There are a lot of reasons to convert to solar power, including its eco-friendliness and the way that it can lower your utility bill over time. If you’ve never considered it before, however, you might be wondering where to start. Here are just a few ideas for using solar energy around your home.
Think about Everyday Power
The easiest way to start taking advantage of solar power is to slowly bring it into your everyday life. For example, you might look into solar pool covers or pool sheets if you love taking swims in the backyard. You might think about solar-powered lamps, lanterns and light posts for your exterior home lighting. There are even solar-powered heaters that you can buy for when it gets cold outside.
Start from Scratch
This won’t work for everyone, but if you’re building a brand-new home, deck, shed, or sun room, you can get in on the ground floor with solar energy by using something called building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). They replace traditional building materials with solar-powered ones. For example, “solar shingles” look just like real shingles while also functioning as tiny, individual PV panels. “Solar facades” are used on exterior walls to give them a glass-like appearance while also harnessing sunlight.
Install Solar Panels on the Roof
This is the most popular way to harness solar energy, and it’s well-known for a reason. Solar panel installation is building in popularity too. On your roof, photovoltaic panels can soak up the sun without any kind of interference or blockage. They can be spread out in formations that maximize their charge over the flat surface area. You’re also less likely to damage them when they’re out of reach, so they’ll last longer than panels that are vulnerable to bumps, nudges, and scratches.
Put Panels in the Yard
Do you have a chimney or skylight that would make it difficult to install solar panels on the roof? Or maybe your roof is going to need replacing in 5-10 years, and you don’t want to install a solar array with a lifespan of 20-25 years right on top of it. The good news is that you have other options for solar energy. There are ground-mounted panels that you can place on the lawn that will charge just as effectively as ones placed on the roof, so don’t be afraid to look down instead of up.
It isn’t always easy to switch to a sustained source of energy. If you’re truly committed to green living, however, it’s worth the effort. Use these tips to get started with solar energy around the house.
About the Author:
Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber