Do you dread expensive monthly bills? There are plenty of high-tech and low-tech products out there to help you save where you need it most. You just need to know where to look
There is no way to dodge your monthly electricity bill, but there are a few sharp gadgets that can help alleviate the sting of your statement.
One bright idea is to make the switch to LED bulbs, one of the most energy-efficient options on the market. While they can be more expensive to buy than fluorescent or traditional incandescent bulbs, the best LEDs can be four to five times more efficient and have a life expectancy of 20,000 to 40,000 hours.
Smart Power Strips
Everyone has been guilty of having an overcrowded power strip, but did you know that gadgets continue to draw power even when they’re not in use? This constant drain costs you money and wastes electricity. Some studies show that standby power can add up to 5 to 10 percent of an average home’s household energy consumption.  The next time you need to plug in, use a smart power strip. These efficient power managers have built-in features that can detect when your devices go into standby mode and can shut down the power supply accordingly.
To really take control of your home energy bill, get geeky with your heating and cooling system. New generations of smart thermostats allow you to connect with and control the temperature of your house remotely. Just like a personal fitness tracker, the technology can also keep track of your energy habits with easy-to-read data fed straight into your phone. If you need an even quicker fix this summer, simply set your air conditioner to 24 degrees or warmer – every degree cooler than this uses about ten percent more energy.
AT THE PUMP
No one likes the ups and downs of fluctuating fuel prices, but we’ve found a couple of ways to make sure you save at the pump.
Your car’s engine is the most important factor when it comes to fuel economy, so if you are shopping around for a new vehicle, pick the most fuel-efficient option that meets your needs. Ford is making it even easier to do this with its line of EcoBoost engines. The gasoline-powered engines are highly fuel efficient, but they are also responsive and give the driver plenty of power when needed. It’s the perfect combination for those who are conscious of their fuel spending, but also want the option of that extra “oomph” when they need it.
It seems like there are applications for everything these days. When it comes to filling up, a few free downloads can help you find the cheapest fuel rate. In Thailand, there are various fuel applications that help record mileage and fuel costs, calculate gas mileage use (THB/km) and fuel consumption, as well as create simple graphs of relevant information. These include Fuelio (iOS and Android), FuelLog – Car Management (Android), Road Trip Lite (iOS), BanTeuk Karn Term Nam Man (Android) and RakanamMan Thai Oil (Android).
Leaving gadgets plugged into your car slowly drains your car’s battery. This makes your engine work harder to keep it charged, which means using more fuel. To avoid this, use solar-powered battery chargers instead. Just pop the devices on your car’s dashboard and use the sun’s energy to help keep your phone or tablet charged up. For example, check out Solar Mobile Charger or Power Bank Solar available in Thailand.
ON YOUR WATER BILL
Wasting water is just money down the drain. Employ these technologies in your home to keep your budget intact.
One of the simplest ways to reduce your water bill is to install a high-efficiency water aerator. These small fixtures are designed to increase the amount of air in your water stream, which helps to reduce the overall flow in the sink without compromising water pressure. It’s the perfect quick fix to help cut back on water use.
Smart Shower Heads
If you are looking for something even more high-tech, there are a range of eco-friendly shower heads available. For those who tend to linger in the shower just a little too long, choose a showerhead that changes color to indicate when you’ve hit your limit. For those who don’t want to sacrifice their long showers, look for shower heads that experiment with flow and water patterns to further decrease your water usage.
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