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There have been many technological advances to have come about over the last quarter century – and most of these have not focused on being environmentally-friendly. Electrical goods are now commonplace in every room of people’s homes, and for the most part, technology is typically associated with the vast consumption of energy rather than its conservation.
However, over the last few years, the importance of saving energy has become more and more socially prominent. With cautions about climate change currently dominating the news, tech companies are taking note of ways to become ‘greener’ and more environmentally-conscious.
Fortunately, ways to conserve energy are becoming the new norm. Solutions like energy-saving kitchen appliances to the simple digitization of different forms of media are abound. There are even appliances available the run entirely on renewable energy, like solar ovens and stoves.
For a more thorough list of the many different ways that solar power can be applied to help save on electrical usage, you can visit websites like www.semprius.com. Here’s our own list of some of the biggest ways in which technology has turned to help people use less electricity and reduce their carbon footprint.
A big change in how we use technology that has reduced the need for electricity is due to the consolidation of several devices into one. This can be seen best in the way that people download apps for their mobile phones and tablets. It is now possible to download a GPS tracker, a full set of encyclopedias and a camera all to be run by your cell phone, cutting the amount of electricity needed to power several different items.
Similarly, tablets and laptops are replacing traditional home computers, stereos and DVD players, instead putting the ability to do all these tasks in one machine. By making one device able to do the job of multiple other devices there is less need to manufacture and ship other goods which in turn reduces the use of fossil fuels that can harm the environment.
Reduced Heating and Cooling Costs
Technology has now made it possible to reduce heating costs, which has traditionally been the most expensive utility. Ultra-efficient heat pumps give consumers a less expensive option than traditional air conditioning. This works by pumping hot air from one place to another. The technology can also be modified to use for drying clothes, as the heat is pumped from one area to the dryer. This can increase efficiency by up to 40%, and removes the need for energy-sucking space heaters and dryers.
Installing items like advanced window controls, reflective roofing materials and next generation insulation also helps reduce heating costs. Window controls allow sensors to automatically sense the amount of sunlight or shade coming through a window thereby reducing lost energy. Roofers now install “cool roofs” that are made of roofing tiles treated with specialized pigments that absorb less heat and reflect more sunlight than traditional roofs. Homes are even using insulation made of composite materials that are designed to keep heat from escaping in the colder winter months.
Lose Toxic Coolants
One of the coolest new technologies that helps reduce electricity usage is seen in magnetic refrigerators. Instead of using vapor compression which involves harmful gasses like freon, there are now refrigerators on the market that use the magnetocaloric effect to stay cool. This is when you raise or lower the temperature of something by changing the magnetic field. This type of fridge also uses a water-based cooling system which is more efficient and doesn’t use any toxic gasses for cooling.
Modern technology has indeed made the world a more efficient place to inhabit. By changing the technology of the devices and appliances that people use, the scientific community has also helped reduce the need for electricity produced by fossil fuels which in turn is helping the world become a cleaner place.