If you care about the environment, or just how many dollars you are spending on your electric utility bill, you might be considering going solar at home. Installing technology to harness the power of the sun seems ideal, since you can theoretically draw free power every day the sun is out, but you need to take some preemptive steps to make the best of the situation before tearing out your whole roof. Keep reading into the following paragraphs for more.
Find out whether or not your local utility company is willing to buy power back from you. It can take some work and mindful lifestyle to get your home to a place where you are actually generating enough juice to have surplus you can sell off, but if that is an economic possibility where you live, it is worth shooting for. Why just save money when you can make money?
Tip: Especially in extremely warm climates, it is important to do as much as you can to save on cooling costs. One thing you can do is to use trees and bushes to shade your home, and this in conjunction with other strategies will save you much on energy consumption and costs.
Consider your latitude and local horizon. You cannot just point solar panels at the sky and expect to be set. In the northern half of the world, you have to point your panels in a southerly general direction, but the horizontal angle has to be 15 degrees plus your geographic latitude. There are calculators online that can help you with this determination. Find that angle in your yard and look for obstructions. Are there trees, buildings or mountains in the way during parts of the day?
Compose a list of all your electric appliances, and also write down their hourly power usage. Any specialist you consult with about solar installation who knows what he is doing is going to need this information. In many cases, going full solar is not always possible, but you can go partially for particular appliances. Also, you might be able to squeeze in full solar power by only using combinations of appliances at one time, but never all of them at once.
Tip: Opt for rechargeable over disposable batteries. The debate on using disposable batteries or rechargeable batteries has long been a heavy conversation.
Keep in mind that your panels are going to have to stay clean. Any debris or dirt on them is going to reduce their effectiveness. Can you afford a roof cleaning once a month? Are you willing to do it yourself?
Do your power calculations based on winter numbers rather than summer. Your winter season likely has half the total hours of light than the warmer months do. If you do not account for your minimums here, you will have to draw off the local grid or a backup source for power. The positive side of this is that if you are prepared for solar self-sufficiency in the winter, you will have lots of power in the summer for air conditioning, and perhaps to feed into the grid.
Tip: Think small. If you are unable to use alternative energy for your entire house, start with just one room.
Do whatever you can to make your home consume a minimal amount of power before you go solar. This can range from small steps like using energy-efficient light bulbs to removing your clothes dryer in favor of a clothesline in the backyard. The more energy efficient your home is prior to going solar, the more you can save on your solar installation.
Going solar in the home is a wonderful way to support the environment and save money, but there are steps you should take before you start pulling up roof shingles. Apply all the ideas within this article to make the most of this potential investment.
Of all of the green energy choices, solar energy can bring in the most money. The sun comes up and shines for free and you can use it for nothing, if you have a solar system array on your roof. Check this article out to find out some of the ways that you can use to save money with solar energy.
Solar power can help you in a number of ways. You can buy a set of outdoor lights that use solar power and put them in the ground in your front yard; then, you’ll have a lighting system to greet your guests without adding to your power bill. Any appliance that you can attach to your electrical system can benefit from solar power.
Tip: When you can, take showers rather than baths. Running a bath uses up to 40% more water than a shower does, which means more energy is being used and your water bill will sky rocket.
Adding solar power to a water heater is a common entry point for many people into solar energy for the home. Instead of installing a full array of panels, you just install a handful, and run the circuitry right to your hot water heater. Then, the power goes right from the sun for use in your hot water heater. If you aren’t using your hot water heater, the energy goes into your grid for use throughout the rest of the house.
The best place for solar cells on most homes is the roof, because that has the most access to the sun without blockage from trees, telephone poles and other structures. You want to make sure, though, that the pitch of your roof will point the panels toward the incoming sunlight. A contractor can help you make that determination as to the best placement.
Tip: A great tip for green energy use is to ensure that your home is properly insulated and has a high R value with the insulation. The best insulation has a higher R value.
If you notify the electric company that you are installing solar panels, then you can arrange to sell them your excess power. If you do not use all of the energy that your solar panels generate in an entire month, then you should get a check back from your utility. Most utilities are glad to have the contributions, because electricity use is increasing in the United States each year, and the more customers there are with solar panels, the more relief the grid will get, especially in the hottest part of the summer.
You’ll want to check with your HOA (homeowner’s association) to find out if you can put solar panels in. Most associations do permit this, but there are some who will not allow it. The opposition to solar panels is not as passionate as the opposition to wind turbines is, because solar panels do not stand dozens of feet in the air and block views. However, you definitely want to find out before you place an order with a contractor.
Hopefully, this article has given you some ideas about things to consider when pondering a solar energy array for your house. Using these points as a springboard, you should be able to figure out what questions to ask your local government representative in charge of energy, and the contractors whom you interview when finding one to install your array.
So, you don’t have enough money right now to install an array of solar panels on your roof. However, you still want to take advantage of solar energy to help bring down your overall power bill. There are some tips in this article that will help you figure out small ways to use solar energy around the house.
There are a variety of outdoor lighting solutions that depend on solar energy. Some of these are the small lights that you just slide into the ground, making a nice border for your path to the front door from the sidewalk. Others are somewhat larger and allow you to light a whole area of the backseat. Also, there are some larger, free standing lamps that rely on solar power as well, and you can place them strategically around the yard to create a groovy ambiance.
Tip: If you are still using a more traditional source of energy, invest in a programmable thermostat. This will let you pre-set your temperatures for both day and night times.
Temporary lighting is also a great idea for a summer party. Your guests will be able to follow each other around the yard, and if you also put out some citronella candles, the insects will stay away. Using these lights will make you look like you’re green at heart — and will make your part of the house very cool.
While solar-powered cars are not yet a realistic method of transportation for a family, new advances are made each month in this area of technology. It certainly makes sense that one day, a solar-powered car could carry people around, but right now the prototypes are small — and do not have a lot of room inside them. The closest thing right now is an electric car that you could plug into a wall outlet inside a home with solar panels on top of it.
Tip: A raised floor can be a great way to save energy. Install your heating system in the raised floor: the heat will circulate much better and every room of your house will be warm.
The power that these would generate might well be negligible, but a solar powered attic fan would bring some relief to the summer nights. Using these appliances to cool the house and get rid of unnecessary moisture would drive bills down — as well as temperatures.
If you want to install some panels but not a full array, you can still hook it up to your hot water heater. This way, your energy has a dedicated appliance to go to, and you haven’t gone to the full expense of a major array. Connect a small array of four to eight panels directly through the roof to your hot water heater. Excess energy will still enter the grid for you, but if you need the rest of the energy for your own needs, it will be there for you.
If your family does not have the money for a solar energy project right now, you can start smaller. You can put some lamps in the back yard, or even install a smaller array dedicated to one or two of you appliances. Once you build up some savings from your electric bill, you can go back and buy the rest of the array, or mix up your energy sources in another way. Either way, it’s possible to start solar savings without a full array of panels.
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.
How Does One Use a 60 Watt Solar Panel?
A lot of families are anxious about the cost when they think about changing over their dwellings to solar power. They may also picture huge solar panels on the top of their roof as well as a large electrical unit that contains lots of complex electrical stuff. With a high price tag of nearly $8000 for a complete system, many people won’t even entertain the though of buying a system.Utilizing solar power can save you a considerable amount on electric bills in the long run and has the added benefit of being a clean source of energy that will not damage the environment. You will begin to experience the advantages once you pay off the initial investment since you will no longer be paying for electricity and your energy source will be free. If the initial investment called for to install solar panels is something you can’t afford for you, there may be an alternative solution….