One issue homeowners looking to implement renewable energy always seem to face is what options are available to them and how do they work? The truth is that wind turbines aren’t for everyone and in some cases solar panels will exceed your budget but there are a lot of other products and appliances that might be useful to you and make a big difference in your carbon footprint in the long term.
Here is a quick primer on energy efficient products, including traditional alternative energy producers, that may be able to help you on your way to a more sustainable lifestyle.
A tubular skylight is an energy efficient way to bring natural light into your home. A cylindrical and highly reflective tube is capped with a clear sunlight dome “collector” to channel sunlight and disperse it evenly in a room. Minimal roof penetration is required and they are less expensive and more efficient than traditional skylights.
Solar Attic Fan
Solar attic fans are powered by a solar panel and vent hot air from attics via a fan installed in a gable, roof or wall. By keeping attic spaces cool and well ventilated there is less heat transfer to living spaces, therefore reducing your energy needs related to climate control.
Solar Water Heater
Solar Water Heaters use the sun to heat water in roof mounted collectors. This heated water then heats the potable water for the home via heat exchanger. You can reduce your heating bills up to about 25% by implementing solar hot water heaters in your home hot water system.
Wind turbines harness the potential power of wind by converting the energy of motion of a turbine, driven by wind, into a power inverter. Wind turbines work beautifully in hybrid systems or standalone. The success of a residential wind power system depends on space, wind speed and the amount of energy (kwh per month).
Composting is one of the easiest methods to reduce your landfill footprint and greenhouse gasses by turning your vegetable kitchen waste into rich soil. Using a drum composter can speed this process up considerably and you can use the rich compost for your own garden. Also consider a solar digester for meat, dairy and other non-compostable materials.
Solar ovens cook your food using the power of the sun. Able to reach between 360 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit, they are portable, efficient and completely safe as well as being fuel free.
Solar panels also referred to as photovoltaic modules convert direct, visible sunlight into electricity. They can be mounted on the roof of your home or on your property and can be incorporated into grid-tied or off grid electrical power systems. Solar panels can also be used in portable power systems.
Replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce your energy consumption. They use approximately 75% less energy in the long run. CFL bulbs do need to be recycled properly because they use a small amount of mercury.