Will Solar Power Work For You?

Solar energy has become popular. Many people have converted their homes to solar power and are happy with the results. On the other hand, some people’s enthusiasm wanes as they learn the costs and complexity of installing solar. It is not for everyone. Everyone wants to help the environment. But whether solar power makes sense for your home is something you want to calculate carefully before you go ahead. These tips will inform you of some of the factors you must consider in deciding pro or con for solar power.

Solar power is the ultimate renewable resource. Sun rays are unfailing. Even on a cloudy or cold day, your solar collectors will work. But the efficiency of solar depends a lot on your location. The more sun you receive, the more sense it makes to use solar energy. Improvements in solar panels mean this energy is still feasible in cold and cloudy northern climates. But it is more efficient in sunny southern climates. You can calculate your monthly kilowatt hours used and divide this by the mean solar radiation for your location. Figuring the number of solar panels you will need to use to provide your needed wattage will give you roughly the size of the solar array you will need. Will it fit on your roof? Do you have enough south-facing roof space? Or eastern and western-facing roof area? If not, you may want to install solar as a partial energy source, while still using some electricity from the grid.

Tip: If you are interested in alternative energy sources, you can start by contacting your current energy provider to see if they have anything to offer. Many companies are now able to harness power from solar and wind power.

You can even decide to just run one appliance using solar power. Many people opt for a solar hot water heater, which can repay its cost in 2 to 4 years. A complete whole house solar energy system will usually take 10 to 15 years to pay for itself. The high initial costs turns many people away from solar. But in some areas there are programs which allow you to pay the cost over a period of 10 or more years–just as you pay for a mortgage over a period of many years.

In southern regions, especially desert areas, you can count on a steady, ample supply of sunlight. But in the far north, there will be big variations between winter and summer. In the winter, you may have to depend more on the power grid. This will affect your budget. You will want to figure this out ahead of time. But in many regions, when your system is producing surplus power, you can actually sell it to the electric company. Your electric meter will run backwards.

Tip: Plant a tree in your yard. The tree adds to the oxygen level in the environment, helps the air clean itself, and if the tree produces fruit or nuts, it also adds to your family’s food supply.

Don’t forget about passive solar technology. Great strides have been made in making windows that use solar energy to heat a room. High tech double paned windows with gas in the middle can reduce your heating and cooling costs. They are designed to tilt so that they let sun rays in during winter but block them during the summer. They are low maintenance and bring real cost savings.

“Going solar” is a big decision. Following these tips can help you make this decision carefully, so that it brings benefits in both comfort and affordability.

Filed under Sustainable Energy Knowhow-now by on #

Installing Your Own Solar Energy System

If you are an inveterate do-it-yourselfer, you may be wondering whether you could install your own solar power system. If you have some experience with electrical systems and don’t mind working up on a roof, the answer may be “yes.” You will need to learn before you start. There are online courses that can help you with this. The following tips are given to help you decide whether a do-it-yourself solar project is right for you.

You will need to do a lot of figuring before you start. You will need to calculate the roof area available for solar panels, as well as the number of kilowatt hours you use each month. Find out how much wattage each solar panel will produce, and figure how many you will need to deliver the kilowatt hours you use. Here are some tips to help with your planning. The company that sells solar panels will almost certainly provide a free consultation to help you determine your needs and how best to meet them. You can also get information from the Federal Energy Agency about the average solar radiation where you live. This figure will tell you the amount of solar energy available, in terms of “solar hours.” This figure will be higher in a southern location than in a northern one. Knowing this amount will help you know how much solar power your roof area can produce.

Tip: To incorporate green energy into your life, heat your home using biofuel instead of traditional fuels. This way, you can heat your home using renewable, biodegradable and generally, more environmentally friendly energy fairly easily.

You will want to research different solar panels that are available, and different companies that sell them. Choose an established, reliable company. They will give you good advice on installation, including examining your roof and advising where best to place panels.

Once you choose the right solar panels for your home, there is still a lot more to the installation. You will need batteries for storage, cables and mounting structures. Another important piece of equipment is a power inverter. It converts DC to AC electrical current, thus enabling the power from the solar panels to be integrated with your home’s electrical system. Investing in a top quality power inverter will help deliver quick and efficient power.

Tip: Make sure that all heating and cooling units and registers are not blocked by furniture, window treatments, or kid’s toys. If a piece of furniture must be placed in front of a baseboard heater, leave a space of two feet.

Internet websites makes it easy to check out different suppliers in your area. But be sure to get a business reference before you decide on one. Ask friends and neighbors for recommendations.

Installing solar panels on the roof goes better as a two-person job. Find a friend to help, or hire an assistant. There is a lot of lifting and carrying during the placement. You will be glad you got some help.

Tip: Don’t throw away that coffee grinds- use them to fertilize your plants. Coffee grinds are rich in nitrogen so these make great, healthy plant food.

When you are choosing solar modules, be sure they are Energy Star rated. The federal government requires this rating in order for you to claim the 30 percent tax credit for solar energy. This tax credit helps bring down your initial cost for converting to solar power, which can be high even if you do the installation yourself.

We hope these tips have helped you decide whether to install a solar power system. The long range cost savings can be considerable. And you will be doing your part to convert to clean energy and decrease global warming.

Filed under Sustainable Energy Knowhow-now by on #

Things You Need To Know About Solar Power

One of the hottest forms of green energy is solar power. Are you looking to learn more about this innovate form of energy? Do you want to take advantage of using solar power, but are uncertain how to do it? If so, this article has some incredible advice to help you get started using solar power today. There are more possibilities than you think. Read on to learn more!

If you want to start small, there are a number of products you can use that have their own solar power. You will reduce your energy bill without having to hook into the wiring of your home.

Tip: In a colder climate, make sure you weatherize your windows to be energy efficient. This will not only help you stay much warmer, but it will save you on energy costs.

Many people have found that the garden area is the best place to start. There are a number of solar powered items made for the outdoors. Consider placing solar powered lights throughout your yard, to illuminate walking paths and make dark spots disappear. These lights come in a variety of decorative styles. During the day, each light absorbs power from the sun. When dusk falls, the lights will automatically light up. The great thing about them is that you do not have to set a timer, or worry about coming home late to a dark walkway.

If you have, or are considering, a water decoration in your garden, you may choose to keep the water running with solar panels attached to the water source. Some fountains today are made with their own solar panels. You will experience the pleasing sight and sound of running water at no additional cost to you! Again, you will reduce the time you spend in maintenance, giving you more time to enjoy your decorations.

There are also solar powered products designed for indoor products. You can find chargers for cell phones and music devices that rely on the power of the sun. Just place the charger near a window, and you can recharge your small electronics without increasing your power bill.

Tip: If you are in the process of, or planning to, design your own home, you can build some green energy sources right into your home from the beginning. Start by looking for land that has a water source such as a creek or room for wind turbines.

During the summertime, solar powered fans are a great way to keep your home or office cool. Placed near a window, the fan will stay charged all day while keeping the air in the room circulating. If the window is open, you will get to experience the breeze of fresh air for free.

Solar power is also fantastic on a larger scale. You can add one or more panels to your home. Before you begin, check with local government to see if you need any special permits. You should also investigate any potential tax breaks. These issues should be factored into your decision before you invest in solar power. Contact your power company also, to see how their policies work regarding the purchase of excess power.

As you can see, there are many ways to incorporate solar energy into your life. You can begin small, with lights and rechargers. If you have the money and inclination, you can also go with full sized solar panels, reducing or even eliminating your electric bill. Whatever you decided, your decision will have a positive impact on your finances, and the environment.

Filed under Sustainable Energy Knowhow-now by on #

Reasons To Want Solar Energy

With all the ways that energy prices are going up these days, you might be thinking that there has to be a better way. Well, there is. Solar energy is clean energy that doesn’t damage anything or harm anyone, and it is available for free for our entire lifetimes. If you aren’t convinced that you should consider powering your home with solar power, keep reading to find some strong reasons to do it.

1. The first reason solar energy is a good idea for you is that it is free after the initial installation. Most people are intimidated by the high cost of getting large solar panels, but the truth is that it is a one time cost that saves you money for years on your utility bills. You probably won’t deal with a lot of maintenance charges either. The panels are long-lasting. There are even programs from the government that give you incentives for solar panels. A rebate can cover up to a third of your total cost. Not only that, the technology is always getting better, which means the price will start to go down. Remember when a desktop computer cost over $1,000? That’s the same kind of thing we are dealing with in solar power. And if you want to start small, you can buy affordable panels that are small and power your alarm clock, for example.

Tip: More and more people are turning to energy saving light bulbs. These bulbs can decrease your utility bill by up to 11% every month.

2. Solar power is clean power. There are no fumes or chemicals that are released into any water supply. It does not cause anyone sickness, and has no carcinogens. It is safe for everyone, unlike most of the traditional energy sources. It even runs quietly without causing any kind of noise pollution. This is something you can feel good about. If you have heard the many stories about pollution and the environment, you can be proud of yourself for taking a step and using energy that works efficiently, but manages to leave a small carbon footprint and remains beneficial in every way.

3. The sun will always be there. The sun is always available to us. We can’t use it up. That is in stark contrast to fossil fuels, which are being depleted very quickly. In fact, even on stormy and rainy days, the solar panels can still power your home because of their ability to store energy. You don’t have to worry that the sun will go out of business or be bought by a bigger company.

Tip: Avoid using your clothes dryer whenever possible. Drying your clothes outside on a washing line is one of the simplest ways to save energy costs.

4. You can get your electric company to pay you! If you choose to, you can sell extra electricity to your utility company and they will offer you credits or straight out buy the energy from you. If you want to avoid the electric company altogether, you can do that too. You have a lot of choices once you start using solar energy, and it is your choice to determine which one of them is right for you.

After reading this article, you may have a different perspective on solar energy. Traditional energy costs are higher than ever, but you can be free from those companies when you choose solar power.

Filed under Sustainable Energy Knowhow-now by on #

Caring for the Earth is the responsibility of every single one of us. There are many different types of green energy available, we just have to make use of them. So, how can you make your life a little more green? Just keep reading on.

Stop using bottled water. Bottled water uses some other city’s tap water; in addition, bottling water wastes lots of energy. If you don’t trust your community’s tap water, buy a re-usable water bottle for drinking and use a water filter that you could replace every few months.

A good benchmark to use when determining how much power a new solar system is likely to generate is the number of hours of sunlight in the winter. This prevents any unanticipated effects from a winter months, and it keeps you ahead of the game for summer months. Combining this method with a net utilities plan will mean getting back money from the electric company during the summer, too.

Keep your thermostat in check with the season. During winter months, lower the thermostat and during the summer, raise it. If you do this, as well as wear weather-appropriate clothing, you will spend less on air conditioning.

Use an on-demand water heater to save energy. Traditional water heaters run constantly, heating the water when it’s completely unnecessary. This type of point of use heater warms the water as it is required, and can result in significant cost savings.

Put the temperature of your water heater down to 120 degrees to be more green and cut down on costs. A standard family can save a lot on their bill, up to 10 percent monthly and still have enough hot water to use.

Save energy by installing a new boiler. Previously, boilers were no made to be energy efficient; however, now they are. In addition to generating small amounts of carbon dioxide, which benefits your health, they can help to decrease your utility bills.

Consider using rainwater for different things in your home, like your toilet. This will save you money on your water bill and have a positive impact on the environment. If you wish to collect rainwater it does not have to be too complicated, simply place containers outside during the rain and then lid them when full.

If you install your own solar panels, be sure that you consider what direction the sun will be throughout the year. A house located within the northern hemisphere should have south-facing panels. This way, you will be able to take full advantage of the solar power.

Buy rechargeable batteries for all of your gadgets instead of using the disposable version. Traditional batteries get thrown into the trash, and that is very bad for the environment. Save money and help the environment by purchasing rechargeable alternatives. Savings over the life span of rechargeable batteries are incredible.

There are constantly new job opportunities in the field of green energy. If you are looking for a career change or want to make helpful suggestions to your kids about career paths, do not overlook this sector. There has been increased demands for solar and wind technicians.

Putting the heat to 60 degrees in the middle of the night, or when you’re gone, is a great way to conserve energy. Having the heat set at 60 degrees uses the minimum quantity of energy possible. This helps you minimize the amount of energy that you use and helps you save money as well.

We need to be using more green forms of energy, now more than before. It may be true that all power sources impact the environment somehow, but it’s possible to minimize that impact with green energy. After reading this article, you can go green!

Filed under Sustainable Energy by on #

Why You Should Consider Buying Or Building A New A Home With Solar Power Panels

When you are looking for or considering building a new home, you should give solar power some consideration. There are quite a few substantial benefits to using solar power instead of conventional energy. The purchasing price or the cost of building a solar powered home will be much more than a home with standard energy, but the monthly bills will be much, much less. You will also have the pleasure of knowing that you are contributing minimally to the pollution and fossil fuel problem that is affecting people all over the world. Keep reading this article for some more great reasons why you should consider buying or building a home that is powered by solar energy.

The costs and effort associated with keeping your solar power panels and other equipment in good shape is substantially less than equipment from most other energy sources. It is also much cleaner to maintain. Solar panels and other solar power equipment is not noisy, and since there is not much mechanics involved, there is less of a chance of part wearing out. Just make sure to keep the equipment clean and dry, and it should last quite a long time.

Tip: When you invest in green energy, you are not only helping to reduce any monthly electric bills you would normally have. You are also helping the environment by consuming less energy from outside sources allowing less green house gases to be emitted into the atmosphere which let’s the world become a healthier place to live in.

Solar powered homes can be even more efficient when a solar powered water heater is installed. Instead of using electricity from the solar panels that could be distributed to the rest of the house, a solar powered water heater creates its own energy. This leaves more energy to be stored to power lights and appliances. Whether you are building a home, have one installed. If you are looking for an already built solar powered home, check to see if the water heater is also solar powered.

Your savings each month will be very substantial when you have solar power in your home. You may still need to use some energy from the electric company for back up during cloudy times, but the costs will be much less when you rely on solar energy as your main source of power. The savings each month would be enough to lease a new car or add another luxury expense to your budget.

Tip: Before you start incorporating green energy sources into your home, you should cut back on the amount of electricity you use. Make sure you’re not wasting power by leaving things turned on when you’re not using them.

If your panels are making more energy than you use, find out how to sell that extra energy to the power company. This way the solar power will not only be saving you money, but making you money. Contact your local energy company for more information and to see if it is possible in your area.

When you are buying or building a new house for your family, solar power should definitely be considered if you have the funds for it. The maintenance costs and monthly energy bill will be much smaller leaving you with more cash on hand in the future. The benefits to the environment are also very rewarding when you use solar power for your home. Consider the advice in this article when you are deciding what energy source you want to use in your new home.

Filed under Sustainable Energy Knowhow-now by on #

Reasons To Install Solar Panels On Your House

Depending on where you live, putting solar panels on your home can make a lot of sense. Not only will the panels cut your monthly power bill, it will also reduce your carbon footprint on the environment. These tips below are designed to provide you with basic information about solar energy.

Whether or not you have solar panels on your home, the sun will still shine on it a lot of the year. There is no reason to let all of that free energy go to waste, particularly if you live in a part of the world where it is usually sunny. The energy that your panels bring in will go into the electric grid that you plug into, and you will get a credit from your utility toward your bill. In the sunny months, you might even get some money back instead of having a bill.

Tip: In order to save energy at home, plug your electronics, including televisions and DVD players, into power strips and when you are not using them, turn off the power strips. Not only will you be preserving energy by doing this, but you will also be saving money on your electricity bill.

Solar panels are expensive. Unless you plan on living in your house for more than 10 years, it is unlikely that the energy savings you receive will pay for the solar panels, even with government rebates. That said, if you know you are going to be in your house for the long haul, then solar panels may be just the ticket for you.

The only reason that a cloudy day would wipe out your power is if you unhooked your home from the electric grid. If you stay plugged in, you will still have access to the utility system, which means that you will have power even if your panels aren’t pushing kilowatts into the grid. If you want to have environmentally friendly power from the grid as well, you can usually request 100 percent pollution-free or, in some areas, 100 percent wind power. That way you’re not doing anything to pollute the environment when you get your power.

Tip: If you are thinking about switching to solar power, do your research first. Some towns have restrictions regarding the number of collectors they allow.

It is important to keep in mind that solar panels are not the most attractive things in the world. If you have an old Spanish tile roof on top of what looks like a Barcelona villa, for example, a solar array on top of that house will change the look. If you work with your contractor, though, you may be able to find a way to erect an array that still keeps your traditional look. On most homes, though, it’s unlikely that solar panels will stick out, given the fact that many people have several satellite dishes sticking out of their roofs.

Your local government (state or county) will have an office dedicated to answering questions about your power needs. Look on the website for your state or county government and navigate to the page that will tell you how to contact that office. The person you talk to will be able to answer that question more specifically. Don’t call a contractor and ask — they are unlikely to tell you that solar is a bad idea, even if you live in an area plagued with monsoons.

Putting solar panels on your home can benefit you in a number of ways. The upfront cost is high, but you can get your money back if you are staying in your home for the long term.

Filed under Sustainable Energy Knowhow-now by on #

Made with care by Knowhow-Now using a theme from Semiologic by Denis de Bernardy