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Solar Power Your Home For Dummies Paperback – December 10, 2007

3.8 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Features the ten best solar investments

Make your home energy efficient and put solar power to work for you!

Want to take advantage of solar power? This friendly, hands-on guide takes the mystery out of this energy source and shows you how to do everything from adding small components to your home to building a solar-powered house from the ground up. You'll see how to heat and cool your home, create solar rooms, install solar lighting, and much more.

Discover how to:

  • Choose the best solar system for your needs

  • Handle small to large solar projects

  • Build, buy, or sell a solar home

  • Finance your solar investments

  • Avoid the worst solar mistakes

About the Author

Rik DeGunther is the founder of Efficient Homes, an energy consultant firm that focuses on home energy audits and the design of efficient heating and cooling systems.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (December 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470175699
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470175699
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #801,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. H. Petrescu on April 19, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a good introduction to how the energy from the sun can be put to practical everyday use. If you don't like to read a lot of technical stuff, this book is for you. Quick, easy reading the non-technical average person. with references for more information. This book has practical projects for the person who already has some knowledge of solar energy as well. If you're looking for a really detailed technical book of how to design and install your own solar collector (electrical or water), better get a different book. My 5-star rating is for those who are beginners or those that have a little knowledge of solar energy.
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Format: Paperback
As an electronic engineer, I originally looked at home solar energy as a chance to buy some cool gear to play with, while saving money in the bargain. As I delved into the book, my outlook changed. I was surprised to find how complex a home's energy use situation can be, and that some money can be saved before connecting a single wire. Even as I later relished the chapters covering solar electricity generation, I still noted the frequent reminders and references to non-electrical aspects of a "solar" home, as well as practical financial and regulatory realities to consider in choosing a system. In short, I came away from my first reading with a much more balanced perspective on solar energy, and I'll continue to re-read as a reference. Of course, I'm still hankerin' after that gear, yet, at least, now I have a better picture of what's really useful. Plus, I'm off to a good start in being knowledgable enough to deal effectively with those installation contractors. Well done!
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I've been looking to build my own solar electric system for a while. Not knowing much about the technology other than what I found by surfing the internet, I felt it was time to get some real information from a reputable source.

I've been a fan of 'For Dummies' books for years: looking around my office now I can see three of them just lying on my desk and a further four in my bookcase. So buying 'Solar Power Your Home for Dummies' was an obvious choice.

I bought two books on solar power: this one and one other, hoping that between them they would provide me with all the information I needed to make an informed decision as to what to do. The other book I found exceptional in that it has given me the technical know-how and the confidence to do the job properly. This book I found shallow and lacking any real useful information.

The information it does give is clearly written, easily understandable and well put together. Unfortunately, it is no more than you can find by surfing on the internet for a couple of hours. I did not have the confidence at the end of reading this book that I could build a solar power system. Furthermore, much of the information is out of date and simply is not covered in enough detail to make it a worthwhile book.

There are far better books around. This is one 'For Dummies' book that I wish I left on the shelf.
2 Comments 37 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
My husband and I have become increasingly consciencious about saving our natural resources. It has been our goal to add solar panels to our house but most of the books out there were not written for the average person. This book answered all our questions in a language we could easily understand. We learned how to make solar power an investment throughout our entire house! How cool is that?

The awesome thing about this book is it goes way beyond explaining the money we can save but includes vital tips on what not to do. I love when a book keeps me from making mistakes. I could go on and on about this book because I'm thrilled I finally have a great reference tool. I am eagerly anticipating creating a home that will actually not take so many of our precious resources from the earth.
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most of what is there was interesting but it wasn't what I thought it would be. It's a facts about solar not a how to get started with your home. It had little solar projects but most of these are on the web anyway.
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I was not impressed with this book. It was not what I was looking for. It should be more appropriately titled "Home Energy Saving Tips"
It did not offer enough practical information on powering your home with Solar.
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This book is really written for dummies! If you want to spend money on a book that clearly and enjoyably scares you away from any do-it-yourself attempt at solar power installation, and instead tells you that you need an expert to do just about everything related to solar powering your home, you are as much of a dummy as I was! Note: This book is highly recommended for dummies with money to burn!
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This book is not helpful. Author suggests buying freestanding solar landscape lights, using a pool cover, and installing window shades. Not exactly what I'm looking for in a book that suggests I might be able to solar power my home. There is not one mention of what gauge wire I should run, what sorts of ways to properly mount photovoltaic cells on my roof, or where to get some of the ancillary hardware to run a DC current. No, I'm told that I can take out a loan against my house to pay for a contractor or settle for a homemade solar oven.

Really, I understand that this is a 'For Dummies' book, but I've had much better experience with other titles in the series. I don't need all the chapters on reducing my "carbon footprint" either. Global warming is a fraud. I want solar because I hate that I am paying taxes to our bloated government on every Kwh that clicks over my meter.

Anyways, if you are looking for a practical manual on how to get a practical DIY home solar system on-line, look elsewhere.
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