Are you creating a home gym or expanding the one you already have with new equipment? Working out at home is convenient, but one thing to consider is how the extra exercise equipment could add to your electric bill. Some gym equipment doesn’t require a single kilowatt-hour while others burn electricity as much as they burn calories.
If you want to improve your physical fitness without increasing your electric bill, try these four strategies for finding the most energy efficient gym equipment.
Choose Workout Equipment That Doesn’t Require Electricity
The first thing you can do is determine if you really need workout equipment that requires electricity. Most resistance training and strength training can be done with free weights, bands and your own body weight.
But what about cardio? What if you need a way to run, but can’t always do so outdoors? There’s also cardio equipment that doesn’t need energy to operate. Instead, they are self-powered by the person using the equipment. Many stationary bikes and row machines work this way, using only resistance to make the workout more challenging. Today you can also find manual treadmills that are self-powered.
There are a few reasons to go this route:
- You won’t use any electricity, which saves money over time.
- Manual cardio equipment is usually less expensive than motorized alternatives.
- There are fewer components that could break or need repair.
- You don’t have to find a place for equipment that’s near an outlet.
If you really prefer workout equipment that’s motorized, then follow the advice below to find the most energy efficient options.
Check the Wattage of Workout Equipment
Unfortunately, the ENERGY STAR program, which helps consumers find the most energy efficient products, doesn’t currently certify gym equipment. You’ll have to do some research on your own to figure out which equipment draws the most power during use.
Any piece of equipment that uses electricity should note the wattage on the packaging as well as the product itself. The wattage listed is the maximum amount of power that is used to operate the device. The higher the wattage is the more energy a piece of gym equipment will consume during your workout.
For reference, the average treadmill uses 600-700 watts per hour, and a stationary bike uses 75-400 watts per hour.
Take Advantage of Energy-Saving Smart Features
It seems like everything is getting smarter these days, and home gyms aren’t the exception. If your gym equipment is going to be powered by electricity, smart features can help minimize consumption. Like other products with smart features, intelligent workout equipment can help you save energy with remote controls and settings that optimize energy use.
Smart home gym equipment falls into one of five categories:
- Row machines
- Stationary bikes
- Strength training machines
- Smart mirrors/displays
PCMag created a good rundown of the latest smart gym equipment that lists the pros and cons for top products.
Go One Step Further With Energy Generating Gym Equipment
What if you could generate electricity rather than using it while working out? It’s not a far-fetched concept, it’s reality. Energy-generating gym equipment is part of the eco-fitness movement that took off more than a decade ago.
Of course, to truly generate power it must be grid-tied equipment, and you’ll need a way to capture the energy. However, there are new alternatives that any homeowner can utilize. Companies like The Green Microgym have created stationary bikes that can generate up to 20 watts of power to charge small devices like phones and tablets. Just plug the device into the USB port and start pedaling.
Make sure you have a reliable power supply for your new gym equipment with a fixed rate plan from Spark Energy. You can find energy plans and compare rates in minutes by simply inputting your zip code!