Adding Solar Energy Without Demolishing Your House
Most people think of a roof full of solar panels when they picture adding solar power to their home. However, in many areas this is simply not cost-effective. There are not enough sunny days to earn back the cost of the panels, or local regulations limit what kind of system you can put up. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get some solar power into your home. This article will give you ideas on integrating more green energy into your life.
If you have any outside lights then you can free them of your traditional electricity. Solar powered outside lights are a little bit of a “no-brainer” when reducing your energy usage. There are plenty of solar products out there from bright security lights to small garden lanterns. They collect solar power during the day and then use it at night to create light. They are very energy-efficient so they will keep shining even after a week of rain. The batteries will need to be changed occasionally, so read the directions and mark the date on your calendar.
There are more and more solar-powered tools available as well. You can start with a solar power lawnmower, and move on to solar-powered chargers for your other power tools. You can even get small solar chargers that will charge your household devices. Many chargers will even work with just the lights inside your home, so you won’t have to clutter your window ledges with charges.
To reduce your bills in the summer, look into getting a solar-powered fan for your home. These are especially great for attics, but can be easily added to any window. There are similar but smaller versions for your car as well. These are especially great for keeping your car from turning into an oven.
Solar cars are not a viable part of the market yet. However, the technology exists to add solar power to an existing machine. Many of the new hybrids use a few solar panels to help power the dashboard electronics. Similar devices can be retrofitted into an older car with a little extra wiring. Things like air conditioning can seriously draw on your gas mileage or batteries if you have a hybrid vehicle.
Even if you can’t fill your whole roof with panels, think about adding a couple for heating water. Hot water systems can actually be cheaper in some ways as the sun’s energy is transferred directly into the water, which is then used throughout the home. This water can be used for showers and dishes, unless you are lucky enough to have a home fitted with radiant floor heating.
Solar power is a huge investment that won’t always pay for itself in the long run. However, it seems a shame to waste all that free energy. By utilizing solar power on a small-scale you can save on the infrastructure costs of a large system and still reduce your energy usage.