Make more use of natural light
As we look for ways to reduce our carbon footprint, natural light is absolutely free and in abundance here in South Africa, so let's make the most of it by allowing more natural light into our homes.
South Africans are lucky to have sunshine for most of the year. It makes sense for us to make use of this to light our homes and not only reduce our energy bill, but also reduce our carbon footprint and become more energy efficient.
Here are some ideas for letting more natural light into your home and the way that you live:
A skylight is basically a glazed roof aperture. Being flush with or domed above the ceiling. Today's skylights are less prone to leaks, as long as they are of good quality and are properly installed. You can either buy a skylight as a standard unit and get a builder to install it or contract a specialist company that can design versions to order for a particular finish or to fit an awkward space. You could install the most basic bubble or tube roof light yourself, but only if you are very competent at DIY.
The options for skylights range from small bubble tubes to enormous vaulted skylights that can replace standard roofing. As a way to allow more natural light into an eco-friendly or green home, skylights аrе increasing in popularity, especially in many nеw homes being built.
Smaller bubble tubes are perfect for lighting dark areas in the home, such as passages, bathrooms and bedrooms on the south side of a home. They not only add natural light but also сrеаte an illusion οf space and cut down your energy bill by reducing the need for artificial light in these spaces.
Larger skylights such as Domes, Vaults and Pyramids, while relatively expensive to install, do reduce your overall electricity consumption and become a cost-saving feature over time.
As an investment, a skylight can increase thе value οf уουr home by appealing to buyers looking for an energy-efficient home. Installing skylights іn уουr home іѕ a relatively easy way tο add warmth аnd value tο a home.
If уου′re building a brаnd nеw home, іt’s easy tο include thеm іn уουr initial plans. If уου рlаn tο add thеm tο аn existing home іt wіll bе well worth thе effort аnd thе investment. One οf thе bіggеѕt advantages tο installing skylights іn уουr home: thеу саn transform аn average, ordinary home іntο аn extraordinarily-livable space.
Seamless or sliding doors
Seamless sliding doors allow vast amounts of natural light into a home and invisibly merge indoors and outdoors. This type of door can be installed to replace an entire wall, or a small section, to create the illusion of a much larger space with plenty of natural light.
Frameless doors can be manufactured of timber or aluminium. Suitable for both coastal and inland regions, timber lined doors are more affordable than the aluminium option, and are consider a greener option" as they are 300 times more energy efficient and 100% weather proof.
Bi-fold doors are a more affordable way to increase the amount of natural light into a space and improve air circulation. Once installed, these doors fold away in an accordian-style to one side of the wall, opening open the space and merging indoors and outdoors.
Sliding doors are the most affordable way to increase the amount of natural light flowing into a room. Additionally, any DIY-er with building skills can tackle the installation as a do-it-yourself project in a weekend. Companies such as Hillaldam supply a wide range of fittings for DIY installation, many of which are stocked at your local Builders Warehouse.
If your house is especially dark, think about installing large windows on the north side of the house, or even sliding doors. Make windows taller rather than wider, to admit more light.
While still the more traditional method of allowing natural light into a home, windows are taking up more wall space to allow in more light. New window technologies have increased energy benefits and comfort, and have provided more practical options for homeowners.
While solar heat transmission through windows can provide free heating during the winter season, it can create an uncomfortable rise in heat during the summer season. Because the position of the sun changes throughout the day and from one season to another, placement and window orientation is an important factor to take into consideration when planning or building a home.
Modern homes utilize more glass than ever before. The trend towards open plan, high curtains and extensive use of glass in homes has become the preferred standard. Glass windows are notorious energy wasters, making homeowners increasingly concerned about excessive glare and heat build up, high electricity costs from air conditioners and weak impact resistance.
Solar film rejects the hot sun in the summer and keeps you comfortable all year round. It also reduces glare while watching TV or looking at a computer screen.
The latest introduction to the window range is uPVC. The frames do not rot, rust or corrode and never need painting or staining. As they do not absorb moisture - they will not warp, twist or split.
uPVC window frames have high thermal and acoustic insulation qualities. Double seals are used between the sash and the frame ensuring excellent weatherproofing. Thermal and acoustic performance can further be enhanced by the use of double glazed units.
Blinds and shutters allow control over the amount of light that comes into a room at any particular time of the day. During the summer months you can adjust blinds and shutters to lower the level of light and keep spaces cooler, or open them to increase natural light during the winter months to warm up a room.
During summer or winter, shutters provide protection from the elements, including the sun’s heat and glare, and insulating rooms from the cold by providing an extra layer of warmth and protection. Shutters can also be used to create more living space outdoors, by sectioning off a patio or garden room, allowing you to spend more time outdoors all year round.