6 Great Solar Home Improvements that Anyone Can Do

Turn Solar Rays Into Power, and Maximize Savings, Too

solar sunroom

If you’re like most folks, you’re eager to do your part in creating a healthier environment, and you probably wouldn’t mind saving a little extra money. Taking advantage of solar energy allows you to do both at the same time. The power of the sun can be harnessed in a number of ways that will reduce your dependence on fossil fuels, lower your power bills, and even add value to your home. Here are some solar home improvement projects that anyone can do.

Solar Water Heaters

If you live in a sunny climate, installing a solar water heater is a smart move. They’re relatively inexpensive to install, and they eventually pay for themselves in energy savings. They’re quite effective in places with adequate sunlight. Solar water heaters are “passive” solar, which means they don’t rely on mechanical or electrical devices to work. Passive solar applications tend to be very low maintenance, and you can rely on your solar water heater to provide plenty of hot showers for years to come.

Solar Sunrooms

Traditional room additions are costly and difficult to build, but adding a sunroom can give you extra living space at a fraction of the cost, and you’ll be able to enjoy the great outdoors without all the bugs. Call it a solarium, Arizona room, or whatever you like, but it’s a wonderful place to do yoga, enjoy your favorite book, or socialize with guests. And best of all, sunrooms generally require no extra heating costs, as they’re warmed by the rays of the sun.

Photovoltaic Systems

Solar power systems are quickly becoming a hot item among cost-conscious and environmentally concerned consumers. They’re effective in any climate, they provide substantial cost savings from solar, and they reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Plus, they add substantial value to your home. While you can install a solar system yourself, it’s a more involved project than you might think, so you may want to leave the actual installation process to the professionals.

Outdoor Solar Lighting

Outdoor lighting is a great thing. It allows you to enjoy your home’s outdoor space when it’s dark out, and adds curb appeal to your home. It also reduces liability and provides additional security. There are all sorts of outdoor lighting options, but solar lighting is undoubtedly one of the best. It doesn’t increase your electricity bill, it’s safe and easy to install, and it’s relatively inexpensive.

Solar Attic Fan

During the summer, unwanted heat tends to collect in your attic, heating up your house and raising your cooling costs. A solar fan is a smart solution to this problem. Solar attic vent fans are a fairly simple DIY project, and they work the hardest when they’re needed the most: in the blazing sun. Why add to your power bill when you don’t have to?

Solar Swimming Pool Heaters

In warm climates like California or Arizona, having your own swimming pool is a real luxury. The only drawback is that it can be a costly one. The cost of heating a pool can really add up, especially if you’re using power from the grid. Solar water heaters reduce the long-term expense of heating a pool, and they extend swimming season by keeping the water warm enough to enjoy well into the fall.

[Photo Via: Florian Solar Products]