As the days and nights become cooler with the changing seasons, you might be noticing that your new home has some drafts or that the charming older character home that you’ve purchased with the beautiful original windows is getting a little expensive to heat. One way to cut down on the drafts and the energy costs is to have your new home fitted with storm windows.
Storm windows create a barrier of air between themselves and your windows; this works like a dual-pane window, the two panes hold a dead space of air between them as insulation. Due to this insulating factor, the storm windows also help cut down on condensation and window frame deterioration from water damage. Less condensation can also help with winter mildew and mold problems.
Storm windows can come in an interior or exterior variety; each of these types has its own pros and cons so that your storm window choice should reflect your particular home needs. Interior storm windows come in a variety of types and complexities, ranging from a simple film taped over the inside of the window frame to the more complex magnetic seal acrylic glazed models.
The cheapest and easiest option, though least flexible once you have it up, is the thin plastic film version. This type is installed with double-sided tape to hold the plastic film to the inside of the window and then with a hair dryer you heat shrink the plastic film so that it’s tight across the window so that you can see out more clearly.
The only real problems with this system are that it is possible to damage the paint around the window from when you remove the tape, the film can easily be damaged by small children or pets, and that you can’t open the window at all when the film is up. Plastic film is a good option if you’re looking to replace the drafty windows in your new home in the future but don’t have the time or money to accomplish this before the winter hits this year.
More expensive systems are made from acrylic sheets and installed with magnetic or snap seals to the inside of the window. These are much easier to install than an exterior storm window and more durable than a plastic film. Interior storm windows are easy to install, particularly on upper floors where it can be awkward to install them on the outside of the home.
Exterior storm windows can be temporary or permanently installed. Most commonly they have wood or metal frames with glass or acrylic glazing. While the fact that they don’t change the interior look of your windows can be a desirable trait, they can be a hassle to install on homes with multiple stories.
Whichever option you choose, storm windows can really help cut down on the chill when it gets cold and as a result can significantly cut down on your heating bill this winter!
More and more, everyday individuals like you and me want to use more efficient ways to make renewable energy. When you consider the expanding costs of fossil fuels, going green is quickly becoming a realistic option. The Do-It-Yourself energy movement has quickly become one of the fastest and best ways to save money and aid the environment. Making solar panels has never been easier. Not to mention that it’s cost effective and fun.
There are numerous ways to make a solar panel, none of which is all that hard. Depending on the type of materials you use, your solar panel should cost about 200 dollars.
You have a choice of multiple types of materials when you make homemade solar panels. Your first major expense will be to buy the solar cells. Recently on Ebay a search showed tabbed solar cells for about $1.80 each and untabbed solar cells for about $1.10 each.
Plywood might be your least expensive material to purchase, and you may even have some lying around the side yard already. However, rather than plywood, I would suggest using a sheet of white or black plexiglass. It’s lighter, much nicer looking, and will last longer. You can most likely find the size you need at your local hardware store or it can be bought online.
Once you have the back of your solar frame, you’ll have to put a frame around the edge. You can use either aluminum C frame material or wood. Aluminum is more expensive, but it will last a good deal longer and weather the elements better.
Your final piece of the puzzle is the cover. Some people use a sheet of glass. I would not suggest using glass, simply because it’s so fragile. Clear, UV-protected plexiglass is the best option. Make sure, however, that it is UV-protected or it will turn yellow and reduce your panel’s effectiveness.
As you begin your project, plan out each phase and put your plan into writing. You can easily make solar panels with the right guide book. The right manual will help steer you in the proper direction to make good decisions. Start small and work big. Be realistic in your expectations. Your initial panel, may not be the fastest car on the track, but you’ll improve with practice.
Take the time to plan out your solar panel project. Budget your project and balance cost with longevity. Just because you have an old scrap of plywood lying against the back fence does not mean that you have to use it just to save a few dollars. You may opt for untabbed solar cells to offset the cost of a plexiglass frame over a wood frame. Finally, keep in mind that you will be working with electricity, so have fun, but always be safe.
An increasing number of people these days are turning to alternative sources of energy. It does not come as a surprise, what with fossil fuel prices going up by the day and the rising levels of environmental pollution. Renewable solar power has emerged as the frontrunner among all alternative sources of energy. The power of the sun can be harnessed to generate cheap, clean and renewable energy.
If you are a homeowner looking to reduce energy bills, then renewable solar power could be the right option for you. Making a solar power system for your home too is not that difficult a proposition. These days there are many useful guides available, which come with detailed step by step instructions, using which you, can the system yourself. In fact, the entire process could be weekend fun for the entire family. Let us take a look at some proven tips that can help you produce renewable solar power in your backyard.
Tip #1: You will first of all need to have a detailed plan about how you are going to set up the system that is going to produce renewable solar power for your home. Once you have got the plan, then you must get ready all the materials to make up for the various components that will go into making one. Plexiglass sheet, wires, solar cells, plywood and silicon sealant are some of the things that you will need.
Tip #2: You should choose the right location for placing the solar panels in your home. The place should be such which receives plenty of sunlight throughout the year. Ideally a terrace, balcony or a sprawling lawn are good places to place solar panels.
Tip #3: Make sure that using renewable solar power is allowed in your area. The rules generally differ between cities and it is always better that you check with the local authorities.