Monday, 20 February 2012

Top 5 Modern Technologies That Can Cut Household Costs

With credit squeezed, salaries frozen and unemployment rising we are all feeling the economic pinch these days. Once, household technology was solely about buying the latest gadget, be it home cinema or a new smart phone, before the old one had even approached the end of its useful life. But in the last couple of years, with the credit crunch, people have become increasingly aware of what technology has to offer to help them actually save money. Some of this technology has been around for a while, whilst other developments are decidedly cutting-edge.

Here is our top five of modern technologies that can cut household costs:

  • 1. LED and Compact Fluorescent Lamps - energy saving bulbs last far longer than traditional incandescent bulbs and have lower running costs. The initial higher cost of each bulb is recouped within an average first six months of the bulb's life and then one starts to enjoy the savings this technology provides. LED lights are very efficient and are readily available in sizes that can be used in standard household fittings. Some users, however, find that the colour range of light from cheaper LEDs is not pleasing. Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) are a proven technology which, again, offers the consumer savings by providing longer bulb life and cheaper running costs for the initial higher outlay. CFLs reach full brightness more quickly than LEDs and, in many people’s opinion, are more aesthetically pleasing.

  • 2. Double Glazing and Home Insulation - two different technologies, but both address the same issue: once you've paid the energy costs of heating your home, it makes sense to make every effort to stop that heat escaping. Double glazing involves a high initial cost, but will, for the average house, bring energy savings of around £165 pa, year on year. Some 33% of a home's heat is lost through the walls and another 20% through the roof. For a relatively modest outlay, cavity wall insulation and full 270mm loft insulation can give significant savings.

  • 3. Solar Water Heating - once installed, this provides your home with a free source of warm water. The installation will pay for itself within 7 - 15 years and then begin to provide savings.

  • 4. Solar Power by Photovoltaic Cells - solar power is a major investment, taking the average household some 20 - 30 years to recoup. Some of the cost, however, can be offset by linking some of the electricity produced to the national grid.

  • 5. The Internet - or, more specifically, price comparison sites and smart phone apps. This technology offers the consumer the chance to compare prices and secure the best deal on a whole range of goods and services.

  • This article was written in association with Geothermal International, experts in geothermal energy.

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