If there’s anything homeowners across the country agree on, it’s the importance of energy efficiency and consequent savings.
While homeowners are happy to save a few extra bucks, the U.S. Department of Energy promotes home energy efficiency because it combats climate change and adds to cleaner, breathable air. A 2014 analysis showed that sellers disclosing home energy costs in residential market listings can actually sell their home faster than those that didn’t.
In retrospect, home buyers are on the lookout for energy efficient appliances, solar panel systems and Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values (MERV) proving the home has effective air filters. MERV has relevance for homebuyers with children. Lower ratings prove the home has less airborne contaminants and allergens. The average household uses close to 20% of its energy on appliances, so programs like ENERGY STAR are paving the way for energy savings. In addition to savings, switching to a solar power energy system has a big environmental impact because solar panels help reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
For buyers and sellers, any home technology is a selling point. The onset of mobile technology has brought a slew of home efficiency apps to the market, so anyone can turn their home into an energy efficient powerhouse from the palm of their hand. We’ve come up with a list of the top five home efficiency apps so that you can reap the benefits of cost savings and going green.
Nest has paved the way for home energy efficiency technology. Thermostats control most of your home’s energy and you could be paying for energy you’re not using. Programing thermostats is no longer a chore because the Nest thermostat and app make it incredibly easy. The app predicts temperature changes, optimizing the balance of air conditioner (AC) and heat. It also alerts you when air filters need changing, so you can be sure to have a healthy MERV score. Nest can help you save on both your heating and cooling bills just by regulating the temperature in your home when you aren’t.
An easy way to lower your monthly finances is to cut back on energy consumption. The Netatmo Weather Station uses temperature, relative humidity and CO2 readings inside your home to alert you when you need to open a window, not turn on the AC. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans spend nearly 90% of their time indoors, where pollutants are higher than those outside. Netatmo’s app also allows users to track their indoor environments over time. You can observe cycles and forecast weather variations, so you can plan your thermostats accordingly.
Switching to an energy efficient home starts with taking a good look at your consumption. You can explore ways to cut utility bills, such as getting solar power or purchasing Nest. But you can also make small changes around the house. EnergySaver helps homeowners create profiles for all their utilities and then analyzes the consumption from major appliances. With the data, users can save time and money by reducing wasteful consumption and wear-and-tear on household appliances.
Every 3 minutes, someone switches to solar with SolarCity. It’s a trend that’s catching on because energy from the sun is infinite and solar panels on your home are just so cool. The MySolarCity app is useful because it will show solar production and energy consumption on the homes of customers. But the app is also a great tool for those without solar. The EnergyExplorer function will show you the estimated energy usage for a typical home. Through its photo sharing feature, AmpIt, people can upload pictures of their high (or low) energy bills, solar panel installations or solar production.
Minimizing your carbon footprint has now gotten a little bit easier. Released in 2015, MyEarth lets you keep track of your daily recycling, water usage, transportation and even food consumption. What’s more, MyEarth has packaged energy efficiency in a way that’s fun and appeals to the masses — saving polar bears. Users check off daily activities like recycling everyday items or installing energy efficient appliances. These activities aid in minimizing your footprint, rack up saved carbon units in the app and keep a cute little polar bear afloat from a sinking iceberg.