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  • Tanning stickers can be a fun experience. Be sure to test them out first to avoid any allergic reactions.



Solar energy is the light from the sun which produces heat and for thousands of years has been controlled by people using many different techniques. We can now heat our home, heat water, pools and cook with solar energy. Using a solar heating system will help to reduce the costs of heating and cooling the home. Additionally, it will also reduce the amount of air pollution and greenhouse gases that result from using fossil fuels such as oil, propane and natural gas that are used for the electricity that runs the furnace and air conditioner. Today, homes can be designed to gather, store and then distribute solar energy in the form of heat in the wintertime and not accept solar heat in the summertime. This is called “passive solar” because the homes heated and cooled in this manner do not use electrical devices (pumps and fans). Passive solar homes can either be heated by the sun in entirety or by just facing the home to the south. Depending on what climate the home is located in will determine the best way to use passive solar design. Using a large glass window facing south from 9:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. would be one area of design for the home. If the home is made up of a dark-colored roof and/or siding material it will absorb the heat much better than lighter-colored materials. The physics relating to what the floor or wall composites are made of. Will it be a “thermal mass” of material that absorbs the heat?


Another thought for the design would be the method used to allow the solar heat to circulate from the collection and storage points throughout the house. In this case, the use of fans and blowers will be helpful. The design of the home would also have to compensate for getting too hot during the summer months. Landscaping can help with keeping the heat down by planting trees and shrubbery near the home and by incorporating roofs that overhang and awnings. How well the solar system performs, its quality and durability greatly depends on two things. The installation should be done by an experienced contractor who designs and installs the system. Once the system is installed set up a calendar with a list of maintenance jobs figuring about 8-16 hours average for the entire year.


A solar system for your swimming pool alone is one of the most economical uses of solar energy. It allows you an extension of the season for more swimming months and gives you more control over water temperatures with no increase in operating costs. The most practical step in extending the season for swimming is to use a pool cover. The heat you gain by using a solar system can be lost by 70% through evaporation without the cover. There are great looking blue covers, but by using the transparent kind, the pool will actually heat more quickly and they last from two to five years so they pay for themselves. Once again, make sure you are careful in choosing a contractor. Take the time to check his credentials, i.e. license and insurance; call his most recent customers and check the warranties on the equipment. One last note is to check with your insurance carrier for coverage on this system.


In the past we used a solar system and it was great for heating the pool, unfortunately at that time they used glass panels and we lived on a golf course. Yup, you guessed right, it only took one golfer with a very bad hook to put one of the four panels out of commission.


Now it’s time to get out in the sun, relax, read, play or swim, but do enjoy the day!


-Ms Suntan

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