Living in the tropics can be….well….tropical!

Heat and moisture are a given in the tropics.  We live with our windows open to take advantage of mauka/makai breezes (mountain/ocean), we use fans to keep our bodies cool through evaporation, and we enjoy sunlight and warm weather 365 days a year.  So how do we ecologically-minded, tropical dwellers deal with the heat and moisture in our homes? 

Skylights and attic fans!

Traditional skylights provide additional light in a room, but in the heat of the day, that heat transfers into the room along with the light.  A technology that, in layman’s terms, “reflects light in a mirrored tube” is the answer.

Ken Sheeks of Hawaii Skylights and Solar Fans explains,

·         Our skylights are 500% more effective than the competitor’s and emit the brightest light and truest color representation possible.  Typical locations to have the skylights installed are in kitchens, offices, bathrooms, laundry rooms, hallways and master closets.  How about additional light in your garage without turning on a light? 


·         They block 100% of the UV and have no heat gain.


·         Our skylights can have extension tubes up to 20 feet without losing any light.  These can be installed on any roof in about 2 hours. 


·         Typically, one of our attic fans can suffice for up to 1200 square feet.  It can reduce attic temperatures up to 30 degrees and ceiling temperatures up to 15 degrees.  This translates to a cooler home without using ceiling fans or air conditioning.  If one still needs air conditioning, the ductwork in the attic will absorb less heat from the now cooler attic.  This makes the air conditioning more effective, reduces run time and lowers the energy bill.


·         Both the skylights and the fans are Energy Star* rated and may qualify for the Federal Energy Tax credit of up to 10% to 30%.  Additionally, the fan may qualify for the 35% State Solar Energy tax credit.  The net cost to the home owner is up to 65%of the purchase price.  Typically, even without the energy tax credit, both pay for themselves within a couple of years in savings on your electric bill.  With the tax credit, it is only several months to pay for themselves depending on your energy usage.  Of course, check with your tax adviser.


·         No home owners’ association (or similar organization) can restrict the installation of any solar energy device.  The only issue an HOA can restrict is the location where the device may be installed - but only if it doesn't reduce the efficiency by more than 25% or increase the cost by more than 15%.


The tropics are a wonderful place to live and “green” home ideas such as this will help us all to keep it that way!

To contact Hawaii Skylights and Solar Fans: 808-345-1779 or www.HawaiiSkylights.comI


*Wondering about Energy Star?  Watch for our green pages next month for more information…


Pages sponsored by EcoBrokers Tanya T Power, RS and Jean Gray, RS