As energy bills continue to soar, a lot of homeowners are beginning to look toward alternative energy sources for their homes. The most popular and well known of these methods is solar energy. Most people associate solar power with the large panels you see on roofs. While that is one option for making use of solar power in your home, it isn’t the only one, or even necessarily the best.
Powering Your Home
The first misconception that many people have about solar power is that installing those panels will allow you to do away with traditional energy methods. To some extent they will, but not always entirely or all year long.
Solar panels must be installed so that they get the full brunt of the sun for as long as possible. Not every home has that much direct sun. Trees, shade, hills, and angles can all mean that you don’t get enough sun to power your home all day long. In some cases, the panels can be moved to a new location nearby, but even then you may not get as much as sun as you need depending on where you live.
Secondly, in some climates, your panels will be blocked by snow for a portion of the year. To keep them working, you will need to keep them clear, which can be difficult for some homeowners to do.
Finally, what happens when the sun goes down? Or during the shorter days of the winter months? You either need a backup method to power your home when there is no sun, or you need a storage method, such as a large solar battery to run your electricity off of when there isn’t enough sun to do the job.
To make up for this, some homeowners will choose one high energy area to have their solar panels power. For example, if you have a large household, you may want to have your solar panels heat your hot water tank for you. Or if you have a workshop at home, you may want this space powered by solar energy, while the rest of your home is still on the grid.
Solar energy does not have to be an all or nothing scenario, but it does take some careful planning and thought to ensure that you’re maximizing its usage. For small homes in sunny climates, it may make sense to make this your main energy source with a battery for backup. For homes that get less sun, you may want to use solar energy as a way to reduce your energy bills, not eliminate them.
Powering Specific Appliances
Something else that many people overlook is the fact that you can find solar-powered appliances for many areas of your home. For example, attic fans and whole-house fans are available for use with solar energy. This means that you can run these appliances without needing to connect them to your home’s traditional energy supply. Lights are another option; many outdoor lighting solutions can make good use of solar energy, turning themselves on at night after storing energy all day. These are all great solutions for homeowners looking to reduce their energy bills, but who don’t want the large expense of installing full solar panels on their home.
Make Informed Choices
Solar energy is a great way to reduce your traditional energy consumption. It does have higher upfront costs, however, and doesn’t always allow you to recoup more than 60% of the installation costs at the time of resale. That being said, the energy savings each month often makes up for the initial cost. Just be sure you plan carefully to allow the solar power to do as much work for you as possible, without leaving you without power in the event of an eclipse.
When you’re ready to begin, be sure to sign up with BEYREP to get matched with a Pro who has the solar knowledge you need to make those plans. Sign up today to get started, and create a greener home with BEYREP.