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Opting for eco-tech or green technology for the home is one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint. So if you care about the environment, you must make an environmentally-conscious choice to choose eco-friendly products and eco-friendly technology for your home.
What is eco-friendly technology? It can be defined as environmentally-friendly technology that does not harm the environment and uses renewable energy sources to function. Environmental technology is also known as eco-tech, sustainable technology, or green technology.
When considering using different types of green technology in your net-zero home, not only do you have to consider the environmental impact of your house, but also the impact of renovating or redecorating an older home to make it more eco-friendly.
What Is A Net-Zero House Or Zero-Carbon Home?
Whether you choose to call them net-zero homes, zero-carbon homes, zero-energy homes, or carbon-neutral homes, it’s an exciting possibility to consider building an eco-friendly, net-zero house to reduce your carbon footprint.
But what is a zero-energy home and is there such a thing as a zero-carbon home? Well, not really. The term, zero-carbon, is used to describe very energy-efficient, low-carbon homes and is used interchangeably with zero-energy housing.
Although such eco-houses are not absolutely zero carbon emission, these sustainable homes are known as net-zero or having a neutral impact on carbon emissions that contribute to global warming.
So, while zero-carbon house design is something to aspire to, you may not be able to build an energy-neutral home or carbon-neutral home right now as the current green technology does not support building a zero-carbon home or zero-emission house.
Why Zero-Carbon Homes Are More Than Just An “Eco” Home
An off-the-grid home must be very energy efficient to run lighting and appliances on a continuous basis. Zero-carbon homes are built to reduce carbon footprint and contribute much less carbon than a standard energy-efficient eco-home or eco-house.
But for an off-grid house to be more than just an eco-home and warrant the net-zero house label, it must deal with the carbon it does emit so as not to impact the atmosphere.
While renewable energy from solar and wind is the best way to reduce carbon footprint, not all net-zero homes require it. A net-zero home will always incorporate energy efficiency and have some sort of passive solar system.
Zero carbon house design plans only count the emissions from climate control, ventilation, and lighting, while the house is occupied, toward the net-zero standard.
As the standard for the zero carbon footprint is focused exclusively on the quality of the house, human activity with cooking and plug-in appliances are excluded when calculating the carbon credit.
If you’re building an off-grid home, carbon-neutral house plans are a great starting point as the net-zero passive solar features will give you a head start.
Renewable energy solutions can provide additional carbon offset to run your gadgets and appliances, reducing the costs of running your net-zero energy home.
What Are The Laws Around Net-Zero Homes?
Some places, such as the UK, have enacted laws to combat climate change requiring zero carbon building design for all newly built homes. In the US, California requires all new homes to have solar panels.
Depending on where you live, you should check whether you need to use zero-carbon technology if you plan on building your own home. The style of house you buy or build can vary, but using the zero-carbon design is a good start in building carbon-neutral cities.
Even if you don’t achieve a zero-carbon house, building a carbon-neutral home will get easier as new eco-technology becomes available. In some areas, you can even sell excess energy back to the electric company and make money from your zero-carbon house.
4 Advantages Of Using Eco-Friendly Technology In Your Home
Is the cost of redecorating with green, environment-friendly materials worth it? Is the environmentally-friendly solution to just continue using the products you have? Do enough green, eco-friendly products exist to make it worthwhile?
Whether you have an older home or are getting ready to build a new one off the grid, there are many benefits to making your home as eco-friendly as possible. To do this, you need to know how does technology affect the environment.
Read about the advantages of using eco-friendly technology in your net-zero home, and learn about some cool green technology examples to use in your zero-carbon home.
1. You’ll Leave a Smaller Carbon Footprint
One of the first things to consider is how you can reduce your carbon footprint, which is the damage your existence causes to the ecology and environment. All of us consume resources and impact the environment, by our mere existence, even if we try not to.
However, if you actively seek to make your home more eco-friendly, you can help reduce your carbon footprint and even create a carbon-neutral home by your environmentally friendly actions.
2. You’ll Save Water
Saving precious water resources is not only good for the environment but also good for your bank account. One of the best examples of green technology products is a water-saving showerhead that reduces water use, yet makes it seem like you have the best water pressure.
When you do something as simple as installing green technology products such as the ANZA Water-Saving Massage Rain High-Pressure Shower Head, you can save as much as one-third of the water you would normally use without losing out on the comfort and convenience you desire.
3. Your Home Environment Will Be Greener And Healthier
When you seek to purchase and use eco-friendly or green products, you’ll find that they tend to pollute your environment less, and are much less likely to off-gas or cause problems in your environment.
Plus, a lot of top eco-tech products have lower maintenance costs and your home will be low-maintenance due to having more durable and fewer throwaway products.
4. You Can Increase Your Property Value
If you plan to resell your property, it’s important to upgrade your house with the best green living technologies and eco-gadgets for the home.
Small changes such as environmentally-friendly windows, eco-friendly appliances, environmentally-friendly bathroom, water-saving showerheads can add a lot of value in the eyes of a home buyer.
For example, an on-demand water heater can save a ton of money, but it’s also a selling point that you never run out of hot water. Most buyers will be looking for energy efficiency with eco-green technologies, and if you have it and the neighbour doesn’t, your house will be a more attractive option.
These are all good reasons to outfit your house with the latest green technology products. You may have to invest some money to build a new energy-efficient home, but in the end, it’ll be worth it to you and to anyone who might want to buy your home in the future. Read on for some renewable energy options for your eco-friendly, green home.
Renewable Energy Options for Your Home
If you’re trying to cut your utility bill or supplement your electrical supply, renewable energy is a great way to go. Solar and wind are the most popular renewable energy solutions to power your off-grid home.
Solar energy systems combined with batteries or a hybrid wind-solar power DIY off-grid kit are the most popular renewable energy options and usually the first thing you’d think of when considering green energy solutions.
In some areas, a micro-hydro generator or turbine can also be used and if you have an option to use geothermal energy in your home, you can create hot water and steam to generate electricity.
You can even add it to an existing home, but you may have to replace your furnace with a geothermal system.
How To Generate Electricity and Store It for Later
Many recreational vehicle (RV) owners use solar storage systems in combination with solar panels so they can camp for extended periods without plugging into any additional power.
RVs have an advantage in that that their lighting systems may be a 12V DC system, which allows the owners to power their lights without the need for using a power-robbing 110V inverter.
As a homeowner, you have more options with storage capacity because you can use a Powerwall battery system. These batteries are the perfect green technology examples of new eco-tech and are available from some manufacturers such as Tesla, Goal Zero, AED Land, Somerset and Schneider.
Powerwalls are made up of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, with some using active cooling. The Tesla Powerwall costs $6,700, and installation is not cheap.
Some battery types were designed for short power outage situations and will give you something like the service from a portable generator and will be relatively cheap, like the Goal Zero Yeti 1400.
Others are intended for actual off-the-grid residential power service and cost considerably more. You should choose a battery storage system based on what your usage and requirements are.
New Eco-Tech Does Pay Off
We cannot underestimate the importance of new green technology and eco-friendly inventions, especially in the field of energy storage. With ever-increasing improvements in battery storage and efficiency of solar panels, many new green tech products are being developed.
Some environmentally-friendly innovative products, such as Tesla’s Solarglass Roofs, have the potential to completely disrupt and revolutionize the solar energy industry, so it helps to stay abreast of new eco-friendly technology being developed by environmentally-friendly companies.
As of now, solar panels combined with batteries are the best green renewable energy solution for off-grid homes and those who have already opted to install renewable energy systems and finding them to be cost-effective in the long run.
Of course, it also helps to use green appliances and eco-friendly technology products that will help cut down on your power consumption and conserve energy, even if your off-grid home is powered with solar energy systems.
If you can reduce the power drawn by your appliances, this will lower the need for more solar capacity and save money on energy generation.
How To Choose Greener Gadgets And Appliances
Finding greener gadgets and appliances is a lot simpler today than it used to be. It’s much easier to find energy-efficient appliances and lighting.
Most eco-friendly electronics or green appliances carry the energy-efficient seal even when they seem high-powered. So opting for green technology over conventional electronics is no longer too inconvenient or too expensive.
Environmentally-Friendly Electronic Products Work Faster
As you’re charged for the electricity you use by the watt-hour, energy-efficient appliances that cook food faster or cool your home in less time, while consuming the same amount of power, are consuming less energy.
For example, the time required to heat food in a microwave is a fraction of the time needed for heating in a conventional oven. That’s why microwave ovens are considered energy efficient, even though they require considerable power to operate.
Induction cooktops are even more energy-efficient as about 90% of the heat generated reaches the food, whereas the standard stovetop loses heat to the surrounding air.
New Eco-Gadgets Need Energy Star Certification
When choosing your new eco-gadgets or environmentally-friendly electronic products, make sure they’re Energy Star certified. This certification is a trusted symbol of energy efficiency as rated from A to G, with A being the most energy-efficient technology.
Understand the yearly costs to run your green appliances so you can estimate which ones will save energy as well as money.
Buy Refrigerators and Ovens With Good Insulation
When choosing your green technology gadgets and appliances, keep in mind that a self-cleaning oven will have extra insulation because of the high temperatures required for cleaning.
The better-insulated an oven is, the less heat it loses to its surroundings and more evenly it bakes than conventional ovens. In a refrigerator with better-insulated walls, the refrigeration pumps cycle fewer times.
Dishwashers with added insulation are also good examples of eco-friendly technology because they keep water hot throughout the cleaning cycle, besides the benefit of noise reduction.
How To Choose Energy-Efficient Vacuum Cleaners & Washers
Vacuum cleaners also consume a lot of energy, often drawing as much power as a room air conditioner. Today, many washers use detergents marked HE for high efficiency because it creates fewer suds, requires less water and less power to clean clothes. This, in turn, reduces utility costs.
A higher current draw is not necessarily a good indication of cleaning power, and the more the power, the more energy it consumes. Instead, check the efficacy of the product, the energy rating and yearly operating cost before you buy any greener tech.
You don’t have to buy the most expensive eco-friendly innovations if you want to save energy and money. The best eco-gadgets are ones that are easy to use and get the job done without consuming too much energy.
Now that you have understood what is eco-technology and seen the impact of green technology on the environment, how will you use eco-friendly tech to build your net-zero home?