Invite the Sun into your Home during Winter

Invite the Sun into your Home during Winter

- in Home Improvement
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Green and affordable home heating solutions

Who can blame you for using a bit more energy and gas when the winter comes along? Nobody likes being cold all the time and it slows down your productivity on every level. But there’s a consequence for keeping the house warm, and it involves the well-being of the environment. How do we find a balance between staying warm during the winter, while preserving Mother Nature?

The answer is simple really. Just turn your home into an energy efficient building, mainly dependent on the sun. If you consider that about 84 Terrawatts of power is provided by that big ball in the sky throughout a 24 hour day (the world requires about 12 Terrawatts at the moment), and it will keep sending energy for the next 5 billion years, it’s the perfect power source. When you break it down into a square meter, you’re looking at 164 Watt over the course of the day. Quite impressive for something that doesn’t intrude on the environment, you don’t have to pay for, and it’s never-ending where humans are concerned.

Here are some affordable and green ways to invite the sun into your home during winter, and heating it up like never before.

Start Small

Before you start putting together a shopping list, why don’t you save loads of money just by inspecting the house first? Simple little things like windows that never close properly, holes in the ceiling, roof or walls, cracks and leaks, they can all make your home the perfect place for a draft. The only thing subzero temperatures need is a small gap, and it will turn your house into a freezer. Insulating the roof is also a very good idea to keep heat inside the home.

Think about it this way, if you can stop all the tiny drafts now, whatever you install to heat the house will work with more efficiency.

Get Energy-Efficient Windows to Let the Sun in

Energy-efficient windows are a form of passive solar energy collection. It lets the sun in and keeps the cold out. Butthe best part is that you can either install new energy-efficient windows if you feel your current windows are too old, or you can upgrade the windows you already have.

If choose to install new windows, then it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with their performance ratings. Seeing as these types of windows come with a special solar control coating, you can use the ratings to tell which windows work best with your climate and house.  

Everything about a window speaks to its efficiency, and if installed or upgraded correctly it can do wonders for the lighting and heat inside your home.

If you want to upgrade your windows, you can think about adding storm windows. These will reduce leakage substantially, and you can make it even more efficient by adding a special treatment to the window, which locks the heat inside the house.

Install Heat Pumps to Warm Up the House

Heat pumps are incredibly popular, because they overcompensate for the Btu of electrical energy they use. Yes, they are powered by the grid, but for 1 Btu of electricity, you get 3 Btu of heat. These are incredibly efficient due to the 1:3 ratio, also making them environmentally friendly.

There are two types of heat pumps. One uses heat that’s collected from the air, while one collects heat from the ground. The latter is slightly more efficient with a ratio of 1:4. Both of these use refrigerator technology to compress all the heat that’s collected from their respective sources, and spreading it into the house through a duct system or pipes.

Install a Solar Geyser to Keep the Water Hot

Solar geysers come in many packages these days and in many sizes. You can choose between the common solar panel design or an evacuated tube collector, and you can even use your own tank if you want to. Whatever you choose, it’s definitely going to cut down on greenhouse gasses.=

How much energy does a panel put out and how many do you need for a geyser? Everything depends on where you live, the efficiency of the panel and the size. But to give you some idea of what to expect from a single quality panel, it generates about 200 Watts. The more panels you connect, the higher the energy capacity goes. For a 200lt geyser one panel is enough to heat the water.

Obviously there are many more ways to utilize solar power in and around your home, but just starting somewhere is sometimes better. Why wait when you can do something to help the environment now?

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