Are you into saving the environment? And also maybe saving a few bucks on your electric bills along the way?
Then today’s post is for you. We’ve got some money- and utility-saving tips for you, and they’re (mostly) in the easy do-it-yourself category.
This is the one that might have you calling in reinforcements, unless you’re handy with a screwdriver. A Wi-Fi thermostat is like a programmable thermostat, but a better one; it can be accessed remotely via an app on your smartphone or tablet. Some, like the Nest Learning Thermostat, actually adapt to your everyday habits over time.
The Nest also actively looks for ways to keep your home comfortable while saving you money—and being better for the environment.If this concept seems slightly familiar to you, it’s because we recently talked about self-monitoring homes on our recent Internet of Things post.
Why doesn’t a Wi-Fi thermostat make our list of DIY tips and tricks? Well, not everyone feels comfortable replacing their existing thermostat by themselves. But if you’re okay with wielding a screwdriver, disconnecting and connecting a few wires, and queueing up your settings via laptop, it’s definitely doable.
Take a look at your laptop or desktop PC. Do you see a sticker claiming Energy Star or EPEAT compliance? This means that your computer has been designed to be more energy-efficient than the dinosaur machines of yore.
And this isn’t limited to computers; tablets and smartphones, too, have settings designed to prolong battery life—another phrase for conserving energy usage. There’s a caveat with this one, though: you have to cooperate when it comes to saving energy with your gadgets.
For example, if you set your computer to an always on, screen-always-at-max-power mode, you’re not going to be saving energy. If possible, try using the recommended battery and power settings.
No, I don’t mean special plugs and cords and sockets. What I’m talking about can be expressed in two words: Done? Unplug. Most things—even phone chargers—still use a bit of electricity when they are plugged in, even if they are not actively being used. So unplug your gadgets when you’re done using them for the day.
You can even program some Wi-Fi routers to ‘sleep’ between certain hours of the day—say from 10 pm to 5 am—to cut down on power usage. Me, I have my assorted chargers and PC cords plugged into a power strip that sits on my desk. When I’m done for the day, I turn off the strip. When I start, I turn it back on. Easy peasy.
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