Here are some of the products and services we’ve found useful. If you choose to
purchase any of them, please use the links we’ve provided in association with Amazon,
which will help us support ongoing development of this site. If you live outside
the US, you will probably be able to find the same or similar products from local
The Home Energy Diet book
This book helped inform our thinking on getting the best energy efficiency from our
home. It is a very interesting read and offers plenty of practical advice.
This is a great way to measure the power consumption of your home appliances. You
may be surprised by what you find, and be able to save significant amounts of electricity.
SmartStrip intelligent power strip
The SmartStrip is like a normal power strip, except it will turn off all of its outlets
automatically when you switch off an appliance connected to its ‘control’ outlet.
It has surge protection too. Great for getting rid of those phantom loads.
This handy self-contained device records the temperate at preset intervals. Simply
plug it into your computer’s USB port to download the measurements. We bought two,
so that we could track inside and outside temperatures - this helps us track our
energy consumption against changing weather conditions.
Remote sensing thermometer
Wouldn’t it be great to be able to see heat leaking out of your home? With a thermal
camera, you can. Fluke make a nice one for about $4,500. If your budget won’t stretch
quite that far, try a remote sensing infra-red thermometer for about $50. Just point
it at an object, press the button, and you get an instant temperature measurement.
Check out your walls, floors and ceilings to find any cool spots which might indicate
an air leak or missing insulation.
The Kintrex IRT0421, sold by Amazon, is a nice model with lots of good reviews.
Though not strictly connected with energy saving, if you live in a granite-rich area
like we do, then it is important to ensure that radon levels are within recommended
limits. You can buy radon measuring kits, which you use once and then send to a
lab to get your results, or you can use a radon meter, which will monitor radon levels
continuously, provide a digital readout and alert you if safety levels are exceeded.
We found this meter extremely useful to determine appropriate ventilation levels
for our basement.
We used LEDs in our recessed ceiling lights (a direct replacement for a regular screw-in
bulb), and also over our front porch. At just 4 watts per lamp, the energy savings
add up, and, unlike compact fluorescent lamps, LEDs work well in cold conditions,
such as outdoors in winter. Make sure you get warm white LEDs, many provide a bright
but somewhat unpleasant bluish-white light. We got ours from Starry Night Lights.
Many exterior lights shine much of their light up into the sky. This wastes electricity,
raising utility bills, and it also adds glare to the night sky, washing out the view
of the milky way and most of the stars for a considerable distance. Night sky friendly
lights shine all of their light downwards, where it is needed, improving visibility
and reducing glare. It makes sound sense to use night sky friendly lighting, and
your neighbors will thank you too.