The Many Possibilities of Using DIY Solar Power

You can make the most of solar energy with DIY solar power projects that you can do around your home to save money and create a positive impact on the environment.

Maybe you enjoy being handy, or maybe you’re just looking for ways to save money now and in years to come. The solar energy information highlighted here will give you some helpful tips for getting started and great ideas for do-it-yourself projects.

Why Consider DIY Solar Projects?

The benefits of DIY solar projects are multi-faceted but easy to see.

-Return on initial investment in three years rather than 10-15.

-Less damage to environment

-The sun provides an endless source of energy.

-Saves money

-Save on electricity costs and will use less of it overall.

-You can add solar amenities at your convenience.

-Store excess energy to use when needed or sell back to utility company.

-Tools required are basic.

-Quality information often offered for free.

Drawbacks to DIY Solar Projects

The two major objections most often spoken in reference to DIY solar power projects are:

Initial cost of materials – can be expensive for some, even if you’re doing it yourself

No sunlight = no power for the home. It’s true, cloudy days and rainy days are not ideal conditions for using the sun’s energy to power your home. The good news is that there are backup systems available to stand in the gap and provide power for your home even on those “no sun” days.

Easy DIY Projects Using Solar Energy

What projects can you take on yourself without a ton of knowledge? There are hundreds actually, but we’ll list some of the easiest ones here to get you thinking. You’ll quickly realize that solar power is well within your reach if you simply know how to begin.

-Solar Stills – Produce purer water for cooking and drinking.

-Solar fans – for cooling the attic space so that your AC unit doesn’t require as much energy to run (it will run less often)

-Solar panels – build your own to place on the roof, on a pole, or on ground level to capture sunlight and power your home

-Solarize your home by adding passive solar elements.

-Solar water heaters

-Solar powered outdoor lights

-Solar water pumps

-Wind turbine

-Solar wood drying kiln

-Solar battery charger

-Solar oven

-Solar pool heater

Lower Your Homes’ Energy Requirements

You can also make an impact on how efficiently your home utilizes solar energy by doing the following:

-Install Energy Star energy saving appliances into your home to help reduce your overall energy requirements.

-Use fluorescent and compact fluorescent lights to reduce electricity needs.

-Install skylights if possible to take advantage of natural daylight.

-Opt for waterless toilets, composting toilets, or toilets that require less water to operate.

-Learn landscaping techniques that reduce your energy requirements.

-Properly insulate your attic.

-Insulate your windows and doors efficiently.

How To Get Started With DIY Solar Power

First, you must figure out and understand how much power your home requires and how much energy you need to generate. Once you have this knowledge, you can figure out how many solar panels you’ll need to build in order to generate your minimum energy levels.

Seek out your local zoning board and request a permit to install solar panels on or around your home. You’ll also want to contact your local power company to obtain permission to connect your solar panels to the grid.

Obtain a good manual with detailed instructions on how to build your own solar panels or any other beginner’s solar project so you know you have a good blueprint.

Make a list of the items you’ll need to complete each project and estimate the cost of the project before launching it.

You’ll be using free energy from the sun in no time!

M.S. Rochell, Ed.M. is the owner of http://www.Go-Green-Solar-Energy.com which offers practical and affordable solutions for using solar energy at home. Please visit for more tips on DIY solar power and for our free Affordable Solar Energy eBooks.

The Possibilities Offered by Ceramic Flooring

If you want to change the look of a room, you should start with the floor. There are almost infinite possibilities when it comes to flooring options and you should think about all of them before settling on any particular one. For example, you might already have a carpet down. Try taking the carpet up! What lies under it? Do you like it or do you fancy something else? A room does not have to be entirely carpeted in order to be complete. Natural materials such as stone and ceramic offer huge possibilities in the realm of flooring – don’t ignore them.

Ceramic is a particularly effective flooring material. The strong earthen color of terracotta stands out well against pale walls and ceilings and ceramic floors can be as cool or as warm as you want, as underfloor heating works well underneath them, taking the edge off the cold. Furniture is easily moved over a ceramic surface, so when the floor is down and it is time to start moving the couch, you can change your mind as often as you like without breaking your other half’s back.

Ceramics come in a wide range of colors and the tiles are available in a huge variety of shapes, sizes and designs. You can easily design a geometric pattern on your floor, reminiscent of the old Roman houses, or just lay the floor entirely in one color and this will provide a simple yet dramatic contrast within the room. A dark floor of terracotta will provide a simple yet impressive contrast with pale walls and a floor tiled entirely in white will stand out well against darker walls and ceilings. If you intend to decorate in a geometric or cubist theme, then continuing this onto the floor will be an interesting detail. Not everyone will notice, but those that do will be impressed.

Particularly in a large room, the wide expanse of floor can seem a little overwhelming under certain circumstances, so you should consider breaking it up with area rugs. These can be in colors, shapes, designs and textures which complement or contrast with the floor’s color and/or design, thereby continuing the theme. Apart from their use as part of the room’s grand design, they will also give you something to warm your feet on at night or first thing in the morning, when tiles can still be rather cold from the lack of sunlight or heat.

The design of a floor is often overlooked when decorating a room but the truth is that, when done properly it can have a huge impact on the look of the room overall. Given the amount of space taken up by the floor, it is better to keep any design quite simple, and put the details into the furniture, artwork, fixtures and fittings. Furniture, etc, is easily changed, but pulling up an entire floor of tiles is rather more work and a lot messier. Keep the floor simple – a black and white geometric design is as complex as you need to get and put the details in above floor level.

Save your interior design budget with these rugs online.