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Quirky but Clever Energy-Saving Gadgets

Posted In Gadgets, Home Technology & Gadgets - By Techtiplib on Thursday, May 1st, 2014 With No Comments »

Gadgets, gadgets, everywhere… do we really need any more? After all, many of us are still paying the bills on the gadgets we bought for our loved ones (and ourselves) over the holidays. Most of us really don’t need any more MP3 players, state of the art pedometer-heart-rate monitor thingies, smartphones, tablets, or (Heaven forbid) smart TVs – not for a while anyway. But what about more practical gadgets – for instance, items that could actually help save money on energy bills? In the dead of winter, something that will help cut heating costs doesn’t sound like a bad idea at all. If you need a little extra to invest in these money saving devices, consider payday loans.

Quirky but Clever Energy-Saving Gadgets

Interested? Here are some energy (and money) saving gadgets to consider.

Give your radiator a helping hand

Your radiator is a workhorse and on those dreary winter nights it certainly helps keeps life tolerable within your four walls. But radiators can be real energy hogs. Some of these devices could make things easier on you and your radiator.

  • Radiator booster. This is a tube that sits on top of your radiator; it has a small thermostatic fan that draws the heat trapped behind the radiator and distributes it evenly around the room. The manufacturer claims that it can cut heating bills by 10 per cent. The fan makes a bit of noise, but if that’s not an issue for you, you might consider investing the £25 for one of these gizmos. Test laboratories have found that radiators heat up a room more quickly with the booster than without it. Visit http://www.radiatorbooster.com.
  • Automatic radiator bleeders. When air gets trapped in your radiator it won’t emit heat properly; hence if you bleed the radiators in every room you will increase your home’s energy efficiency. Though bleeding a radiator can be tricky, the good news is that you can buy an automatic bleeder that will do the job for you, and it’s not all that pricey. An automatic bleeder will set you back about £10; you can buy one on Amazon, eBay and in some do-it-yourself stores. Also check out smartgreenshop.co.uk.
  • Radiator reflector panels. Another trick you can use to help your radiators perform more efficiently is to add reflector panels to them. These are made of aluminium foil which reflects the heat emitted from the back of the radiator back into the room. The foil used is sturdier than kitchen foil, which degrades rather quickly and can be cumbersome to use. A roll of radiator reflector foil will cost you about £6 or £7. According to radiator reflector brand Radflek (radflek.com), which is recommended by the Energy Saving Trust, tests carried out by the British Board of Agreement (BBA) demonstrated that Radflek’s reflectors can reduce heat loss by 45 per cent.

Keep the warm air in and the cold air out

That’s just common sense of course, but sometimes more difficult than it sounds – a bit like the equally common-sense advice about losing weight by eating less and exercising more. Fortunately, keeping warm air in and cold air out of your home may be easier than losing those holiday pounds. Consider, for instance…

  • Eco Flap. The consumer site uSwitch says that as much as 30 per cent of all heat loss from the home is due to incoming draught. The main culprits seem to be gaps in windows, doors, and floors, and even pet doors or the letterbox. Eco Flap is marketed as an alternative to a letterbox; designed to stay shut even in blustery winds, it can completely stop any outside air from coming into your house. You can get an Eco Flap for about £25; for more details visit ecoflap.co.uk
  • Chimney Balloon. This is an odd looking device but really quite ingenious. A Chimney Balloon put up an open fireplace will prevent warm air from escaping from the room, and cold draughts from coming in. The price is around £20 to £25. For more details see chimneyballoon.com.

Save on water usage and water heating expenses

There’s nothing like a nice hot bath on a frigid night, but actually, taking a shower is better for both the environment and your pocketbook than a long, relaxing bath. The average shower uses 65 litres of water as opposed to 100 litres used in a bath. That said, here are a couple of items that can help save you money whilst you’re washing away that winter chill.

  • Shower calculators and smart showerheads. A waterproof device that hangs by the shower control, the Eco Showerdrop features a digital calculator that displays the flow of water while you wash. The manufacturer says it can cut usage to 35 litres, as opposed to the aforementioned 65 litres that is the average. The Eco Showerdrop can also be used in combination with a special showerhead designed to aerate the spray, in other words to provide tiny interruptions to the flow that are barely noticeable. One such showerhead is the PulseEco, which costs around £30 and allows half the amount of water to be used when showering. These devices are easy to install and do not require any plumbing. Visit ecokettle.com/showerdrop.
  • Items to maximise your boiler’s performance. While the ideal might be to replace an old boiler with one of those slick, modern, eco-friendly condensing boilers (which can save you an estimated £310 a year), a new boiler could cost £2,000 or more to install. If you can’t afford that right now, you can make your old boiler more efficient. A small valve fitted to a water pipe connected to the boiler can really make a difference. Manufactured by SaveWaterSaveMoney, this device works by not allowing water through until it is hot enough. SaveWaterSaveMoney believes this device can save 32,000 litres of water being unnecessarily piped through your heating system every year. The results are savings on heating as well as on the cost of water if you are on a meter. It’s a cost-effective way of getting the most out of an existing boiler. Also note that hot water tank insulation can save you up to £45 a year. Check out combismart.co.uk for more information.

Those are just a few ideas. If you want more, hop online and do a search for “energy saving gadgets.” We’re sure you’ll be inspired. Just try not to get distracted along the way by all of those gadgets that you know you really don’t need.

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