Must-Have Tech Upgrades For A Greener Home
While property trends are always evolving, a common trend that more and more homeowners are adopting is that of sustainability. Transitioning to a greener home not only helps the planet but also saves money on utility bills in the long run, a factor that’s particularly important right now. The good news is that upgrading your home with the right technologies can significantly increase sustainability without requiring drastic renovations. With this in mind, here are some ways you can create a greener home with ease, from managing your water usage to insulating key features of the property.
Solar panels are made up of photovoltaic cells that convert sunlight into electricity. They’re one of the most popular additions to eco-conscious homes. Placed on your roof or even on the ground, solar panels can generate clean renewable energy to power your home during the day and reduce your reliance on fossil fuel-generated electricity from the grid.
The benefits of adding solar panels include slashing your electricity bills, providing a new income stream from selling excess electricity back to the grid, increasing your home’s resale value, and significantly reducing your carbon footprint. In fact, a typical 5kW solar system can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4-5 tons annually.
However, some key considerations remain. The upfront cost of purchasing and installing solar panels can be high depending on your energy needs, roof size and sun exposure in your area. Permits, grid connections and other regulatory requirements also need to be addressed. Overall though, solar panels are one of the best investments you can make if you want to green your home, and with growing demand, it seems more and more homeowners agree.
Electric Garage Doors
Upgrading old manually operated or chain-drive garage doors to an electric opener system can also improve your home’s efficiency. Electric garage door openers permit keypad or smartphone operation to conveniently open and close your garage door. The benefits of electric garage door openers include being able to open your door without getting out of your car. While integrating remote access into your overall smart home system, they also offer improved insulation, compared to older garage doors, thanks to the tighter seal they provide.
The main consideration for electric garage door openers is the higher upfront cost compared to non-electric openers or chain-drive models. However, the energy efficiency and convenience benefits can make the investment worthwhile. Switching to electric can streamline accessing your garage while also improving insulation, noise reduction and overall functionality. This tech upgrade pairs especially well with an EV and home charger for maximum convenience.
Another easy yet impactful tech upgrade is installing a smart thermostat to control your home’s heating and cooling system. Smart thermostats like the Nest Learning Thermostat allow you to program and automate temperature adjustments as well as control your thermostat remotely via a smartphone app. This saves energy by preventing heating or cooling an empty home.
Key benefits of smart thermostats include reducing energy waste, integrating with other smart home devices like voice assistants, and offering convenience through remote access and automation. When combined with other technologies listed here, they become a highly effective step towards creating a more sustainable and eco-friendly home.
When selecting a smart thermostat, key considerations include ensuring compatibility with your existing heating system, assessing connectivity requirements and the ease of use. The learning curve to understand programming and features differs across models and location within the home also matters for accurately sensing temperature. While smart thermostats require a higher upfront investment than programmable thermostats, the energy savings and convenience pay off over time through lower bills.
Electric Vehicles + Home Chargers
Switching to an electric vehicle (EV) is a major way to make your transportation more eco-friendly and reduce emissions. To maximise the convenience of driving electric, installing a Level 2 or DC fast home EV charger allows you to charge your EV to full in just a few hours. There are several advantages to EVs, from eliminating fuel costs and reducing maintenance needs compared to traditional cars, to producing zero exhaust emissions to improve local air quality. Home EV chargers provide the ability to conveniently charge your EV overnight or in just a few hours.
However, EVs and home chargers require careful planning. You need to ensure that the charger you install is compatible with your EV and that you provide yourself with plenty of time for charging depending on how much you travel on a daily basis. For many, going electric both on the road and at home is the future of sustainable transportation. Supporting policies like EV tax credits also help accelerate adoption, making it easier to invest in EV technologies.
Water Efficiency Devices
In addition to energy consumption, reducing water waste is key for an eco-friendly home. Upgrading to water efficient fixtures and appliances conserves this precious resource while also cutting utility costs. Installing low-flow showerheads, tap aerators, high efficiency toilets and water efficient dishwashers and washing machines can significantly lower your home’s water usage. Smart irrigation controllers that customise watering schedules based on weather and plant needs can also optimise outdoor water usage.
There are several benefits of water saving devices including lower water bills, preserving water access for future generations and reducing energy required to heat water. The long-term savings and environmental benefits make installing water efficient appliances a worthy investment. Be sure to check for rebates from local utilities too. Conserving water is often overlooked as a key step in building a sustainable home.
As we’ve explored, upgrading your home with the latest green technologies allows you to reduce your environmental impact and energy consumption in impactful ways. The world needs more sustainable living spaces to combat climate change. Although the upfront costs of installing these technologies can be high, the long-term environmental and economic benefits are considerable. To improve affordability, take advantage of any available tax credits, rebates, and incentives, making these changes more accessible.