Home service companies and interior designers all agree that 2016 will continue to be about the smart home and green living. The following trends are the latest ways homeowners are investing in technology while cutting down on their water and energy use. Does the investment pay off? Read on to learn more.
Smart Shower Heads
Showers are one of the top ways homeowners user water, coming in third behind toilets and washing machines. The Hydrao Smart Shower attacks this problem by alerting the user via colored lights that their shower has lasted too long. The Bluetooth powered device comes with an app that tracks your progress and cost savings. According to Hydrao’s calculator, a San Antonio couple that each showers daily would save $258.47 a year if they set their benchmark to 10.5 gallons per shower (about 5 minutes). The product, still in development, is expected to hit the market next year for $99. Other smart shower heads out there include the EvaDrop, which uses sensors to heat your shower water as needed. The device is also in the development phase and will retail for $99.
With HVAC cost amounting to 44% of the home, taking control of your thermostat alone can pack a huge punch when it comes to lowering energy consumption. Our same San Antonio couple from above can save $102 to $280 a year with a Nest programmable thermostat, plus a $180 rebate from their energy company. Programmable thermostats allow you to set preferences ahead of time so that your thermostat only works when it needs to. Some get pretty advanced, such as having multiple sensors in the home to get a truly customized temperature where it matters the most. Other popular smart thermostats – which range in price from $229 to $299 – include the Honeywell and ecobee brands.
Another trend you should continue to hear about in 2016 are smart sprinklers, most which claim to cut water usage by up to half. Even better, their advanced ability to respond to the weather means less time wasted watering when you don’t have to. For an average American who uses 79 gallons of water a day and pays 1.9 cents a gallon for water, that’s a savings of up to $273 a year. Popular smart sprinkler brands – ranging in price from $249 to $299 – include Skydrop, Rachio and Rain Bird.
Other Ways to Save
You don’t have to invest in smart home technology to start living green today. Here are some other ways to get started:
- Play With Calculators – Check out your water footprint on Watercalculator.org and carbon footprint on org to get a better idea on where you stand. These sites also include plenty of information on how you can start changing your habits today to start shrinking those footprints.
- Upgrade Appliances & Fixtures – Newer water heaters, washers, dishwashers, and more are going to automatically be more efficient than their older counterparts. For additional guidance, look for appliances and fixtures with the Energy Star and WaterSense seals.
- Research Local & Federal Rebates – Check out the Energy Star and WaterSense websites for rebates and tax credits for home upgrades. Also check out your local water and energy providers, which may have their own set of incentives.
Guest post by Elmer Zubiate of On Time Elmer Plumbing provides plumbing services in San Antonio, Texas. Zubiate also specializes in HVAC and swimming pools.