May 18, 12
From the beginning of time, mankind has taken advantage of the sun’s warmth. A cave entrance that faced to the south or the east was no doubt the first attempt to take advantage of solar energy. In our modern world, we have many options in designing our homes to harness the energy of the sun. Use the tips in this article to make your home energy efficient.
There are many choices of building materials that can store the warmth of sunshine. Even before society became focused on green energy, homes were built to take advantage of the free energy provided by the sun. A sunroom that faces to the east or the south is a great way to collect heat in the morning and during the day. Many such rooms have a deep underlying foundation of cement, brick or stone.
When the sun is shining, heat is collected and stored in these types of materials, and slowly released after the daylight hours are gone. While this system does not have the capability of being the only heat source in a home, it can reduce the usage of other types of heating energy. If the home is designed to take advantage of heating and cooling sources from the earth itself, the energy required to make the home comfortable is greatly reduced.
During the hot months of summer, it is best to prevent the sun from heating the home. The use of sun-blocking shades or blinds keep the warmth of the sun out, or an overhang that produces shade when the sun is high during the summer can help. A great side benefit of this design is the possibility of creating an outdoor living space that is shaded during the warmest season of the year.
Another great home design uses the relatively constant temperature of the earth to provide a comfortable interior temperature. When a home is built into a south facing slope, the first level can be partially underground. This allows enough space in the upper area of the exterior walls for windows, but takes advantage of the natural heating and cooling effects of the earth. If a home is designed properly, the energy required to heat it in the winter and cool it during the summer is minimal.
In addition to the energy conscious solar design of a home, the owner can also take advantage of a thermal heat pump system. While these systems are more expensive to install, they require extremely little maintenance. They work with the use of liquid circulating through underground pipes or tubes. The liquid is pumped back into the home and contributes to either the heating or cooling of the home, whichever is required in that particular season.
Home builders and designers have been taking into consideration the availability of natural sources of free energy for many years. If you are fortunate enough to design and build your own home, there are multiple ways to build energy efficiency into your dwelling. Use the information in this article when you decide to build or upgrade your energy saving home.
May 12, 12
Switching from conventional, polluting energy sources to solar energy is a lifesaving decision and an investment in your future and the future of the planet. When you decide that you want to avail yourself of free solar energy, you are cutting your ties to consumerism and adopting a sustainable lifestyle that does not involve addiction to a destructive source of power. Using clean, renewable solar energy supports the planet and all living things upon it. Even so, there are things that you will want to consider when making the switch to solar energy. By preparing yourself and developing careful habits, you can make sure of having a successful and even profitable transition. Read on to learn how to prepare yourself for the big switch to solar energy.
If you’re able to change your entire house to solar energy at once, you will find that your solar panels are generating a great deal of electricity. If you’re able to exchange of all of your old, energy hog appliances for new and efficient Energy Star appliances, you will make the most of the energy generated by your solar panels. In fact, you may find that your panels produce much more energy than you actually need in your home. In this case, not only will your solar panels pay for themselves by providing you with ample free energy from now on, but also you will be able to sell your extra energy back to the utility company! If you have good, energy efficient appliances, your solar energy system will more than pay for itself very quickly. You will be happy to know, that once installed, there is little or no ongoing expense involved in maintaining a solar energy system.
Even though you will be receiving abundant free energy from the sun, adopting old fashioned energy saving habits is still a very positive thing to do. Obviously, the less energy you consume, the more you will have to sell back to the utility company. This will have the happy side effect of helping those around you go solar. The more solar energy you sell back to the power company, the less energy from polluting finite sources they will need to supply others in your community with power!
Another good reason to develop and practice careful energy use habits is that your system will be able to store energy for extended cloudy periods. In this case, it’s a good idea not to have wasteful energy use habits since you don’t want to run low on power during times when the sun is not bright.
When you make the switch to solar energy, you will surely find a big improvement in your life. You’ll have more money to work with on a regular basis, and in the event of natural disaster or other power outage, your home will still have ample power for lighting, refrigeration, and all the other things we enjoy in modern everyday life. By following the tips presented in this article, you can make the most of your switch to solar energy.
Apr 13, 12
Energy harnessed from the light and heat let off by the sun has actually been used by humans for centuries. Lately, more and more people are using solar energy to provide energy to their homes. Installing solar energy panels on your home is a smart way to save money in the long term on energy costs and will drastically reduce your family’s carbon footprint for as long as you live in your home; however, it may not be right for everybody. Keep reading for some tips on how to decide if using solar energy is right for your family and your home.
Figure out how much energy you use in your home. Collect all of your energy bills and calculate what it costs to heat, cool and provide electricity to your home for a year. Find the average across a few years to get a better idea of what the average is as temperatures and electricity needs fluctuate from year to year. Also think about where your family’s energy consumption is going. If plan to have children or your children are young, you can expect your energy consumption to rise as your children get older and reach their teen years. Installing solar panels on your home is very expensive investment. Consider whether you are already taking all the steps you need to save money on energy. If you are, and your energy bills are still very high, solar panels might be right for your home.
Figure out if you qualify for any incentives for installing solar panels on your home. As part of programs to save energy and help the environmental, many local and federal government agencies offer incentives for people who take the initiative to install solar panels on their homes. Check to see what grants, rebates and/or tax credits you will qualify for if you decide to install solar panels on your home. You might find that it will reduce the initial financial burden greatly. To learn about what is available in your area, call your local energy company and speak to your accountant.
Do you have enough saved to finish, not just start, the project? As stated above, installing solar panels takes a large initial investment. The money savings will come later, and you will make your investment back, but you have to have enough cash to complete the installation before you start. Don’t rely on future wages or money you expect in the future to complete the project, because your situation could always change.
Using solar energy to power your home is rewarding financially and mentally. Your savings will be substantial every month and you will have peace knowing that your energy consumption is coming from a renewable source. The resale value of your home will also increase drastically. But before you decide to install solar panels, you have to make sure it is right for you. Hopefully, the tips in the above article will assist you on making this important decision.
Mar 02, 12
Everyone knows how monstrously expensive it can be to install enough solar power to power your home, even though costs are very low after that. But did you know that you can buy more affordable panels that can power smaller things for you, therefore cutting down your energy costs? Here are a few ways you can use solar energy without powering your entire house.
Use outdoor solar lamps. This can be a great thing to do, especially when you have an outdoor party. Let the lamps charge during the day, and then at night they will work wonderfully. This is also great because you won’t have any cords to trip over or batteries to replace. This is a smart, easy use of solar energy. You can also do this with areas in your home where the lighting could be better. Instead of paying an electrician for new wiring and paying for electric powered lighting, why not just use small lamps that are solar-powered in your home. Because of the money you will save, you can also use more lighting.
Find small devices that you can easily power with solar power in your home. Small appliances like coffeemakers, alarm clocks, and radios can be powered by small solar panels. These panels can cost as little as $40, depending on how much energy you need. Check out your wattage requirements and you will be pleased that you can save money using these devices after all!
When you go camping, small solar panels can be a lifesaver. Don’t want to use up the flashlight batteries? Bring lanterns and power them up with the solar panels. You can even bring a crockpot along for cooking food for a period of time. There is no end to the items you can bring along camping now, thanks to the capabilities that solar panels can provide for you.
Think about using a solar car. This is a bit more expensive than other things, but as with the more expensive solar panels for your entire home, a solar car makes up for it as time goes on. It may cost more at first to buy this kind of car, but when you think of the gasoline costs you won’t be paying, especially as gasoline prices rise in this country, you have to start thinking about whether it is smart to go with fossil fuels or whether it makes more sense to go with a solar car. Look at the costs and you will be gobsmacked at the difference in costs over the years.
You don’t have to power your entire home with expensive panels in order to use solar energy. There are all kinds of things you can use solar energy for, now that smaller panels are available and on the market. You can power more than that solar calculator–you can really make use of solar power every day so that you can make the most of it and save yourself some money while you’re at it.