Money-saving gadgets for the home: which ones are worth the hype?

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There are countless attempts by marketers, inventors and, sadly, shysters to get your money with their latest technology that you “can’t live without”. Once you sort the wheat from the chaff, there are actually some pretty decent products on the market that can save you money and aren’t actually that expensive up front. Which are the ones worth making a song and dance about?

 

Here are five of our personal favourites…

 

Water-saving shower heads

Getting a high-efficiency shower head can save you all kinds of wonga in the long-term. They work on a simple principle: they reducing the amount of water that is processed by your hot water heater, and fires less out of the other end, usually by aerating the water coming out. It doesn’t feel any different, and the pressure isn’t affected, but your water bills certainly will be.

 

Letterbox covers

It seems like a pretty daft gadget, all things considered, but it really helps keep the draughts out and doesn’t affect your post. A lot of people totally overlook the fact that doors have big holes in them, and wonder why hallways or atriums can be so chilly. With one of these, you keep the cold air out – but not your letters and parcels.

 

Solar-powered chargers

While solar power still isn’t as efficient as we want it to be, it can certainly have its perks on a small scale – not least with solar-powered battery chargers. Given we live in a world dominated by portable technology – phones, tablets, handheld consoles, you name it – you can really take advantage of surprisingly effective small-scale chargers using the sun as their main source of support. Into camping? This may be a lifesaver there, too, and you don’t have to tap into a plug socket wherever you are.

 

Programmable thermostat

You may already have one of these and not use it, but if you don’t have one at all, now’s the time to think about getting one. Instead of manually setting the heating – an act that could see you forgetting to turn it off – get your radiators planned around your lifestyle. Think about sorting out an hour for the morning as you get up, an hour before you get home, and a little before you go to bed. You’ll save yourself a fortune.

 

Chimney balloons

Before you ask, no, this isn’t a recommendation to make your home the house from Pixar’s Up – it’s a balloon that fills your chimney to stop cold air escaping upwards. Easy to install and cheap to buy, they could save you from plenty of cold nights; just make sure you’re not, you know, using the chimney to run a fire.