Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Perhaps one of the easiest ways to have a more green home and reduce the amount of electricity you use is through daylighting. While it may seem an obvious concept to some to simply open the windows and let the natural rays of the sun illuminate your rooms, it is actually not a habit the majority of people adhere to. 20 percent of the average household's electricity consumption will come from indoor lighting fixtures alone, and you can reduce this significantly for at least the daytime hours by taking advantage of daylighting.
There is more to daylighting than simply drawing aside the shades and opening the blinds, and while those are two easy measures you can take there are other things you can to do to up the benefits you can get from the sun's rays. In addition to opening all the windows in your home to let the light shine through you will want to keep those windows as clean as possible so that no dirt or grime is blocking what could be making your home even brighter. So scrub down those windows and sliding glass doors, or make those kids do it; I know I had plenty of chores growing up! Another item that could be dimming the light you receive from your windows is your screen, particularity if it is of a darker mesh. If you don't mind it, take down the screen and you will significantly increase the amount of available light; in fact you will get around 25 percent more light from this alone.
Once you've gotten your windows or any glass doors attended to in order to make your home more green and reduce the amount of energy you are using you can then turn to the things inside your house. This includes allowing the light coming in to be reflected across the rooms as best as possible by painting the walls and window sills either white or another lighter, pale shade. White will be the best color of choice, especially for the sills, but if that doesn't necessarily fit the best with your decor you can opt for a different lighter shade. You will also want to keep in mind that different windows will give you varying amounts of light throughout the year and even throughout the day. The direction in which your window faces will then help you to plan just how to best to arrange the furniture in your rooms or what purpose that room will serve.
As a rule of thumb windows that face the south will give you the most abundant amount of light for your more energy efficient home. They will let in the most amount of available light during the winters but reduce a harsher or direct glare from the sun during the brighter summers. Windows pointed north are second in line for allowing a good amount of light and not too much glare or added heat during the summers. Eastward windows will light up a room most in the mornings and similarly those facing west will have the most light in the evenings as the sun sets. Finally, if you don't mind a little home construction you could put in place a skylight or other similar apparatuses to reap even more rewards from daylighting.
The efforts to become a more ethical consumer and reduce your own carbon footprint for a more green home don't have to be drastic or even involve going that far out of your way. Daylighing consists of rather easy and practical measures and it is possible of cutting back the amount of electricity you use in your home from indoor lighting fixtures significantly. So let in the sun and it will be smiling down on you; so too with Mother Nature.
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Posted by Caitlan Chok at 4:19 AM