Many people associate an eco-friendly lifestyle with decreased technology usage. Others believe that living off the grid is the only way to truly live an environmentally-sound life. While there’s nothing wrong with limiting your use of technology or living off the grid, it’s not necessary to do either to protect and respect the environment. In fact, more tech devices than ever before are available that can help you live a modern lifestyle while honoring your commitment to care for the environment.
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Solar panels are a great way to reduce pollution and power usage. Over the last decade, they’ve become more effective and affordable, making them available to a wider range of homeowners than ever before. To have solar panels installed, you need about 500 square feet of roof space. The typical homeowner needs about 30 panels, but the number you need will vary based on the rating of the panels you choose. Solar panels work best on asphalt shingles or corrugated metal roofs that get at least five hours of sun every day.
Smart thermostats from Sullivan Heating and Cooling allow you to control the temperature of your home from your smartphone. They’re easy to program and can greatly reduce your power consumption. Some advanced versions are even able to learn your habits and adjust your home’s temperature on their own. While you could manually change your temperature settings, with a smart thermostat, you won’t have to.
Smart Power Strips
Smart power strips reduce your power usage by turning off products that are in standby mode. The data varies, but experts estimate that devices in standby mode account for about fifteen percent of the average homeowner’s monthly power bill. Smart power strips will help you reduce the usage of standby power consumption, amounting to big energy savings.
Tankless Water Heater
Tankless water heaters only heat the water you need, making them more eco-friendly than conventional water heaters. Although they’re more expensive to purchase than conventional units, they also tend to last several years longer and use about 30% less energy.
If you don’t get enough sunlight or your roof isn’t conducive to housing solar panels, a wind generator may be an option for you. While it may sound far-fetched, small wind electric systems are slowly growing in popularity across the country. While some homeowners opt to make their wind generators from components purchased from the local hardware store, others choose to have their systems professionally installed. DIY kit-based generators will typically provide enough power to offset about 10% of your energy usage while professional versions can offset almost 90%.
If you want to live an eco-friendly lifestyle but aren’t ready to give up your smartphone or air conditioner, it’s okay. There are plenty of things you can do to live a life that’s both environmentally friendly and modern. Many of them are surprisingly affordable, and they all allow you to recoup at least some of your initial investment by decreasing your energy usage.