A solar-powered home is a great way to save money and energy; however, the thought of installing the necessary equipment and converting your systems to solar power is more than a little overwhelming. But fear not; it’s something everyone can accomplish with the right tools and skills. These 8 DIY solar power home projects are an easy introduction and great first step towards making your home more efficient.
1. Install a solar attic fan
Ventilating your attic will save money on your utility bill. Take a weekend to install a solar attic fan or two on your house so the fan can draw the heated air out of the attic. Be sure to install vents in the soffits to allow cooler air to be drawn in. The HVAC will not have to work as hard to cool the house as the hot air is removed.
2. Make your own solar oven
Have fun, make a science project and cook at the same time by making your own DIY solar-powered oven. Line a box with heavy foil with the shiny side showing, and glue it in place. Place food to be cooked in a black pot; the pot should be set inside an oven bag and rested on a trivet. This allows heated air to pass under the pot. Place the bagged pot inside the box and point the box’s foil flaps at the sun to reflect the rays into the box. Food will cook, but not burn.
3. Install solar-powered outdoor lighting
Light up the garden, patio or walkway by installing solar-powered stakes. No wiring required. You can also use them on the patio for party lighting. Install a solar detector on porch lights; the light will turn on at night and off during the day. For security, install a solar-powered motion detector light or two. The area will light up if someone comes within sensor range; this is a great deterrent.
4. Utilize rain water when possible
Use a solar-powered water pump to water the lawn, shrubs and garden. Insert the pump into a rain water barrel. Turn on as needed; the water and power are free.
5. Install a solar power kit
A solar power kit for your home will reduce the amount of power you draw from the grid. You can add panels and other items to the system as your time and funds permit.
6. Add solar-powered air conditioning units where needed
If your home has trouble cooling certain rooms, install a solar-powered split ductless air conditioner in each of them. The only construction techniques are drilling a hole in the wall to the outside and to hang the unit on the inside wall. The outside condenser will rest on a stand or slab. In the event of a power outage, this room will still have air conditioning or heating.
7. Install solar tube lighting
To reduce the use of electric lights, install solar tubes in the attic into the rooms below. There are models that include fans and some have solar powered lights that work at night as well.
8. Switch to a solar water heater
We all use hot water during the day and night. Build a solar water heater for coffee, tea, cooking, bathing or for the entire house. You can heat up to a gallon at a time by painting a glass jug black and placing it in the sun. Build a larger scale heater using pipes, an insulated box with a glass cover and pumps connected to the water heater; this can provide hot water to the entire house.
The amount of money you save each month will depend on the amount of grid power not used for things such as cooking, heating water, lighting, and so on. You can reinvest your savings by purchasing energy saving appliances, insulated doors and other building materials. You can set and reach a goal of having the most energy efficient home in the neighborhood.
Post Author: andyc.