Building Materials

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Building Materials

´╗┐Tips For Using Solar Energy

As you consider the projects you will undertake as part of your overall home improvement project, consider taking advantage of the sun's energy to save both money and the environment. Even small to medium home improvement projects can incorporate solar energy into your home in an attractive and cost effective way. Installing skylights can cut down on the amount of electricity you use to light your home as skylights provide bountiful natural light throughout the day. Also, if you are adding on to your home or replacing or moving windows, consider placing the windows strategically to take advantage of sunlight to cut down on electricity usage.

Making sure that your insulation is at least up to your local building codes will help your home to retain the sun's heat while preventing drafts as well. Also, take care where you place heavy drapes and open and close them relative to when the sun shines. By letting the sun heat your home during the day with the drapes open and closing them at night to retain the heat, you will cut down on your home's heating costs and energy usage.

Consider a Solar Water Heater

Solar water heaters can reduce natural gas or electricity bills and some come with rebates and tax credits that can further cut the costs. Solar panels, which are connected to a solar water tank are fitted into the roof and heat your household's water through the sun's energy. You won't notice the difference when you turn on the tap because the water finds its way into your existing water tank; the only difference is that your water tank isn't heating it.

Benefits of Passive Solar Energy

You can take advantage of the heat and light the sun offers in a variety of ways without installing expensive solar systems. Anyone can take advantage of passive solar energy without incurring any costs or having to worry about maintenance. In addition, for those who are not able to get out much, the sun is a necessary source of Vitamin D and even though it is far better to spend at least a few minutes a week outside, just opening the shades or blinds to let the sun filter in can do wonders for shut-ins while keeping the room warmer as well.

Other Ways to use Solar Energy

Use the power of the sun's energy outside your home as well. Solar powered lamps make an attractive addition and light your path without using any electricity. During the day, the sun charges the lamp's batteries and when it gets dark they will come on and burn for several hours, depending upon which model you get. Take advantage of every opportunity you have to use the sun and conserve energy.