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.

Filed under Sustainable Energy Knowhow-now by on #

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.

Filed under Sustainable Energy Knowhow-now by on #

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 #

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 #

Solar Power Plus Insulation: A Winning Combination

There are benefits both in cost and in helping the environment for switching to a solar power system. Over the long term, solar energy will save you money and help reduce greenhouse gases. But an overall plan that reduces energy consumption can make solar an even bigger winner. Maximizing efficiency through insulation, thermal windows, new CFL light bulbs, and specially designed passive solar windows can greatly reduce the amount of energy you need to get from your solar panels. This is a win-win combination.

If you have a south-facing wall available, not shaded by trees, you can utilize passive solar windows that will use sun rays in winter to heat a room, but keep out rays in summer so the room is cooler. This is an investment that can reduce your energy use for both heating and cooling, and help the efficiency of solar panels. If installing high tech windows is too expensive for now, you can still reap similar benefits from south-facing windows with curtains open in winter but closed in summer.

Tip: Switch to low flow or dual flush toilets. These particular toilets only use 1.

You can easily find your monthly electricity consumption by looking over your past year’s bills from the electric company. They will show how many kilowatt hours you used each month. This is the amount your solar panels will need to provide in the future–unless you take conservation measures like those mentioned above. Replace old appliances with new Energy Star ones that use far less electric power. Replace old light bulbs with new Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs that use much less energy. Add insulation wherever possible. Close all leaks around doors and windows. These measures will reduce your energy consumption considerably and increase the likelihood that solar panels can provide all your energy needs and truly get you “off the grid.” And don’t forget the simplest energy saver of all: turn off lights and appliances when not in use.

Your hot water heater is a big user of electricity. A solar hot water heater can be installed separate from your photovoltaic panels. Solar water panels receive water piped into them, heat it through the sun’s rays, and return it to your hot water tank. Of all the individual steps, this is the biggest saver in electricity. Many people install a solar water heater even when they do not do whole house solar energy. There are many ways you can use solar partially. It can be used to heat a swimming pool. It can power a single appliance such as a refrigerator. If an entire conversion to solar power in your home is beyond your means or impractical, you can still benefit from solar energy in these smaller ways.

All these conservation measures will help make solar energy work efficiently for your home. This is especially helpful in a northern climate where you receive less sun energy in the winter. Conservation will reduce the amount of electricity you draw from the grid during the winter. It will keep your house warm and cozy even during the coldest weather.

Filed under Sustainable Energy Knowhow-now by on #

Consider Solar Power When Building A Home

If you are planning to build a new home, you should consider the advantages of installing a solar energy system to power that home. There are long term cost advantages that are likely only to increase in the coming decades as fossil fuels become more expensive. There is also the reliability of solar energy, and the fact that it is virtually free. It is only the collection and distribution system that costs money. Add to this the satisfaction of contributing to saving the planet from global warming by not burning fossil fuels, and solar is an attractive choice.

When building a new home you can have your architect build in passive solar products to greatly decrease home heating costs. This means installing large windows on a south-facing wall. These windows are specially made to capture the sun’s heat in winter. Double or triple paned windows with gas inside are extremely efficient at keeping heat in. In summer, they are designed to keep sun rays out, keeping your home cooler. “How can they do this?” you may ask. Advanced design of the tilt of the window accomplishes this.

Also, as your new home is built, insulation can be maximized, thus also decreasing your heating and cooling costs. These measures are easier and more cost efficient when building a new home than when upgrading an older home.

Tip: Too often, the water heater allows water to reach a scalding temperature when trying to take a shower. Try turning the maximum heat on the water heater down by twenty degrees, and you will see a definite decrease in electricity costs.

Passive solar will not be enough to provide all your energy needs. You will need Photovoltaic solar panels to produce electricity to power your home, and a solar hot water system using panels that heat the water piped through them on the roof. Your architect can design your roof to maximize the effectiveness of solar panels.

Depending on how much hot water you use, you may need to augment the solar heating with some electric power.

Tip: Talk to your electricity provider and see if they offer an alternative that allows your home to use green energy. Several companies are now using wind or solar power for their electricity, and you can take advantage of this! Call your provider today to find out if you can switch to green energy.

Though the initial cost of installing solar energy systems is high, the long term savings on monthly energy bills is great. It is generally estimated that these savings will pay back the initial cost in 10 to 15 years. Since your system should be warrantied for 25 to 30 years, it is like getting energy free for the last half of your system’s lifetime. You can also benefit from state and federal tax credits given for installing solar energy systems. The current federal tax credit is for 30 per cent of your installation cost, and is good up until 2016.

Check to see if there is an FIT program available in your locality. FIT stands for “feed in tariff.” It means that you can sell surplus electricity to the local power company when your solar panels are producing more power than you need.

Tip: Buying a hybrid vehicle is a good way to save energy, but that all depends on what type of vehicle you purchase. It is always a much better choice to purchase a smaller hybrid vehicle than to purchase a large hybrid SUV.

The ecological benefits of solar power are well known. But consider also the environmental benefit within your home. Because there is no combustion involved in producing solar power, your home is free of toxic emissions, including carbon monoxide. Solar power is quiet. There is no noise of machinery running, as with a conventional furnace.

If you are planning to build a new home, follow these tips. They can help you attain a safe, reliable and cost efficient power system for decades to come.

Filed under Sustainable Energy Knowhow-now by on #

How can you benefit from utilizing green energy? Well, it can help lower your monthly bills because you won’t need to rely as heavily on the city’s electrical grid, plus it helps the environment. What ways are there for you to be involved? Continue reading for some easy tips that will show you how to assist.

The power-storing batteries of your solar system should be installed close to the cells. Power can be lost over long cables so this will lessen the impact. It also reduces shading of the solar shells. Shading reduces solar panel energy generation.

Carpooling is a great way to get to many places; not only work. Carpooling with other neighborhood parents to transport children back and forth to school not only saves you time, it sames you money. Also, create a joint grocery shopping day with friends or family.

If you would like to live your life green, stay away from excess electric heater usage. Instead, invest in some warm clothing and slippers for family members and use a fireplace or pellet stove to heat living areas. Cool air while sleeping is better for your breathing.

When you’re coming up with a design for your outdoor lighting project, think about getting lamps that are solar powered. These lamps aren’t costly and do not need additional power sources other than direct sun exposure. Not only does this save energy. You also don’t need to hang lights or wires outdoors.

In summer, set the air conditioner at least five degrees warmer. Doing so will save around 20% on your utility bill. Run some fans instead of using air conditioning to cool your home.

Your thermostat should be adjusted depending on the season of the year. Lower your thermostat slightly in the winter and raise it slightly in the summer. Doing this, while adding or removing layers of clothing, will mean that your house uses less energy to maintain a reasonable temperature setting.

Learn the difference between passive and active solar power. Active power can be stored for later use. Passive power must be utilized more quickly but no expensive storage cells are required. If you use active power, you will need to install mechanical systems, solar panels and cells. Passive solar power is simply making use of the sun to keep thermal energy in your walls so you can heat your home.

If you want to have hot water, but at a lower cost, then check into solar energy. You can go shopping for a solar system that will heat your water. It is possible to use either a direct or indirect circulation system. The indirect system is a a great thing to have and you do not have to think about having frozen pipes during the winter.

You may be able to put in a shower head that saves water. This will help you save water. You’ll not only have lower water bills, but you will also help the environment by saving water.

Research the different energy sources available in your community. Look into the cost of operating your home with each of your options, keeping in mind any recent changes to legislation about energy costs. It may be beneficial to switch from electric heat to natural gas heat, or from city water to well water, for example.

Try setting your heat at 61 degrees or less when you aren’t home, or when you have retired for the night. Having the heat set at 60 degrees uses the minimum quantity of energy possible. The resulting effect is energy usage cuts and money saved.

Being aware of the amount of lights that are used in the home can make a difference when embracing green energy. During months that are brighter, do not have lights on after a particular time. Dimmer switches, timers and sensors that are used to reduce light and automatically turn off lights once you leave a room are important changes to incorporate in your home to reduce energy.

Many people consider using green energy, but few actually take the time to learn how to implement it in their own lives. This article has given you lots of great starting ideas to turn your home into an eco-friendly, green paradise.

Filed under Sustainable Energy by on #

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