IN Pine-Richland Spring 2018 - Page 37

SPECIAL SECTION HOME IMPROVEMENT according to the state Department of Environmental Protection. The main type of technology used to turn sunlight into energy is photovoltaics (PV). You’ll see PV devices in fields or on the rooftops of homes where panel cells absorb sunlight and create an electric field that allows electricity to flow into the home. Individual PV cells, each producing up to two watts of power, are connected to form different- sized modules to fit any home’s needs. The module is then connected to an electrical grid, converting direct-current electricity into alternating-current electricity that is used to power your home. Although Pittsburgh may seem to be often cloudy, there is enough sun to make investing in the technology worthwhile. • Smart windows with auto tinting: Gone are the days of having blinds to dust, with the introduction of auto-tinting windows. Newer on the market, smart windows are equipped with sensors that can read room occupancy, sunlight, and weather conditions to tint your windows appropriately. While they are still a somewhat costly option, manufacturers are marketing them as a way to save up to 20 percent on monthly energy bills. • Going solar: The cost of going solar has dropped every year since 2009, providing more homeowners with the option of harnessing solar energy to power their homes. Solar installations are increasing in Pennsylvania, but solar currently produces less than one percent of net electricity generation, THINKING OF MAKING THE INVESTMENT? BE SURE TO FOLLOW THESE TIPS: 1. Shop around – As you would for any big purchase, shop around for quotes. Your first contractor may not offer you the best price for materials and installation. 2. Do your research – There are many different options of solar panels for your home. Assess your electricity needs to determine how many panels would provide you with what you need. Whether it be solar panels installed in your yard, or solar shutters on your windows, there are several options available. 3. Look for savings – Tax credits and incentive programs are available for those looking to lessen their carbon footprint. Continued on next page > HARDSCAPE • Driveways • Fireplaces/Fire Pits • Retaining Walls • Patios/Walks • Lighting/Fencing • Outdoor Living Areas • Outdoor Grilling Stations For Outdoor Living Areas, we provide in-house electrical, plumbing and gas services. SOFTSCAPE • • • • • • Design/Planting Water Gardens Mulching Thatching Aerating Lawn Cutting Services With coupon only. Expires 12/31/18 With coupon only. Expires 12/31/18 With coupon only. Expires 12/31/18 PINE-RICHLAND ❘ SPRING 2018 35