Maximizing Solar Power For Your Home

Solar power is one of the best ways to use green energy and to be as energy-efficient as you can. Here are some great tips for making sure that your solar equipment provides you with maximum power and to make sure that you are using it to the best of its ability.

1. Make sure that your system will be facing the sun. The installer should help you figure out the best location for your system, but only you are the one emotionally and financially connected to that decision. The system should be in the part of your property that gets the most sun all year. Most of the places on your property get good sun exposure, but you want to make sure you get the best vantage point.

Tip: Use rechargeable batteries. While they might cost a little bit more initially, they will save you a lot of money in the long run.

2. Think about wattage and how many panels you need. This is a decision that must be taken seriously. If you get too many inefficient panels that are huge, you ruin your chances for replacing them later without another big expense. Calculate how much wattage you use monthly to get an idea of what you will require–but do it based on winter sunshine hours and the most expensive months you have had with your utility company. You want to plan for a worst case scenario so that you are sure that the solar panels you buy will power you adequately throughout the year.

3. Get a professional to put your panels in. There is a lot of talk about putting in your own panels to save costs, which is possible. However, you have to think about costs over time as well. Can you do an installation as good as someone who is paid to do it every day? Are you absolutely sure you know what you’re doing? This is one of the few times that you should not go the cheap way. These panels have to last you a long time, so make sure they are put in correctly so you don’t have to pay more money later.

Tip: If you are wanting to conserve energy and go green, then consider buying a car that uses either natural gas, or is all electric. Both of these sources of energy are far cleaner than burning fossil fuels and reduce your carbon footprint.

4. Maintain your panels well. Solar panels need very little maintenance, but keep an eye on them and make sure they stay clean. You can always have someone come out and take a look at them as well.

5. Before you buy, compare prices and quotes. If there is a wild divergence in prices, find out why. Make sure the manufacturer offers a warranty, and make sure that the warranty is for more than 20 years.

Tip: Check out the Green Power Network website to find out if there is a green power alternative available in your area. Consider switching to green power if there is a good service available in your area and if you can afford to.

6. Talk about your system to your neighbors. A lot of people are uncomfortable with the idea of green energy, just because they don’t know much. But when they find out how much money you are saving, they are going to be much more likely to think about it for themselves.

Using these tips before you install your solar panel system will ensure that you get the best use from solar energy that you can. You will also make sure that you are being as cost-efficient as you can so you can have energy that lasts for years.

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The Many Benefits Of Solar Energy

Most Americans have heard about solar energy being used to supply energy for homes and even businesses, but many are unaware of all of the benefits that solar energy can provide. If you are in this category of people, you certainly are not alone. Fortunately, this article will give you the information you need to better understand what solar energy does for the world and what it can do for you.

The sun emmits a great amount of energy, to a degree that most people can not even comprehend. And then that energy travels for millions of miles to reach Earth, and after it penetrates our atmosphere it still has a lot of power behind it. Because of technological advances we have been able to figure out how to harness this energy and put it to use to power homes, businesses and various machines. The best part of this energy is that it comes to us, therefore we do not need to cause any damage to the Earth or our atmosphere to put it to use. Other than creating the tools to harness this energy, there is no carbon footprint involved. This is why scientists refer to solar energy as a renewable energy source. To put it simply, we need the sun to survive; therefore, as long as the Earth is inhabited by humans, there will be a resource that can provide us with an unlimited about of energy without causing any type of harm.

Tip: If it is holiday time, you might want to consider throwing out your old bulbs and replacing them with new energy efficient LED lights for your tree and your home. These lights use 90 percent less energy than the old style lights and will save you money during the holiday season.

One of the most biggest reasons that businesses and home owners choose to convert to solar energy are the financial benefits. Solar energy is free, while most other forms of energy are not. This of course is only the case after you have purchased the right equipment to turn solar energy into a usable form of energy. The equipment can be quite expensive, but once it is purchased and installed, there is no added expense except minimal maintenance. The start up costs can be pricey, especially if you intend to outfit your entire home to use solar energy, but the equipment will pay for itself, as you will no longer have an energy bill. Additionally, if your home does not use all of the energy that the system processes, the excess will then be put onto your local energy company’s grid, which will then result in you even making money off of your solar energy system.

Solar energy will be a great change towards the future. Once the majority of homes and businesses are powered by solar energy there will not be as many eye sores present in your neighborhood. Power lines and poles will no longer be necessary, removing a huge hazard from communities. People die everyday from fallen power lines, which is something that you can not prevent given natural forces as well as human error.

Now that you have read this article you know that solar energy has many benefits behind it. Now all you need to do is begin researching how you and your family can put solar energy to use in your lives to help make our world a better and safer place to live.

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Deciding If Solar Energy Is Right For You

Energy harnessed from the light and heat let off by the sun has actually been used by humans for centuries. Lately, more and more people are using solar energy to provide energy to their homes. Installing solar energy panels on your home is a smart way to save money in the long term on energy costs and will drastically reduce your family’s carbon footprint for as long as you live in your home; however, it may not be right for everybody. Keep reading for some tips on how to decide if using solar energy is right for your family and your home.

Figure out how much energy you use in your home. Collect all of your energy bills and calculate what it costs to heat, cool and provide electricity to your home for a year. Find the average across a few years to get a better idea of what the average is as temperatures and electricity needs fluctuate from year to year. Also think about where your family’s energy consumption is going. If plan to have children or your children are young, you can expect your energy consumption to rise as your children get older and reach their teen years. Installing solar panels on your home is very expensive investment. Consider whether you are already taking all the steps you need to save money on energy. If you are, and your energy bills are still very high, solar panels might be right for your home.

Tip: One key energy-saving tip that all homeowners would be wise to implement is to insulate your water heater tanks. A great deal of heat can be lost if a tank is not well insulated, resulting in higher-energy consumption Makes sure you wrap your tank to help keep your water warm.

Figure out if you qualify for any incentives for installing solar panels on your home. As part of programs to save energy and help the environmental, many local and federal government agencies offer incentives for people who take the initiative to install solar panels on their homes. Check to see what grants, rebates and/or tax credits you will qualify for if you decide to install solar panels on your home. You might find that it will reduce the initial financial burden greatly. To learn about what is available in your area, call your local energy company and speak to your accountant.

Do you have enough saved to finish, not just start, the project? As stated above, installing solar panels takes a large initial investment. The money savings will come later, and you will make your investment back, but you have to have enough cash to complete the installation before you start. Don’t rely on future wages or money you expect in the future to complete the project, because your situation could always change.

Using solar energy to power your home is rewarding financially and mentally. Your savings will be substantial every month and you will have peace knowing that your energy consumption is coming from a renewable source. The resale value of your home will also increase drastically. But before you decide to install solar panels, you have to make sure it is right for you. Hopefully, the tips in the above article will assist you on making this important decision.

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Going Green Before Getting Solar

When you buy a solar energy system, you have to make sure that you have an idea of what your power requirements will be. This is important because you really want to make sure that you have enough power when you run your home on solar energy. The best way to do this is to cut your energy usage, and the best way to do that is to “go green”. Here are some great ways for you to go green so that you can better use solar energy.

1. Change your light bulbs. If you aren’t already using the new light bulbs, start! The old bulbs use a lot more energy and they do not last as long. Not only that, but they don’t even provide that much more light, if any. The newer energy-efficient light bulbs are much harder to break, and they are much more likely to last for years. They are a great way to cut your energy costs so that you need less energy when you start looking at solar panels.

Tip: Lower the temperature on your drinking water heater. Keeping your drinking water heater set to 120 degrees or lower is an easy way of using green energy technology to help lower your energy costs and conserve energy.

2. When you are not in a room, the light should not be on. This is a hard lesson for people to learn, but it really makes all the difference. Just turn off the light when you leave! If that is too hard for you to remember, think seriously about getting “the clapper” so that you can remember it for the fun value.

3. Use cold water to wash your clothes. This is a great idea because hot water really isn’t’ necessary for most laundry. Check your clothing, and you will only rarely read that it must be washed in hot. That is something that we as a culture learned that has no real value. The detergent you use is much more important that the temperature of the water. Make sure you do what you can in order to only use hot water rarely and only when you need to.

Tip: Buying energy-efficient light bulbs is a great way to save money and use green energy in your home. These light bulbs take a couple minutes to use their maximum brightness.

4. Take one shower a day. A lot of people take two or more showers a day, especially in the summer, and it is incredibly wasteful, for so many reasons. Stick to one shower a day. IF you are too hot or have exercised, take a shower after you exercise and skip the regular one in the morning.

5. Get the family on-board. Have a talk about your plans to get more energy-efficient. Make sure the entire family is helping out and thinking about being energy-efficient. Make sure everyone understands why it is smart and conscientious to do these things. If you can get everyone on board, then your costs will go down that much more quickly.

These are just a few of the things you can do to be more energy-efficient. Energy-efficiency will help you use less energy so that you need fewer solar panels, and you pay less for your solar energy upfront costs. You can always add panels in the future if you need to, but when you go green and get solar energy, you are doing the right thing.

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Solar Power Means Cash Savings

Green energy is much in the news, and offers many alternative energy systems. But what is more reliable than the sun? The solar rays that fall on us are free. They are more sustainable than wind or water. Harnessing them has become a vast industry. If you are intrigued by solar power, read the following tips. They will tell you more about these systems and whether they are right for you.

Where you live is a big factor in whether converting to solar power will be cost efficient for you. If you live on the Arizona desert, the quick answer is “yes.” If you live up near the Canadian border, you will need to give the question more thought, but solar power can still be a good solution for you. Germany is a northern country that has invested in solar power in a big way, and is reaping good results. Technology keeps improving. Solar panels are more efficient, less costly and longer lasting than in earlier days.

Tip: If you want a great green energy source that does not cost a dime, simply look to your legs for power. If you have to make a trip to the grocery store, use your bike or walk instead of driving.

Solar hot water is recommended for anyone. It uses not PV panels but solar water panels. Water is piped into panels on the roof and heated using the sun’s energy, then made available for your use. This system may meet all your hot water needs, or you may need to augment it with some use of electricity for heating water.

The orientation of your roof is important. A south-facing area is usually desired, but some experts prefer an east or west-facing area. The north-facing roof area will not yield much solar power, unless you live in the tropics. Also take a look at shade cast from trees or buildings onto your roof. This will decrease the sunlight available and make solar power systems less attractive.

Tip: Geothermal heating may be something for you to consider. If you live in the right kind of area, you are going to be able to take advantage of the heat that the earth naturally produces.

A benefit of installing a solar power system is that, in many areas, you can sell the surplus energy generated on bright sunny days back to the power company. When your back-up storage batteries are fully charged, you can make money from the extra power your solar panels generate.

Once you have assessed your situation and decided that installing solar power makes sense for you, there are a number of other things to take into consideration before you start. If you belong to a home owner’s association, check first about their rules. There may be limits on how much solar array you can install, and where it can be placed.

You will also want to check with your local government about any limitations, and building permits.

Tip: Consider the possibility of selling some of the green energy you generate to the utility company in order to cover the cost of your initial investment in the energy generating equipment. Many utility outfits today will buy energy directly from consumers and this can really make going greener pay off for you today and well into the future.

You can check with government agencies online to find out the requirements to qualify for tax credits. The federal government offers a 30 percent tax credit on your costs when converting to solar power. To qualify, the equipment you use must be Energy Star rated. State and local governments may offer additional tax credits. These can go a long way towards countering your initial installation costs.

These tips have started you on your way. Weigh all the costs and benefits of solar power over the long term. They may add up to substantial energy savings. Converting to solar power will also make you one of the good folks helping to counter global warming.

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Is Solar Energy Right For You?

You have probably heard about solar energy. Did you know that switching to solar energy could help you save a lot on your bills? Keep reading to learn more about solar energy and make sure it is a good option for you.

You should know that solar panels will function correctly only if you live in a very sunny area. Arizona homeowners are able to produce enough energy to power their entire home easily, but if you are located in a state where your solar panels will be covered in snow during the winter or where you cannot count on clear blue skies every day, your solar panels will produce considerably less power. Get a professional to assess the sun exposure of your property if you want to make sure solar panels are a good investment for you.

Tip: One way to help with reducing energy is by using solar panels in your home. Solar energy harnesses the power from the sun which is then used to provide energy to things like getting hot water, drying clothes and keeping your home warm during the winter.

There are different types of solar panels to choose from. The photovoltaic technology is very popular because of its affordable price. Photovoltaic panels include mono-crystalline and polycrystalline ones: the mono-crystalline panels are a little more expensive but they are also more efficient. The polycrystalline panels are the most affordable model but they produce less power since some of the energy produced is lost while it is transferred from one cell to the other. There is a third option: thin-film solar panels. These panels are more expensive but they are more efficient because of their higher sensibility. A few clouds in the sky will not impact the performance of these panels. They are also a lot easier to install because of their lighter weight and flexible texture. You should research different solar panel vendors in your area to compare models and prices.

Learn to take proper care of your solar panels. You will have to clean them regularly and learn to inspect them without damaging them. If you are not comfortable with getting up on the roof, you can hire a solar panel technician to come inspect your panels regularly and make sure everything is functioning like it should. If you notice that your panels are producing a low amount of power in spite of a good exposure to the sun, contact your technician immediately. You also need to insure your solar panels: insurance is an additional cost but it is the best way to finance repair and maintenance.

Tip: Replace your appliances with energy-efficient appliances. Not only will you save energy and cut down on your electricity bills, but you can get a tax break for using these appliances.

Keep in mind that you do not have to purchase a full-scale system: if you cannot afford to cover your roof in solar panels, get a couple of solar panels and use them to power a few of your appliances. You can purchase solar-powered outside lights, water heaters, water pumps, battery chargers and generators. Contact your local energy provider and ask about the different financing program they offer: the best way to finance your solar panels is to sell a part of the power you are producing to the main grid. This will allow you to make a small profit and be able to draw power from the main grid if your panels are not producing any electricity.

Getting some solar panels could help you power your home at no cost once your panels are paid off. Take the time to do more research about this technology and consider purchasing a different kind of green energy system if solar panels are not your best option.

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Reduce Your Energy Consumption And Make The Most Of Solar Energy

When you switch to solar energy, you are breaking ties with non-renewable sources of energy. While there may be some growing pains associated with switching from petroleum products to energy from the sun, you can make this transition smoother and more profitable by first reducing your energy consumption. Read on for some great tips on making the most of solar energy via thrifty energy use.

Be sure you understand the way in which your energy company bills for your usage. In this way you will be able to figure out the areas in which you can cut down on your use of electricity. This will help the transition to solar energy easier. When you learn about the units of measure used by your energy company you’ll be able to make some simple adjustments to reduce excessive energy use.

Tip: Buy a solar water heater for your home. Water heaters consume a massive amount of electricity every day, even when not in use.

Look at your current electric bill and get an idea of your use patterns from the past. You can also look this up online. Most utility companies have easy-to-read graphics showing what your usage has been over the past six months or so. Looking at this information can help you control the way in which you use energy.

Keep in mind that your energy usage will vary from one season to the next. The type of weather we have naturally affects our energy usage patterns. Carefully examine the way in which your energy use changes from one season to the next. For example, in the summertime when it’s very hot, you will use your air conditioner much more. In the winter, your electricity costs may drop if you use gas or natural wood for heating.

Tip: Buying products from companies that utilize green energy is the best way to promote environmental consciousness in manufacturing. It is important for people to take green steps in their own life.

Your utility company may also have a handy pie graph stored in your online records that tells you how much energy you use for appliances, how much for heating and air conditioning and so on. This can be very helpful in determining areas in which you can reduce energy usage. You’d be amazed at how much simply unplugging items such as USB chargers when not in use can help reduce your energy consumption.

If you find that you are using an excessive amount of energy for heating and cooling, you may wish to look into energy saving techniques like insulation to help keep the temperature inside your home comfortable. You can switch to energy-efficient light bulbs and make sure that all of your appliances are new and efficient Energy Star appliances. If you have not yet switched to solar and are still purchasing your energy from the power company, check to see if they have programs available that will help you insulate your home and replace old appliances. This will put you in an excellent position to switch to solar and make the most of solar power.

With the energy efficiency of your home optimized, you will be able to make grand use of the free and clean energy provided by the sun. In fact, your home may be so efficient and your solar energy so plentiful that you’ll be able to sell power back to the electric company. This is a real win-win situation since you will be helping the environment and those around you by gathering enough energy from the sun to power your entire home and put money in your pocket by selling clean, efficient solar energy to others.

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