10 Ways Technology Can Turn Your House Green

Reader Contribution by David Glenn
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Technology is changing the world in new and exciting ways every day, making our lives easier, saving us money and time, and changing the way we live our daily lives. However, one of the main ways in which technology is changing the world is how it is helping us to slowly repair the damage that we have done to the environment. It is doing this by making it easier for us to conserve energy on a daily basis, in a slick and efficient way in our own homes.

1. A Smart Thermostat
The most exciting green gadget to have been released in the last few years is the smart thermostat. Installing one of these nifty gadgets in your home will help you to save an incredible amount of wasted energy, by allowing you to program your habits, so that you are not heating and cooling a house that you are not living in. The Nest thermostat is the frontrunner in this area, and you can even sync with your iPhone to remember your habits.

2. Solar Power
Solar energy has been around for some years now, but it is only in recent years that energy companies have managed to turn it into a system that is free of kinks. Solar panels were once seen as an expensive luxury that few households could afford. A lot of energy companies will install the panels for you, and then allow you to purchase the energy from them, which makes it cheaper for you than buying solar panels out of pocket.

3. Toilet Technology
In 2011, Bill Gates launched a campaign to encourage people to reinvent the toilet, in order to make it more energy efficient. It resulted in an astonishing amount of submissions, with designs ranging from waterless toilets, to solar powered toilets, and many other environmentally friendly bathroom solutions.

4. Home Automation – Remote Controlled Houses
Automation has become a necessity in every aspect of  life: from automated warehouses and shipping systems in the commercial and industrial sector to self-driving cars domestically, it only makes sense that we would do everything possible to make our homes as smart (and comfortable) as possible. There are a lot of new and exciting ways to automate your home, and they can save you a lot of money and energy. We have already talked about smart thermostats, but companies like Vivint have created a system where you can also link your temperature control with your lighting, and control everything using your smartphone. This is a much more energy efficient way to run your lighting. Now when you go on vacation, instead of leaving a light on for the entire time, you can set it to a timer, or even control it yourself.

5. Smart Washing Machine
LG has created with a smart washing machine with Wifi capabilities that saves a ton of energy, but also allows you to use a smartphone app to diagnose any problems with your washer.

6. Power Adaptors
Companies such as Green Plug have created power adapters that will limit the amount of power given to a device, so that no device is using more energy than it needs to function. It will then shut off the power supply when that demand has been met.

7. Smart Power Strips
For more of a quick fix, you can also purchase smart power strips that will do a similar job, but for only the devices that are plugged into the strip.

8. Hot and Cool Fans

Dyson has created an energy efficient fan that will both heat and cool, and it will adjust itself based on the temperature of the fan. Dyson estimates that its fan costs up to 30 percent less to heat a room than conventional fan heaters and can lower energy bills up to 20 percent.

9. LED Light Bulb
Phillips has come up with a more energy efficient solution to fluorescent light, meaning those fluorescent tube lights that adorn offices everywhere could one day be a thing of the past.

10. Rechargeable Batteries
Few things have such a negative impact on the environment as disposable batteries. The negative impact that they have includes their effect on non-renewable natural energy sources, waste, air pollution, air acidification, water pollution, and global warming, to name a few. We could all do an immense amount towards reversing this damage if we took advantage of the technology that we have available to us—namely, rechargeable batteries. Sanyo’s Eneloop is widely considered to be the best rechargeable battery.

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