hours to bring down the temp.
6 More Programmable Thermostats
- The Honeywell Lyric
Best attribute: it uses geofencing. This is a technology that utilizes GPS technology to sense when you are getting closer to your home. It can begin cooling or warming your dwelling so that it is comfortable when you arrive home. The Lyric can also keep your heating or cooling appliances from turning on while you are not home to help you save some cash.
- Schneider Electric Wiser Electric Thermostat
This device is well known for its smartphone app. It may well be the best one in this list for this technology.
- Honeywell WIFI Smart Thermostat
This model looks more like a conventional programmable thermostat. It is square and has a green backlit touchscreen. It retails for about half of the cost of the Nest and Wiser models. There is an IOS and Android app available to control the device with.
- 3rd Gen Nest Learning Thermostat
The display is crisp. The disc-shaped device is controllable via the Nest app. The only drawback is that it does not have the ability to monitor multiple zones with separate sensors.
Comes equipped with mobile sensors that can be moved from room to room so that temps can be controlled. It comes with one mobile sensor, and additional sensors can be purchased so that info=rmation can be sent to the device to help it learn how to best control the temperatures in your home.
- Final thoughts on Programmable Smart Thermostats
If you are living in a home with an old school thermostat you deserve an upgrade. Go get yourself one of these. You will love it. As a side benefit, they happen to be really cool looking too. This is one of the most practical green energy technologies to use that will make life a little more efficient and help keep those dollars in your wallet.
♒ Hybrid Water heater
Here is a green one of the most underutilized green energy technologies in the marketplace. The targeted lifetime savings is really eyeopening. The upfront cost of this device is admittedly easily twice the cost of a conventional water heater. The savings are found in the long haul, not the short term. This may be why so many people have not come around to installing one of these in their homes.
Hybrid Smart electric water heaters are super efficient because of their efficient design and controls that the user has access to through an app on their smartphone.
Here’s another knowledge about hybrid water heater that we want to keep our energy usage as low as possible.
How Hybrid Smart Electric Water Heaters Work
First of all they don’t all share every feature described herein. For the sake of our conversation, we will use the Reem Hybrid Smart electric water heaters (version 4) for our example.
Below are some of the features:
1) They have a heat pump that pulls the surrounding ambient air into the tank to aid in heating the water.
2) EF rating of 3.5. What’s that? It means that for every dollar that we use to heat the water we will get $3.5 dollars out of the tank. A standard tank will only give a ration of 1:1.
3) Heats water faster than a standard electric tank
4) vented intake and output allows builders to connect to the pump with ductwork. Hot air can be pushed in and cool air can be pushed out to help keep rooms cool.
5) Can be controlled from your smartphone with Rheem’s EcoNet app.
6) NEST thermostats can control these water heaters.
7) Lifetime dollar savings estimated to be over $4,000 when replacing a Standard electric tank
If you are interested in making your home more energy efficient while reducing that big ole carbon footprint get a hybrid water heater. It will go a long way into helping you your home reach optimal efficiency.
📰 Green Energy Guide Series Posts
Best Energy Efficient Upgrades For an Older Home – by Bill Gassett
What Can Homeowners Do to Save on Energy Costs – by Anita Clark
12 Tips For Eco-Friendly Living – by ImmoAfrica
5 Easy Ways to Cool Your Home – by Petra Norris
Home Insulation Guide: Types and Costs for Homeowners – by Debbie Drummond