Every Home should have plenty of Natural Light
In today's built environment, designers are putting more effort into natural lighting for a home, from adding more windows to the positioning of a home for maximum light.
When a house is built, some thought goes into the direction it faces and how much natural light will enter the home at various times during the day. Today, more and more architects, developers and designers are paying attention to allowing more natural light into a home, particularly homes that are designed to be eco-friendly or with green building practices.
Allowing more natural light into the home not only allows a house more access to this free source of energy, but it also reduces heating and cooling over the seasons and, more importantly, boosts the health of the occupants.
You don't need to convert your home to solar power to harness the energy of the sun. Simply opening your curtains allows sunlight and warmth into a room during the cooler months of the year.
Energy provided by Mother Nature
Houses that are built with green building practices in mind are able to lock into the free energy provided by the sun. With clever positioning and innovative roof design, a home should be able to install solar power that can be used for various heating and cooling systems within the home.
If your home is already benefitting from solar power, you will get the most out of this natural resource by monitoring your energy usage and using solar power wisely. Every solar system installation is limited by the amount of sunlight available and the size of the battery storage bank.
- Free Hot Water
Solar geyser systems are very predominant in South Africa, primarily because they offer an expensive - almost free- way to provide a home with hot water. Additionally, many homes don't have access to electricity, and being able to provide hot water without electricity is a huge consideration.
Even those that do have access to electricity should consider installing the option for solar-heated water, and while this is expensive to install upfront, it quickly pays for itself in the long run and ensures a family home has hot water at all times, even during power outages and load shedding. And when you consider that electricity is due to rise in price as a result of recent power crises, being able to reduce your monthly electricity will allow more than a few households to breathe easier.
- Free Heating
When a property is orientated to take full advantage of our beautiful sunny weather and properly insulated, a result of this is the ability to use sunlight to heat our homes during the cooler months of the year and subsequently cut down on costs related to heating a home. Once again, we are looking at how the recent power crises will affect many homes in the future, and being able to harness the power of the sun eliminates the need to switch on heaters.
DID YOU KNOW: Orientating a property allows a home to harness solar power and lower utility costs. Known as passive solar energy, the practise of orienting a building has been around since Ancient Greek and Roman construction. It is a fact that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west and midday sunlight. With this in mind, architects and designers can position a home so the daily and seasonal movements of the sun work to best advantage to increase indoor comfort while cutting back on heating and cooling expenses.
- Healthy Living
The US CDC places high importance on natural light as an essential element for good health. We know that sunlight stimulates the production of vitamin D, which boosts health and reduces stress levels.
DID YOU KNOW: The process of solar gain is a way of describing how much natural sunlight enters a home. By maintaining or planning ahead for solar gain, perhaps by placing trees or large shrubs away from the house, or by planting deciduous trees and shrubs, you allow sunlight (solar power) to warm a home.