Consumer technology is a wonderful thing. Even the most self-proclaimed technophobe is dependent on some sort of technology. It’s technology that enables us to travel dozens of miles to work, to wake up to a warm home and to communicate with friends, colleagues and loved ones all over the world.
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While many of us use technology liberally, we all too often associate it with cost. Sure, any technological advancement usually comes at a cost to the consumer, and early adopters generally find themselves paying top dollar to get in on the ground floor, but there are a great many ways that technology can help you make big savings at home and in the office.
Here are some tools, apps and devices that can save you money at little to no upfront cost.
Put down the phone, use VOIP!
For decades, phone companies have been profiting from the pay-per-minute costs of talking to people all over the country, and Heaven forbid we should want to talk to someone overseas. If you’re still paying over the odds for overseas calls, then you could save a small fortune using Voice Over Internet Protocols (VOIP). At home you can use Skype, FaceTime or Google Voice to talk and video conference with people all over the world. At work you can scythe down costs by choosing from a range of VOIP suppliers.
Prevent pipe freezing without paying a fortune in heating costs
Heat tape for pipes prevents water from freezing in them. Most heat tape solutions use a built in thermostat so there’s no need for external controls or monitoring. This means that metal and plastic pipes can be protected from both freezing and overheating. Prior to the advent of electrical heat tape technology, heat traced water pipes could not be insulated as it would increase the chances of overheating and create a fire risk so the only alternative was to waste a huge amount of heat energy to prevent the pipes from freezing. Self-regulating heat tapes can be used for single pipes or networks of identical pipes, that can be used in virtually any environment or temperature.
See your spending with smart plugs
Ever wondered how much your devices cost to run? Well wonder no more, thanks to the miracle of smart plugs. These babies sit in your wall and as you plug your devices into them, they transmit the energy cost data to you, which you can view through a free downloadable app. This can enable you to determine which devices may be wasteful while allowing you greater control over your energy budget.
Light your home with energy saving CLF bulbs
If you’re still using old-fashioned incandescent bulbs simply because they’re cheap then you may not be aware that this is complete false economy. Incandescent bulbs work by heating the filament inside to an extremely high temperature to provide heat and light. The trouble is that the energy produced is 90% heat and only 10% light. The effectiveness of a bulb is based on its wattage which is a unit of heat energy. Since incandescent bulbs are only 10% efficient it makes sense to replace them with Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs which can save you up to $50 a year per bulb.