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Technology has been influencing the way we live for thousands of years. In the modern age, the goal of most technology is either to save us money or make our lives easier. The invention of the television gave each household endless hours of entertainment while the refrigerator allowed homeowners to store food for longer periods of time. All of these technologies sought to improve the home in some very specific way. This pattern of improvement has continued well into the future and shows no sign of slowing down. So, what are the top five technologies that will improve your home and quality of life?
- On Demand Hot Water Heaters
- LED Lighting
- Grey Water Toilet
- A Home Solar System
- Energy Star Appliances
On Demand Hot Water Heaters
The days of the large, bulky hot water heaters are beginning to come to an end. This is largely due to the push for more sustainable technologies that better serve property owners. This is where the idea for the on-demand hot water heater arose from. Traditional water heaters work by filling a large tank with water and working to always keep hot water on hand so that it’s ready when you turn on the faucet. While this was revolutionary in its humble beginnings, this is now known to be highly inefficient and waste precious resources. Additionally, if you use too much hot water, the tank can run out before your need for hot water is complete. An on-demand hot water heater improves your home by eliminating the tank entirely. Instead, hot water is heated the moment you turn on the faucet. This means it only uses energy when it absolutely must thus improving your home.
One of the biggest strains on a homeowner's energy bill is lighting. You have them in every single room and many of them remain on throughout the day even when they’re not necessary. While eliminating the use of lights when they are not necessary would improve your home’s energy usage the most, LED lighting upgrades are a close second. LED lights are estimated to last between eight and ten times longer than more traditional compact fluorescent lights. Additionally, these lights are far brighter and use far less energy than traditional lighting sources. LED lights are slightly more expensive than traditional lighting options but more than pay for themselves in the form of lower energy costs and less frequent replacement. In fact, homeowners who make the conscious effort to conduct an LED lighting upgrade can, in some areas of the country, see a return on their investment in under two years.
Grey Water Toilet
Water is one of the most valuable resources on the planet, yet it is often taken for granted. Without it, life ceases to exist. Therefore, many people thought that it was strange that perfectly clean water could be used to flush a toilet full of waste. This is where the idea of a grey water toilet arose. Grey water is not necessarily dirty, but it also is not suitable for drinking. You can think of the water that goes down the drain when you wash your hands or take a shower as grey water. With a grey water toilet, this water would be reused to flush your toilet as to not waste such a valuable resource. Additionally, because you are using the same water twice, homeowners can expect their utility bill to fall each month as well.
A Home Solar System
Solar has exploded in popularity in recent years and Is being viewed as one of the most revolutionary technologies for your home. Why would you pay a power generation plant hundreds of miles away to produce energy that your home can then use when you could generate it yourself with an investment in a solar system? Whether you opt into a solar lease or buy the entire system outright, it is bound to save you money and make your home more resilient. A lease usually involves making monthly payments over time to receive the benefits of the solar system. This value is almost always less than the equivalent amount of power a homeowner would have paid for from the grid. In the case of a purchase of the system, every kilowatt-hour of generation can be viewed as a saving. Once the home solar system ultimately pays for itself, all remaining power generation can be viewed as a return on your initial investment. Finally, because solar will still operate if you ever lose power, your home is safeguarded against the many issues associated with a grid outage of any kind.
Energy Star Appliances
Keeping with the theme of sustainability and energy conservation to improve your home, homeowners will be happy to hear that there is a better option to the various appliance they use every day. Appliances that are certified to be Energy Star compliant have met the standards of a program that seeks to make all aspects of the home as energy efficient as possible. While it may not make financial sense to replace an already perfectly good appliance, when one fails, it is almost always the better purchase to seek out one with an Energy Star certification.
Homes use tons of energy and natural resources every year. While we are lucky enough to have these resources at our disposal, the responsibility that they entail should not be overlooked. By seeking to minimize energy and water usage, homes can be improved to a new normal that puts sustainability over unnecessary consumption.