Are you looking to reduce your monthly electric bills? Do you wish to help lessen your home’s carbon footprint? Then you need to consider turning your house into a solar home.
Having a solar home means relying on solar power for your energy requirements. It doesn’t mean completely depending on solar energy. You can use solar energy to cover a portion of your energy consumption.
Data reveals that an average home in the United States consumes about 877 kWh per month. But with solar energy running in your house, you can significantly reduce your expenses while meeting your energy requirements.
But with all the advantages solar energy brings, converting your home into a solar-dependent one is not that simple. Hence, how can you tell if your home is ready for solar energy?
Continue reading below for a lowdown on going solar.
What Is a Solar Home?
What exactly is a solar home? A solar-powered home uses solar intertie photovoltaic (PV) systems. These systems mainly feature solar panels. These panels harvest sunlight then convert it into electricity.
Thereafter, a solar home can use the electricity to power all sorts of equipment. Homes can get a portion of their consumption from solar panel systems. In turn, they don’t have to rely solely on the energy coming from their electricity provider.
Start with Your Roof
Converting your property into a solar-powered one is not that simple. There are certain conditions that you need to consider. There are certain requirements that your home needs to meet for the solar PV systems to work.
The first one is the type of roof that you have. Your roof must have the proper age, size, and orientation to accommodate the solar panels. Ideally, you want your roof to be south or west-facing.
This will ensure the optimal harvesting of solar energy. In case your roof doesn’t have this orientation, you can still gather solar power but not at an optimum level.
Also, you want your roof to have no obstructions. These obstructions include chimneys and skylights. You also want your roof to have a pitch of 30 degrees.
Do you have lots of trees and buildings surrounding your house? These trees and structures may cast large shadows over your roof. These shadows could affect the performance of solar systems.
The Climate Matters
This factor may seem quite unfair to others. The climate in your area also plays a role in determining if solar energy is feasible for your house.
Interestingly, it is a misconception that you need to live in an area that has a warm and sunny climate to maximize the benefits of your solar panels. The truth is you don’t need to be living in California or Florida to enjoy solar power.
This is because solar panel performance improves under colder temperatures. The science behind this startling fact is that the panels’ efficiency in energy production goes down when the temperature goes up. Once you hit anywhere between 87 and 91 degrees, the panels become less efficient.
This means that you can install solar panel systems even if you live in states like Massachusetts or New York.
But what about the snow during winter? Though snow may impede the panels’ harvesting capabilities, having the correct angle of the panels and a little bit of sunlight should get the snow out of the way.
How’s Your Local Electricity Rates?
One of the primary goals of installing solar panels is to lower your electricity bills. Hence, you need to look into the electricity rates in your area. Do the math and determine if the savings you will get are all worth it.
The average monthly electric bill in the country is around $111. This was in 2017.
Keep in mind that solar power costs are no joke. Installing the panels is a big investment. One PV panel can cost anywhere between $2.40 and $5 per watt. You also need to pay for the mounting equipment, tracking mounts, and wirings.
There are also the DC-to-AC inverters, disconnect switches, fuse box connections, and utility power meters that make up the equation.
Converting your house into a solar home is a long-term investment. It takes several years before you can realize and maximize its financial benefits.
Check the Regulations
Last but not least, you need to check the existing regulations in your area. Consult with your homeowners’ association (HOA). Inquire if they have any regulations concerning solar panel installations.
Typically, you will have to secure certain permits from the HOA. You may also need to visit the city building department. The good thing is that some solar panel providers handle the processing of the permits.
Nevertheless, it is still wise to go over all the rules and regulations. This will help you understand the limitations of solar panel use in your area.
The Key Benefits
We cannot talk about solar energy without touching on its key benefits. We already know that a solar panel system can reduce your energy consumption.
But its benefits go beyond savings.
If you buy from a reputable provider like Solarise Solar, you can lessen the emission of greenhouse gasses. Conventional electricity requires the burning of fossil fuels. This contributes to global warming.
On the flip side, solar energy doesn’t need fossil fuels. It helps reduce your carbon emissions since it uses energy directly from the sun.
Another key benefit is it helps reduce cardiovascular and respiratory health issues. Solar energy yields small amounts of air pollutants. It reduces the use of sulfur oxide, nitrous oxide, and particulate matter emissions.
It then promotes respiratory and cardiovascular health. It can lessen the instances of developing chronic bronchitis and the like.
Learn More About Renewable Energy
Converting your house into a solar home can be one of the best decisions you can make for your family. If your home meets the basic requirements, then, by all means, you should consider solar energy. But installing solar panels is just the beginning.
We invite you to learn more about renewable energy. Check out our other topics that will help your home become more energy-efficient and eco-friendly.