February 3rd, 2009
One of the great things about many green products is that they’ll actually save you money, sometimes over the long term (solar panels), but sometimes almost immediately (CFLs). In this economy, finding green products that are healthy, environmentally friendly AND economical is more important than ever. So, here are some new products we’ve come across over the past few months that offer just that - high green benefits AND more money in your bank account!
Energy Cinch Window Blankets. Windows are often an energy efficiency problem spot. Many homes lack the latest energy efficient windows, leading to energy loss and uncomfortable rooms throughout the year. Because window replacements are so expensive, though, it almost never pays to replace a window just for the energy savings benefits. Payback periods can often be ten years or more. There are other solutions - films and solar screens reflect sunlight during hot weather, and insulating drapes are helpful year-round. But Energy Cinch Window Blankets offer another solution. They combine the high insulating qualities of the thickest drapes with the installation ease of an extendable shower rod. You can easily remove them during times of the year when they’re not needed. An Energy Cinch can cut a problem window’s heat loss by up to 80%.
Enersaver Programmable Thermostat. We’ve praised the virtues of programmable thermostats many times before, but it can be a bit difficult to get them set right. We’ve come across this new thermostat from Globe Electric, called the enersaver Spin-N-Click. It uses a scroll wheel and single button to make programming much easier and more intuitive. And, at $49.95, it’s a relative bargain for a full-featured programmable thermostat. At this price, the thermostat will pay for itself in less than a year’s time in most homes.
Waterpik EcoFlow Showerhead. We’ve always been big fans of the Delta Water Amplifying Showerhead for its combination of water efficiency (1.85 GPM) and comfortable water stream. We were excited when Waterpik also released a low-flow showerhead, but when we tested it we got mixed results. We liked how it felt, but we thought that Waterpik could do better than the 2.0 GPM flow rate. Well, now they have - their latest EcoFlow 1.5 showerhead is even stingier than the Delta at 1.5 GPM and has multiple spray settings depending on your preferences. Because this showerhead saves on water, energy and sewer charges, it will pay for itself in less than six months.
BioBased Soy Seal Spray Foam. Last but not least, what about those pesky leaks around outlets and in other parts of your home’s exterior / attic walls? There are many spray foam insulations available, but most contain strong chemicals made from nonrenewable resources. BioBased Soy Seal gives you the best of both worlds - easy-to-use and high insulating value, and made from renewable soy beans. You can find Soy Seal at Home Depot stores in many states (see list here). This foam expands quite a bit upon application, so make sure you follow the instructions carefully to avoid any damage to your home.
Black and Decker Power Monitor. We mentioned this product in this post back in December, and it’s available online now. This device won’t save any money or energy by itself, but it gives you far more insight into the real devices and behaviors that waste electricity in your own home. Studies have shown that this knowledge alone can lead people to cut energy consumption by as much as 15%. If you are one of those people who has to glance at your home weather station several times a day, then this is a product for you.
That’s all for now - we hope these inexpensive and effective products will help you get through this cold winter AND rough economy with your health and bank account intact!
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