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Archive March 20, 2022

Things to Consider When Installing Solar Panels

 

Having a solar energy system installed can be beneficial for homeowners. Solar energy is renewable, so it’s good for the environment and your pocketbook. Solar panels can easily be installed on any roof and can help provide you with an ample amount of power throughout the year. If you’re looking to install solar panels, here are some things to consider before making that decision.

 

  1. Location

The location should not be overlooked. The first thing most people think about when they start talking about installing solar panels is how much the installation will cost them. However, location can affect the price as well. Will there be plenty of sunlight hitting the roof? Is the house in an ideal place for direct sunlight, or must be shaded by trees or buildings? Think about where you live and what kind of sunlight is available.

 

  1. Budget

One of the biggest considerations when deciding if you want to invest in a solar panel system is whether or not you want to spend a lot of money upfront. Or maybe you’re more concerned knowing that the initial costs aren’t too high but rather have to pay more overtime for electricity bills. Either way, calculate your budget carefully and see if solar makes sense financially. You don’t have to break the bank; however, you also don’t want to go into massive debt paying for solar.

 

  1. Energy Usage

Do you currently use all of the hot water from the heating elements in your home? Are you constantly running the air conditioner to cool off during summer days? Do you know exactly how many lights you actually need at night? These questions will tell you whether or not solar would be a viable option for your home. Know the answers to these questions before starting the process. After all, if you have little or no space left on your roof for the solar panels, you won’t get the maximum benefit out of the installation.

 

  1. Solar Panel Maintenance

While it isn’t difficult to maintain solar panels once they’re installed, some small care might still be necessary. Make sure to keep the panels clean. Dust buildup could reduce the panels’ output slightly by blocking light rays. You can hire a power washing service twice a year to safely clean your solar panels. Keep an eye on the wires coming off the panels often to ensure they aren’t frayed. This could cause short-circuiting and damage the electrical system within the home. Also, know the lifespan of each solar panel. Some panels may last longer than others.

 

  1. Homeowner Insurance

It is important to check the terms and conditions of your homeowner insurance policy before installing a solar panel package. There may be limitations placed upon the installer regarding the type of panels used. It is best to ask your insurance agent before purchasing solar panels since this information may already be listed somewhere in their policies. Insurance companies usually say that you cannot claim your installation as a replacement for the main building, even though the installation itself may replace the old roof completely.

 

Solar power is becoming more and more common in our homes today. For those looking into making a move toward using renewable energy sources and saving money through solar, these are some considerations to bear in mind. Take note of the things mentioned above, then consider the details of your situation when deciding to install solar panels.

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Six Ideas for Energy Efficient Construction

You may be unfamiliar with the term, but the passive solar design is about as old as human civilization. It involves orienting a building and working with nature to keep a structure comfortable for a minimum of energy usage instead of fighting the elements.

  1. Orient the building

Prevailing winds can impact how cold you feel in winter and how hot you are in summer. Orienting the building properly can also help a structure soak up heat from the sun in winter and minimize absorption in summer. This is done hand-in-hand with details like window choices and landscaping. It is not a choice that stands on its own.

  1. Use thermal mass

Thermal mass means having thick walls or being partially underground or similar. It serves as natural insulation to help protect the building from heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer, making it effective at maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature year-round without running an HVAC system.

  1. Heat sinks

A wall painted black and facing the winter sun can soak up a great deal of heat during the day and then radiate it into the house at night. Similarly, the right flooring can serve to soak up heat from windows or skylights during the day and radiate it back into the house at night.

  1. Windows and daylighting

worker installing a new windowSome of the above techniques work in conjunction with the proper orientation of windows to make sure the right things are getting maximum sunlight in winter and minimum in summer. Choice of windows and window positioning thus plays an important role in passive solar design with regards to managing temperature. Secondarily, proper positioning of windows can provide natural sunlight throughout the day thereby minimizing the need for artificial lighting sources. Be sure to consult with a remodeling contractor that specializes in energy efficiency. 

 

      5. Landscaping

Deciduous trees can provide shade in summer but then lose their leaves in winter, exposing the main structure to the winter sun. Evergreens are often used to create a windbreak against prevailing winter winds. Proper orientation of the building combined with strategic placement of the right kind of landscaping will cut heating and cooling costs substantially.

This kind of design used to be the default norm for building design and construction. It also gets called vernacular architecture and is strongly associated with historic regional styles, such as adobe structures in the Southwestern US states and deep porches in the rainy Southeast.

Deep porches allow for keeping windows open to create a cross breeze during frequent rainstorms in the hot, humid southeastern US. Deep porches went out of style to some degree with the rise of the air conditioner, which tells you that there is an alternative to AC.

6. Efficient HVAC Systems

All of the ideas outlined above will not entirely eliminate the need to have an HVAC system. Extreme weather conditions will demand that you have heating and cooling. Additionally, proper ventilation is important to maintain good health. Talk with an air conditioning repair service to discuss various options and proper installation. 

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