Many times people look for a rustic get-a-way vacation cabin, and find just what they want, but beyond the reach of electrical power. Now they must find a way to get light and heat into their wilderness retreat. Solar energy is the answer, and this article provides information about how to make use of it.
You may think finding some used appliances for your cabin is a good idea, but older appliances are not as energy efficient. Look for new appliances in a small size, but large enough to meet your needs while you are staying at your cabin. Many times appliances intended for an efficiency apartment are ideal for a vacation cabin. You can also search for a small, wood-burning stove to provide a way to cook and heat your cabin. Most of the time, a wilderness cabin is located in or near a forest, and plenty of firewood is available.
Tip: Some energy can be saved by using less water. One way to cut down on water use is to install a toilet which uses minimum water with each flush.
You are going to need energy from at least two sources, one to provide heat and hot water, and another to provide electricity for your appliances. If you install just a couple solar panels, the energy they collect can be stored in batteries and will provide electricity. It is a good idea to have a back-up generator available in case the sun does not shine for several days in a row.
You will need hot water for bathing, cooking and cleaning. Most of the time, a solar water heater can provide all you need. If you need very hot water, it can be heated on your wood fired stove. If you do not want to spend money on a solar water heater, consider installing a gravity fed shower that uses water from an overhead tank that you can fill with warm water before showering.
Tip: Do not assume that green energies are too expensive. The initial cost can be high, but most states will give you interesting tax incentives if you invest in green energies.
Before you even purchase your wilderness cabin, determine how expensive it will be to provide the amount of energy you will need. If the cost is too high, perhaps you should consider finding a vacation cottage closer to civilization. Solar panels can be expensive to install, and take a long time to recoup the cost. This is true even on a house you are living in all the time, and even more so for a vacation cabin.
While you are investigating the cost of fitting your cabin with energy producing products, you will also be locating the least expensive sources. Many items can be found locally, but some good deals may be available online.
Tip: Responsibly recycling electronics is a great way to maximize resources. When people think of green energy they think of alternative energy.
Once you have determined the full cost of purchasing and supplying your vacation cabin, proceed with the purchase if it is within your budget. Once you have spent some time in your cabin, you will discover new ways to live comfortably without electricity. Remember, the pioneers did not have electricity for many years.
A wilderness cabin can truly be a retreat away from civilization, but it also means a vacation from convenience. Once you have made the decision to purchase your cabin, use the information in this article to help provide energy for the most necessary conveniences.
Your hot water heater is one of your most energy-consuming appliances. The first step in using solar energy, for many people, is installing a solar hot water heater. It will definitely cut your electric bill, and pay for itself in 2 to 4 years. If you are interested in trying solar and want to install a solar hot water heater, the following tips can help you on your way.
The panels used for solar hot water are different than the photovoltaic panels used to generate electricity for a home. These are heat transfer panels. This is how they work. Water is piped up to them on the roof. There the sun’s rays heat the hot water, which is then made available for your use, whether for showers or dishwashers or handwashing. These panels are efficient and reliable. However, some people want their water heated to a higher temperature than the solar panels produce, or they use more hot water than they produce. If this is the case, the extra work can be done by electric or gas heat. But for many people, the solar hot water heater produces adequate hot water. There is the added advantage that it makes hot water available even when there is a power outage on the grid.
Tip: Try insulating your pipes to decrease the chances of them freezing and to cut the costs for hot water. Another added benefit is that the government will reimburse you up to 30 percent for using highly efficient insulation in your home.
You need far less roof space for the hot water panels than for PV panels, so almost anyone can find a sunny place on their roof to install these heat transfer panels.
Likewise, it is less important to be in a sunny climate because you need far fewer “solar hours” to produce hot water than to produce electricity for your whole house. Solar hot water heaters have been used satisfactorily in almost every region.
Tip: Use a laptop computer in contrast to a desktop computer. A laptop computer only uses 15 to 25 watts of energy during normal use, whereas a traditional desktop computer and monitor consume a whopping 150 watts.
How many heat transfer panels you will need to install depends on your hot water usage. If you have a 30 gallon tank now, you will need less than if you have a large tank. A professional can help you estimate the square footage of panels you will need.
The panels should be placed where there is the most sun exposure but also as close as possible to your hot water tank. The longer the pipes, the more heat is lost–especially in winter.
Tip: Buy a programmable thermostat. An Energy Star programmable thermostat will regulate your home’s temperature year-round, both day and night.
A solar hot water heater can be used independently of any other solar installation. But once you experience the cost savings from solar hot water, you may want to try using solar energy for other needs. You needn’t jump to using solar energy entirely. There are other partial steps you can take. You can use photovoltaic panels to run your refrigerator or freezer. Besides the cost savings, you will have the security of power even during a grid outage. This can save you a lot by keeping your food from spoiling during an outage. There are other solar products for limited use. One can heat your swimming pool. Solar lights can be used outdoors to light your deck or garden. You can check out what is available by visiting online sites that sell solar equipment.
As you can see, you can start small with solar power and still gain cost advantages. Every time you replace power from the electric grid with solar-generated power, it reduces the burning of fossil fuels and counters global warming.
If you are planning to build a new home, you should consider the advantages of installing a solar energy system to power that home. There are long term cost advantages that are likely only to increase in the coming decades as fossil fuels become more expensive. There is also the reliability of solar energy, and the fact that it is virtually free. It is only the collection and distribution system that costs money. Add to this the satisfaction of contributing to saving the planet from global warming by not burning fossil fuels, and solar is an attractive choice.
When building a new home you can have your architect build in passive solar products to greatly decrease home heating costs. This means installing large windows on a south-facing wall. These windows are specially made to capture the sun’s heat in winter. Double or triple paned windows with gas inside are extremely efficient at keeping heat in. In summer, they are designed to keep sun rays out, keeping your home cooler. “How can they do this?” you may ask. Advanced design of the tilt of the window accomplishes this.
Also, as your new home is built, insulation can be maximized, thus also decreasing your heating and cooling costs. These measures are easier and more cost efficient when building a new home than when upgrading an older home.
Tip: Too often, the water heater allows water to reach a scalding temperature when trying to take a shower. Try turning the maximum heat on the water heater down by twenty degrees, and you will see a definite decrease in electricity costs.
Passive solar will not be enough to provide all your energy needs. You will need Photovoltaic solar panels to produce electricity to power your home, and a solar hot water system using panels that heat the water piped through them on the roof. Your architect can design your roof to maximize the effectiveness of solar panels.
Depending on how much hot water you use, you may need to augment the solar heating with some electric power.
Tip: Talk to your electricity provider and see if they offer an alternative that allows your home to use green energy. Several companies are now using wind or solar power for their electricity, and you can take advantage of this! Call your provider today to find out if you can switch to green energy.
Though the initial cost of installing solar energy systems is high, the long term savings on monthly energy bills is great. It is generally estimated that these savings will pay back the initial cost in 10 to 15 years. Since your system should be warrantied for 25 to 30 years, it is like getting energy free for the last half of your system’s lifetime. You can also benefit from state and federal tax credits given for installing solar energy systems. The current federal tax credit is for 30 per cent of your installation cost, and is good up until 2016.
Check to see if there is an FIT program available in your locality. FIT stands for “feed in tariff.” It means that you can sell surplus electricity to the local power company when your solar panels are producing more power than you need.
Tip: Buying a hybrid vehicle is a good way to save energy, but that all depends on what type of vehicle you purchase. It is always a much better choice to purchase a smaller hybrid vehicle than to purchase a large hybrid SUV.
The ecological benefits of solar power are well known. But consider also the environmental benefit within your home. Because there is no combustion involved in producing solar power, your home is free of toxic emissions, including carbon monoxide. Solar power is quiet. There is no noise of machinery running, as with a conventional furnace.
If you are planning to build a new home, follow these tips. They can help you attain a safe, reliable and cost efficient power system for decades to come.
Having green energy at home is an excellent method of protecting the environment, while saving money. You don’t need to have an electric car, either! The following article contains commonsense strategies you can use to “green” your home right now, even if you’re poor.
If you want to reduce your carbon footprint as well as save some money, do a load of dishwashing only when the dishwasher is filled to capacity. It is wasteful to run the dishwasher with just a few items inside. Pack your dishwasher full, and you may be surprised at the amount it can hold. Properly place your dishes in it so you can fit as many as possible.
There are many government incentive programs you can take advantage of when it comes to green energy. To find out which programs are available in your area contact your local government. You could possibly qualify for wind or solar installation at little or no cost, or you can deduct these kind of expenses from taxes.
Don’t drink bottled water. Bottled water usually is just filtered tap water, and a lot of energy is used in the bottling process. If you want to drink tap water but don’t trust the source, consider buying a filter for your tap, or even a Brita water jug.
Solar power can heat water for a low cost. Consider investing in a hot-water system that runs off of solar energy. Indirect or direct circulation systems are both available. Most individuals will find the indirect option to be their best choice, as this option has methods in place to alleviate the problem of pipes freezing in the coldest months of winter.
You should find an Energy Star logo or seal right on the product, so be sure to look for it. The ENERGY STAR guidelines are set by the U.S. Department of Energy in addition to the Environmental Protection Agency. Products that meet ENERGY STAR criteria are usually eligible for some form of tax rebate.
Check out the quality and condition of your insulation to keep your home warm without hurting the environment. If your home was built more than 30 years ago, you probably require more insulation. Your home will be toastier in the winter, saving on heating costs.
You may want to consider using a geothermal system if you are going to upgrade your heating or cooling system in your home. These efficient HVAC systems include underground pipes that have refrigerant and water running through them. All these pipes lead to a machine that provides heat to the home, or cools it if required. Since underground temperatures remain steady, the system runs more efficiently.
Use lids when cooking to save energy. This helps keep the heat inside the pots, instead of escaping into your kitchen, which allows you to use lower heat settings on the stove.
Those looking to reduce their energy consumption would be wise to make their own ice. The ice maker on your fridge will use a lot of energy to create ice, while they are also likely to break down easily. It is likely that their seals will have leaks as well. Therefore, one way to save energy is to make your own ice.
Opt to receive as much correspondence as you can through email. In short, try to be paperless all the time. This will not only help businesses lower their energy costs, but you as well. In addition, it also protects the environment.
A few examples of energy efficient changes you can make at home are changing your furnace’s filter on schedule, installing CFL bulbs and using a programmable thermostat. Share your tips and ideas with friends and family so they can reap the rewards of green energy! Utilize the tips in this article and put them in place today.
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.
Tip: Get your whole family thinking about green energy by stocking organic, recycled or eco-friendly products whenever possible. Ask your kids to identify such products on the shelves at the store and explain why those products are better for your family, your home and your environment.
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.
Tip: Make sure that your air vents aren’t blocked in some way. Blocked air vents can lead to increased energy usage due to the fact that you will turn up the cooling in your home because you don’t feel the air coming out.
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.
What do you think green energy could do for you? Well, it can help lower your monthly bills because you won’t need to rely as heavily on the city’s electrical grid, plus it helps the environment. How do you approach going green? Keep reading for some tips on how to help out.
You may want to consider using a geothermal system if you are going to upgrade your heating or cooling system in your home. A geothermal system places the pipes underground and filling them with the refrigerant and water needed to heat and cool your home. The pipes then feed into a machine that heats or cools the home. Underground temperature is steadier than the air temperature, making HVAC systems efficient.
Solar batteries should be placed close to solar cells when system installation is taking place. Power can be lost in long cables so this will reduce this possibility. This can reduce chances of cables shading cells and reducing capabilities.
If you’d like to cut down your hot water bill, look into using solar energy. Build a hot-water system based on solar energy. You can select from direct circulation systems or indirect varieties. If you have concerns about your pipes freezing when it is cold, you should pick an indirect one.
Replace a water heater that is tank-style, with a model that is green and has no tank. Instead of keeping a whole tank of water hot at all times, tankless models only heat the water you are actually going to use. There are various options when it comes to tankless water heaters, from heating enough water for your entire home to ones that only serve one faucet.
Periodically check your oven’s seal to ensure that heat isn’t being lost when the oven is running. If your oven’s seal is broken, your oven may need a lot more energy to stay at the temperature you need. Check your oven seal on a regular basis to ensure this doesn’t happen.
Replace your old appliances with new ones featuring high Energy Star ratings. To receive an Energy Star rating from the government, appliances must meet minimum efficiency standards, unlike the non-rated appliances you may currently own. For freezers and refrigerators the rating guarantees 20 percent less energy utilized, dishwashers 40 percent, and washing machines as much as 50 percent less energy used!
Use Eco-friendly lighting. Simply replacing incandescent light bulbs with CFL’s can save money on your electric bills. They can provide the same amount of light as incandescent bulbs but use far less energy. By using this type of bulb, you can make your home more energy-efficient.
Maintain your refrigerator well. Keep your refrigerator in tip-top shape, and running at maximum efficiency, with minimal effort. Clean the dust off of the heating coils on a regular basis. Also, ensure that the door seals tightly and that it is clean.
The insulation in your home can be useful in having a home that is warm and green. Houses older than three decades could use more insulation. Insulating your home will keep more heat in and lower your heating bills.
Thermostat settings should be adjusted according to the season. During the winter, make sure you lower your thermostat, and during the summer, raise it slightly. Doing this in conjunction with utilizing layers of clothing can help you use less energy while maintaining a temperature setting that is within reason.
One easy, common sense tip to save energy is to shot off all the lights when you exit a room. Do this at all times. Just turning off lights helps to conserve quite a bit of energy. You not only save a lot of energy but you save money, as well.
One easy step to save energy is to be sure that your freezer and refrigerator remain in a cool place. Keeping them by heating vents or in direct sunlight raises their overall temperature, making them run longer to keep the contents cool inside.
While many have thought about green energy, not many people invest the effort needed to understand how to use it properly. Now that you have read this article, you should be more aware of the different ways you can include green energy technology at home as quickly as possible.
How can you benefit from utilizing green energy? Well, it can help lower your monthly bills because you won’t need to rely as heavily on the city’s electrical grid, plus it helps the environment. What ways are there for you to be involved? Continue reading for some easy tips that will show you how to assist.
The power-storing batteries of your solar system should be installed close to the cells. Power can be lost over long cables so this will lessen the impact. It also reduces shading of the solar shells. Shading reduces solar panel energy generation.
Carpooling is a great way to get to many places; not only work. Carpooling with other neighborhood parents to transport children back and forth to school not only saves you time, it sames you money. Also, create a joint grocery shopping day with friends or family.
If you would like to live your life green, stay away from excess electric heater usage. Instead, invest in some warm clothing and slippers for family members and use a fireplace or pellet stove to heat living areas. Cool air while sleeping is better for your breathing.
When you’re coming up with a design for your outdoor lighting project, think about getting lamps that are solar powered. These lamps aren’t costly and do not need additional power sources other than direct sun exposure. Not only does this save energy. You also don’t need to hang lights or wires outdoors.
In summer, set the air conditioner at least five degrees warmer. Doing so will save around 20% on your utility bill. Run some fans instead of using air conditioning to cool your home.
Your thermostat should be adjusted depending on the season of the year. Lower your thermostat slightly in the winter and raise it slightly in the summer. Doing this, while adding or removing layers of clothing, will mean that your house uses less energy to maintain a reasonable temperature setting.
Learn the difference between passive and active solar power. Active power can be stored for later use. Passive power must be utilized more quickly but no expensive storage cells are required. If you use active power, you will need to install mechanical systems, solar panels and cells. Passive solar power is simply making use of the sun to keep thermal energy in your walls so you can heat your home.
If you want to have hot water, but at a lower cost, then check into solar energy. You can go shopping for a solar system that will heat your water. It is possible to use either a direct or indirect circulation system. The indirect system is a a great thing to have and you do not have to think about having frozen pipes during the winter.
You may be able to put in a shower head that saves water. This will help you save water. You’ll not only have lower water bills, but you will also help the environment by saving water.
Research the different energy sources available in your community. Look into the cost of operating your home with each of your options, keeping in mind any recent changes to legislation about energy costs. It may be beneficial to switch from electric heat to natural gas heat, or from city water to well water, for example.
Try setting your heat at 61 degrees or less when you aren’t home, or when you have retired for the night. Having the heat set at 60 degrees uses the minimum quantity of energy possible. The resulting effect is energy usage cuts and money saved.
Being aware of the amount of lights that are used in the home can make a difference when embracing green energy. During months that are brighter, do not have lights on after a particular time. Dimmer switches, timers and sensors that are used to reduce light and automatically turn off lights once you leave a room are important changes to incorporate in your home to reduce energy.
Many people consider using green energy, but few actually take the time to learn how to implement it in their own lives. This article has given you lots of great starting ideas to turn your home into an eco-friendly, green paradise.