A Primer on Solar Energy

When you take a stroll through the community, you may notice that many residents have installed solar pool heating panels in the Villages. In fact, many homeowners all across North Central Florida take advantage of the abundant sunshine to light their homes and heat their water with solar energy. The primer below will tell you how you can take advantage of this free, renewable energy source to lower your utility bills.

Solar Water Heating
Solar pool heaters and water heaters are typically installed in one day, and they allow you to start harnessing solar power immediately. Both use special types of panels called “collectors” mounted on your roof, which heat water before it is pumped back into the holding tank or the pool. You can substantially cut down on your electric and gas bill when you don’t pay to heat the water in your pool or the water you use in your shower.

Solar Energy | the VillagesSolar Powered Lights
You can light your home with solar energy directly or indirectly. Low-profile solar tubular skylights provide a bright , natural, white light by bouncing the light through a mirrored tube before it reaches your interior space, and their unique design filters out harmful UV rays. Solar tubes provide much more light than traditional skylights; and with no fading or heat. You can also indirectly power your lights, and any other appliances in your home, by installing photovoltaic (PV) cells, commonly called “solar panels,” on your roof.

Solar Attic Fans
During hot Florida summers, temperatures can soar in your home’s attic. Elevated temperatures in the attic can substantially increase your cooling bill, damage items that you store there, and even cause the shingles on your roof to buckle and leak. To keep the air temperature cool, you can install a solar attic fan. These low-profile vent units are powered entirely by sunlight, so the fan only runs when the attic is warm. You don’t need to run any extra wires in your roof because the motor and solar panel unit are completely self-contained.

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