Monday, August 7, 2017

4 Ways to Lower Your Energy Bill This Summer


Summer heat comes withs its own energy challenges, especially when it comes to keeping your home cool and comfortable. And though the days are longer, it doesn’t mean you can forego the use of electric lighting in dark, land-locked rooms. In fact, you may choose to use electric lighting during the day so you can keep your blinds closed against the hot rays of sun baking through the glass.


But you don’t have to decide between well-lit rooms and a cool home, nor does your electric bill have to soar with the rising mercury. Here are four ways to brighten your home and keep it cool, all while reducing your energy bill.

Tube Skylights

VELUX SUN TUNNEL Skylights are tubular skylights that can bring light to rooms where windows or traditional skylights cannot fit, such as small closets, bathrooms, and hallways. Tube skylights eliminate the need for electric lighting during the day, reducing your energy bill. They can also bring extra light to rooms where the shades are drawn across the windows because you won’t have to worry about heat gain. While the standard model has minimal heat transfer, with the energy efficient diffuser upgrade, you can leave behind all worries of heat transfer into your home while still enjoying natural light.


Venting Skylights

VELUX Fresh Air Skylights are operable skylights designed to vent out hot air that naturally rises to the ceiling. It also allows an influx of fresh air for healthy air circulation. Best of all, these skylights can be solar powered, so they require no wiring and won’t add to your energy bill. In fact, they may help lessen your need for air conditioning by passively cooling your home.

 

Skylight Shades

If you’re concerned about the hot sun beating through your skylight, then consider skylight shades. They can be closed during the heat of the day to keep your home cooler. The VELUX Skylight Shades can also be solar powered to eliminate the need for electrical wiring. Solar skylight shades work excellently in combination with a solar powered venting skylight to keep your home cool and lower your energy bill.

 

Solar Attic Fans

SunRise Solar Attic Fans actively pull hot air out of your attic using only the power of the sun. By keeping your attic cooler, they also help keep your living space cooler, reducing the need for air conditioning. With its low profile design and whisper quiet operation, you’ll hardly remember it’s there until you see your energy bill savings.

 

Along with cutting your energy costs this summer, the solar powered skylights, shades, and attic fans currently qualify for a 30% Federal Tax Credit on both the product and installation price.

It’s the perfect time to check out these products and start saving. Call Naturalight Solar today to ask about how you can cut costs and say cool this summer.
Take a look at naturalightsolar.com, or call (707) 527-5330 for more information.


Naturalight Solar is a VELUX certified 5 STAR Dealer.
We are a team of dedicated skylight installers and day-lighting specialists.


Friday, June 30, 2017

Happy Fourth of July


A Nation’s Strength
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1904)


...Not gold but only men can make
A people great and strong;
Men who for truth and honor’s sake
Stand fast and suffer long.

Brave men who work while others sleep,
Who dare while others fly...
They build a nation’s pillars deep
And lift them to the sky.
~~~

Our office will be closed Monday, July 3 through Tuesday, July 4.We will resume our regular hours on Wednesday, July 5. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Cool Your Home with VELUX Fresh Air Skylights

Is the heat getting to you? Find out how venting skylights use physics to cool your home.



Ready to have venting skylights installed in your own home and feel their cooling effects? Give us a call today for a free estimate at 707-527-5330.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Before You Buy: New Home Skylight Checklist

The spring housing market has sprung! If you're looking for a new home, it's easy to be overwhelmed by all the details to consider. If the home you're interested in has skylights, it's important to find out their condition before you buy.

Here's a checklist to help you find out the condition of the skylights and if it might be more costly than usual to replace them, if necessary: 


·      
Perhaps most important, look for signs of past water damage or discoloration on the frame and the ceiling around the skylights. This is a sure sign that the skylight will need repair or replacement, if the work has not already been done. 

Example of water damage on a sheetrock ceiling.

·       Find out how old the skylights are: skylights usually don't last more than thirty years, less if they are not high quality.

·       Are they plastic bubbles or flat glass? If they are dual-paned, lowe3, tempered glass they will be more energy efficient. 

The white skylight is an example of a plastic bubble,
while the near skylight is an example of flat glass.

·       Are they operable skylights? If so, do they open and close properly?

·       What size are the skylights? If they are unusually large (over four feet in both dimensions or over six feet in one dimension) or unusually shaped, they will be expensive to replace, and it may even be difficult to find someone who can or will replace them. 

·       How steep is the roof and what is the roof material? It is more difficult, and so more costly, to replace skylights on especially steep roofs and roofs that are a material other than composition shingle. 

Example of a Composition Shingle Roof.
Example of a Curved Tile Roof.  

Example of a Standing Seam Metal Roof.
Example of an especially Steep Roof. 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Part Four: Four Reasons You Need More Natural Light

Last week, in part three, we looked at how having more natural light can Reduce Eyestrain and Headaches. If you missed it, you can read it here.

This week we will look at how having more natural light can make A Happier You.

Studies have shown that employees and students in buildings full of natural light are happier, healthier, and more productive than those who are working under electric or fluorescent lighting.

Ever heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)? During the winter, people don't receive as much Vitamin D from the sunlight and can suffer the consequences, such as depression. A similar problem can occur year round if you spend a lot of time under artificial lighting rather than natural sunlight.

Having enough Vitamin D is an important way a person can stay in a good mood. And this vitamin has numerous other benefits as well, including immune system regulation, body weight maintenance, asthma symptom control, and helping the brain to continue working efficiently into later life. The best way to increase your body's Vitamin D generation is exposure to natural light.

While no home is the same, you have a plethora of different choices for adding natural light to yours. Skylights are a perfect solution for improving the brightness in any room in your home. Small skylights or tube skylights can even fit into small spaces where you wish you had more light, including bathrooms, stairways, hallways, closets and laundry rooms. Venting skylights can lower temperatures and improve the air circulation in your home. New, high quality skylights are much more energy efficient than skylights from even ten years ago.

 

If your house is dimly lit, it may be time to add natural lighting. Naturalight Solar offers a large selection of skylights to help you live a healthier, brighter life. With our experts here to help you, you can find the right skylight and have it installed in a matter of days.

You can receive a complimentary budget estimate to enhance your home or office 
if you call 707-527-5330 or click here

Thursday, May 25, 2017

In Remembrance

"A hero
is someone
who has given his or her life
to something bigger
than oneself."

~Joseph Campbell



In observance of Memorial Day, the Naturalight Solar office will be closed on Monday, May 29, 2017. 

Part Three: Four Reasons You Need More Natural Light

Last week, in part two, we talked about needing more natural light during the day in order to have a Better Sleep Cycle. If you missed last week's post, you can read it here.

This week we will look at how having more natural light in your life may Lessen Eyestrain and Headaches.

Do you work all day in a space that has little to no sun exposure, instead relying on artificial lighting? Do your eyes blur when you glance from your monitor to another object? Fluorescent lighting and glare caused by contrasting amounts of light and reflections in the environment can cause strain on your eyes that might even cause headaches or migraines.

Adding natural lighting to your home or office may help stop you from squinting at a computer screen or television. The natural lighting is better for your eyes and evenly distributed ambient light can help reduce glare. VELUX SUN TUNNEL Skylights are an excellent option for office spaces, as the built-in ceiling diffuser helps distribute the natural light evenly through the space, perfect for eliminating glare.

If you don't have a way to add more natural light in your work environment, try taking regular breaks from the computer, letting your eyes adjust focus by looking at objects both closer and further away and stepping out into the sunlight for a few minutes several times throughout the day.

Check back next week for the final post in this series.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Part Two: Four Reasons You Need More Natural Light

In last week's post we talked about using natural light to be more energy efficient. If you missed it, you can read it here.

This week we are looking at reason two for needing more natural light: Better Sleep Cycle.

Have you ever experienced trouble falling asleep at night? Or staying awake at school or work during the post-lunch hours? Though it may seem counter-intuitive at first, these feelings of sleeplessness and sleepiness can be caused by the same thing: the type of lighting you are exposed to during the day. For a lot of us, this lighting is electric rather than natural sunlight, and with time, it can have a huge effect on our bodies.

All light, whether it is electric or natural, has what is called a Kelvin color temperature. Most standard electrical lighting is at 3,500 Kelvin, and remains at this level continuously. However, sunlight can reach levels up to 10,000 Kelvin, and changes throughout the day. These changes that occur in natural light throughout the day and night (moonlight has color temperature, too) are what assist our body's in regulating our circadian rhythms so that we have energy during the day and feel relaxed and ready for sleep in the evening.

Spending so much time inside, under unnatural lighting, upsets these natural rhythms, resulting in both sleeplessness and sleepiness. If you feel like your circadian rhythms are out of sync, consider how much time you spend under unnatural lighting and in front of computer and tv screens during the day. Your body might need help getting back in sync by being exposed to more natural light during the morning and afternoon. Try taking your lunch break outside in the sunshine, adding a skylight to your home or office, or turning off the tv earlier in the evening and going for a walk outside.

Check back next week for more benefits of natural light in Part Three.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Part One: Four Reasons You Need More Natural Light

You may have noticed times when you come inside from a particularly bright day and stumble around the house for a few minutes as your eyes adjust to the much dimmer light inside your home. Our eyes are making these types of adjustments all the time, though usually less dramatically. But why make our eyes work harder when we have the option to add more natural light to our lives?

Do you work under artificial lights during the day? Having electric lights on during the day uses up an amazing amount of electricity, and it's also not very good for your health. Adding more natural lighting could make all the difference in your health and mood. There are more risks than you may think by using fluorescent light in your under-lit home.  Fluorescent lighting creates emission of treacherous chemicals like sulfur dioxide, carbon, and mercury into the environment.

We have four reasons for you to consider letting that sunlight into your home. In this first post we will talk about Energy Efficiency & Environmental Impact.

By increasing your home's exposure to the sun with new-age, thermal, energy efficient windows and doors, you will reduce the use of your electric lighting. This reduction of electric lighting and increase in natural lighting has a three-fold effect. Using less electricity, and especially fluorescent lighting, will reduce chemical emissions and your carbon footprint. It will also lower your electric bill, saving you money. And, having fewer chemicals in your environment and exposure to more natural light is better for your health. You could also use venting skylights to not only bring in more sunlight, but also fresh air into your home.

The boons of natural light don't end here, check back next week for Part Two!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Replace Old Skylights Before they Fly Away

      Mother nature sometimes lets us know when we've been neglecting a project by making it impossible to put the project off any longer. This happened to a homeowner recently when their old acrylic dome skylight was blown right off the roof during a storm.


      The old, inefficient plastic skylight was due for replacing anyway. Before another storm could hit, we installed a new, energy efficient, flat glass VELUX Fixed Curb Mount 2x4 skylight. Well secured and durable enough to make it safely through the toughest storms, this homeowner is ready to weather many more winters.

   
      We recommend replacing your old skylight before mother nature begins the work for you. If you're not sure how much life your skylight has left, whether it's in danger of leaking, cracking, or being blown away, you can schedule a performance check-up with Naturalight Solar by calling our office at 707-527-5330 or sending an email to info@naturalight.org.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Celebrate Earth Day in Sonoma County


      We believe in celebrating the earth every day, but Earth Day is a great way to grow awareness and nurture our gratitude for all the earth gives us.
     
      Check out this article from SonomaCounty.com for some Earth Day activities this weekend. From the Quarryhill Botanical Gardens to the Flavors of Spring at Korbel Champagne Cellars to an evening walk and campfire at Spring Lake Regional Park, there's something to inspire everyone.

     
      If you want to make a lasting difference for Earth Day, while brightening your home, consider installing a VELUX SUN TUNNEL in that dark hallway, bathroom, closet, bedroom, or office. The VELUX SUN TUNNEL brings in the sunshine, eliminating the need for daytime electric lighting, thus reducing your electricity usage and your carbon footprint.

Read more about skylight energy savings here.

Submit your free estimate request here.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Sweet Treats for Spring

      Whether you're celebrating the Easter holiday or the arrival of spring, everyone loves a sweet treat. Wondering what delicious dessert to present to your family and friends in the radiant light of your skylight?

Here are our top five picks:



2. Strawberry Sweet Rolls by A spicy Perspective








And Spring arose on the garden fair, 
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley

Happy Spring!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Save Your Home with the SunRise Solar Attic Fan

With warmer temperatures on the way, it's time to prepare and protect your home. Attic temperatures can easily become 30 to 50 degrees higher than the outside temperature and these extreme temperatures can be damaging to your home. 
Extreme heat can deteriorate your wiring insulation, cause the laminate on your plywood to peel off, and bake your composition shingles into brittle chips. It can also damage your possessions stored in the attic.
Reducing attic temperatures and circulating the air will protect and prolong the life of your roof, wiring, and possessions, as well as allowing the living area of your home to remain cooler through the summer. 

The Solar Advantage
Like traditional attic fans, solar attic fans remove hot, stagnant air from your attic, which allows your air conditioner to cool your home more efficiently - cutting your energy costs up to 30% while extending the life of your HVAC. What makes solar attic fans even better is that they require no electricity. That means not only are your operational costs zero, but installation is wire free and a breeze!
Solar attic fans are almost undetectable. With a sleek design for every rooftop, solar attic fans blend seamlessly into your roofline. And unlike an electric attic fan, they are extremely quiet. If it wasn't for the energy savings, you might forget it's there.
Reducing your attic temperature will reduce your energy bills and protect the life of your home. 




Prepare for the summer. Call Naturalight Solar
today for a free estimate:
707.527.5330
Or submit an estimate request online.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

VELUX Skylight Hail Test

If you were wondering how durable VELUX Skylights are, check out this video from VELUX Australia.
The hailstones in the video are hitting the VELUX Skylight at 106 mph. That's faster than the average pitch of a professional baseball player!


Thursday, March 23, 2017

VELUX SUN TUNNEL Skylights are for All Roof Types


In just one day, we installed one 10" and two 14" VELUX SUN TUNNEL skylights to dramatically brighten the kitchen and bathrooms of this Sonoma County home. Standing in close proximity to surrounding two story homes which shade the windows, the Sun Tunnels bring in additional natural light from the sunny rooftop without compromising privacy. 


The rooftop photos show the clean look of the Sun Tunnels on a flat tile roof. Sun Tunnels can be installed on all roof types, though some require additional labor and special flashings. However, in most cases, the tubular skylights remain the most efficient, effective, and affordable option for bringing natural light into your home. 


Monday, March 20, 2017

Get the Sunshine without the Allergies

Spring has arrived!


It's been a tough winter, with flooding, mudslides, hail, thunderstorms, and just plain cold, dark, dreary days. We are much better for the rain, but now spring is in the air, bringing with it a certain sweet aroma that lifts the spirit.

Step outside and breathe it in!

Unless you have terrible spring allergies, then please, stay inside and save yourself the itchy, sneezing agony. But don't give up the warm spring rays of sunshine; bring that light inside! With a VELUX SUN TUNNEL Skylight.

Installation is a breeze; in just two hours you could be sitting in your very own ray of sunshine. 


Want to know more about VELUX SUN TUNNEL Skylights?  Visit our blog post: What are SUN TUNNEL Skylights.
Want an estimate for installation? Submit an estimate request.