Top 5 energy-saving gadgets for your home
Some gadgets can help you save energy around the home and cut back on bills.
Energy efficiency is a hot topic at the moment, and it’s fair to say we’re all becoming more aware of the energy we use and would like to be able to cut back in order to do our bit for the environment. Of course, the added benefit of doing so is that reducing the energy you use in the home will also help you to cut down on your energy bills.
There are already loads of energy-saving tips that you can quickly implement around the home, and now there’s an increasing trend towards gadgets that can help you cut down even more. Here are five of the most popular….
1. Smart thermostats - Climote, Hive, Hub, Nest and Netatmo
Smart thermostats allow you to control your home heating and water boiler really easily when you’re at home, as well as remotely, via an app. The main benefit of these is that they help you to actively manage the temperature in your home - and some of them also ‘learn’ your household’s habits and will adapt the temperature, and when the heating comes on and off, based on the information they pick up over a week or two of usage.
These devices generally cost between €100 and €400, including installation, but it’s likely they will help you make significant savings on your bills. Many energy companies also offer plans that include these devices for free - although the unit rate on these plans tends to be higher, and you may be tied into a longer contract, so it’s worth seriously comparing deals before signing up.
At the moment, Electric Ireland is offering a number of smarter home bundles, which may be of interest.
2. Automatic radiator bleeders
When was the last time you bothered to bleed your radiators at home? If you’re like the majority of people, it’s possible you’ve never done it. But did you know that you should actually bleed your radiators each year to maintain their efficiency?
If this sounds like a lot of work, an automatic radiator bleeder can take the hassle out of it for you. They cost between €15 and €25, which could be well worth it, considering they’ll keep your radiators running more efficiently, for longer.
3. Shower smart meter
A lot of the energy used in the home goes towards heating water for the shower. So, savings can be made if we monitor - and then reduce - the amount of water used when we shower. This is where a smart shower meter, like the Amphiro, comes in.
The Amphiro A1 device costs around €60 and is easy to install. Once you have it set up, it displays water and energy consumption during and after showering, making you more aware of your consumption and giving you the information you need to start saving energy.
4. Smart bulbs
We’re definitely moving towards the idea of smarter homes, with the likes of Google Home, the Apple HomePod and the Amazon Echo helping us to control various things throughout the home with a simple voice command.
Smart bulbs are one of the most accessible smart home products, as lightbulbs are common to all homes, and they’ve got a relatively low cost - starting at around €20.
These bulbs offer the ability to schedule on and off timers, and control your lights remotely, either through a dedicated app or through your smart home app, if you have one. The bulbs also last much longer than traditional bulbs, and so will save you in the long-run.
5. Timer plugs
We all know that leaving devices on stand-by wastes energy, which is where timed plugs come in handy. A good use for these is to charge phones or other devices. In general, phones take about 4 hours to charge, so you could set the plug to come on from, say, 2am-6am, instead of leaving your charger plugged in all night.
You could also time lamps to come on and off at certain times, which is not only a good way of ensuring everything is turned off when you’re going to bed, but good from a security perspective, too.
The plugs cost around €5 each, and are available from hardware stores and places like Woodies and B&Q.
Want to save even more on your bills?
If you don’t want to fork out on energy-saving devices, don’t worry - you can still save up to €342 by switching to a new gas and electricity deal. It’s free, easy and only takes a few minutes.