Energy efficient homes are becoming increasingly popular, especially as more people convert to solar energy.
• Solar radiant heating is a great way to get start. These collectors are placed on the roof, with a batch-type water collector placed above them, and are capable of heating and collecting an astonishing amount of water. This water can be used for a variety of things from heating water in the house, to pools, to air conditioners, and even heating floor coils. While many solar hot water panels collect only enough energy for one to two days, they can also be set up on a seasonal system where they can collect radiant energy for an entire season.
• Photovoltaic panels collect electrical energy rather than radiant energy. These are often placed on roofs and help to offset 75%-100% of annual energy usage. While the energy can be transferred directly to the needed energy source, it can also be stored in batteries. If the solar panels are on grid, the energy can be sold back to the utility company. Photovoltaic panels can produce enough energy for an entire household of energy needs, and can even extend into the garden. Rebates offered by the government for both hot water panels and photovoltaic collectors can cover up to 70% of the initial costs, which generally pay themselves off within a few years of installation.
In addition to various solar collectors, there are other things that can make houses energy efficient.
• Strategically placed windows help use the sun more efficiently in the home’s interior. In the Northern Hemisphere, a large portion of the sun’s rays flow from the south, allowing for the house to collect the optimum amount of sun throughout the day. In addition to the rays hitting solar collectors, sunlight will flow through the windows providing natural lighting and heat.
• High quality and professionally placed installation can also increase energy efficiency. Just as insulation keeps heat in, it also keeps heat out in the warmer months. This means that in the summer you are cooler, while in the winter you are warmer. Cellulose insulation is made from recycled cardboard which is even better for the environment. Energy saving windows are double paned which works as an insulator as well.
• Energy Star appliances are a terrific way to complete energy efficient homes. These appliances are certified to use less energy while still performing at an optimum level.
With the use of solar energy, biodegradable goods, and recycling and energy efficient products, every house can be completely energy resourceful.
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