When it comes to green living technologies, solar energy is one of the most popular and most accessible solutions. Solar homes bring important energy savings to their owners. But what is a solar home? The answer is rather simple: a solar home is any home that features solar technologies or is retrofitted for solar power. While it requires you to invest some time and money into its creation, it is one of the most effective sustainable living ideas.
There is a big focus on the environmental negative effects of fossil fuels used in cars and for power production. As this ecological concern has increased, the interest in green living technologies such as solar energy has also grown, because solar energy reduces power consumption. There are many solar technologies specially designed for homes, as well as many elements that harness solar energy.
- Solar Panels for Homes
Being some of the most popular sustainable living ideas for homes, solar panels are recognizable by the bluish-tinted shape. This kind of solar system employs various types of solar cell. The monocrystalline cell panels are the most efficient solar home panels, but they are also the most expensive because they are made of silicon wafers cut from the same silicon crystal. There are also other options, such as the polycrystalline cell panels, which are the most commonly used, and the thin-film panels, which are the less effective ones. Among the advantages of solar homes there should be mentioned that they diminish the power costs of the house and they are eco-friendly because they do not produce carbon dioxide.
- Solar Water Heating for Homes
There are many ways to integrate solar water heating for your house. How does it function? The cold water passes through a solar collector that heats the water and then directs it into a storage tank. Flat-plate collectors, batch systems and evacuated tube systems are just a few examples of solar collectors. Also, there are two types of solar water heaters: the ones with a passive system where water is moved by gravity and the ones with an active system where pumps are used. The potential structural forces of these systems require professional installation. However, there is another type of heater that can also function on solar energy; some infrared heaters can store solar energy as well, and they can be very useful for patios or terraces, or any outdoor social spaces. You can learn more about them by reading infrared heater reviews, and you will find out how much autonomy they’ve got, and when they are most advantageous to use.
- Design Elements
A passive solar requires the use of materials and design of a home to take benefits from the heat and light provided by the sun. Do not expect for every element of passive solar design to function for every environment. Houses from places with long winters, extreme cold and short periods of sunlight should stick to traditional home designs. Solar energy is better captured if the panels are oriented to the south, because southern exposure increases the time when the sun lightens the panels. It is also advisable to have larger windows and materials that absorb solar energy on the more lightened portions of the house, because this way heat is better retained in the structure of the house during cold weather. To diminish the effects of excess heat during summer, you can shade these windows with overhangs.