The “green” industry is in full swing, bringing with it devices of all sorts that claim to be energy efficient. But if you wade through everything out there, what kind of products actually turn out to be more beneficial to the environment than their counterparts?
Smart thermostats just make sense. Up to 60% of your utility bills every month can go to temperature regulation – whether that's making sure you don't freeze in winter or keeps you the coolest of cool during a heatwave. Smart thermostats can save you anywhere from 10-30% on your bill depending on a number of factors and in most cases they'll pay for themselves within a couple of years – or even sooner. Depending on your heating type, there are many different options on the market. If you have electric heaters like Baseboard or Fan-forced, check out Mysa here.
Most appliances these days are built with energy efficiency in mind. An energy star certification is as good as gold for the eco-conscious consumer, who has to balance the responsibility of energy savings with the practicalities of everyday life. I mean, it would be awesome if modern life afforded us the time and patience to do our laundry by hand, but most people will opt for the ease of a washer/dryer combo. Finding those that minimize environmental impact also means minimizing the impact on your wallet.
Using less water means using less energy, and there's no reason nowadays to choose anything but a low flow showerhead. Designed to maximize pressure and comfort while optimizing water usage, this is one of the easiest, most cost-efficient ways that the average homeowner can save energy and money, at least for your hot water costs, but especially if you pay for a water bill. You can find them at virtually any hardware or home and garden store, often with their own section. They range in price and quality, but a good midrange option is the Moen model we’ve featured.
Solar Powered Outdoor Lights
If you're lighting up your back deck or walkway, there's no real reason to have to plug in anymore. Solar patio lights have become so efficient that flicking them on should give you plenty of light for all of your outdoor socializing – with minimal help from an outlet. So whether it's a BBQ or a friendly dip in the pool, harness the power of the sun even when it's not out to play. You can find them at staples here, or at most major home and garden retailers. You can usually find a full set for under $40.