Renewable energy isn’t just trendy, it’s a smart investment in your home. Increasingly, renewable energy solutions are providing people with the kind of lifestyle they want at a price point that, over time, outperforms conventional energy methods. Solar energy, one of the earth’s most abundant resources, is quickly outstripping all other forms of energy in affordability, ease of use, and access. Beyond simply putting solar panels on your home, there are a host of other solar home solutions that homeowners can explore. Here are just four options that you can consider when looking at incorporating solar energy into your home.
Using the Sun to Keep Cool
Whether your residence is using solar energy or not, you may want to consider switching your larger appliances to solar alternatives. One of the biggest energy guzzlers in most households is the air conditioner. Replacing your conventional unit with a solar unit is one way to lower your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint. Many units require no grid connection whatsoever, running off of a small solar unit that comes with the air conditioner. The newer versions come with a battery as well as an AC connection as a backup power source, ensuring your energy needs are met whether the sun shines or not.
In the Laundry Room
Your washing machine can also get a solar facelift. Many retailers that specialize in “off-grid” living have an array of solar-powered washing machines that are both energy efficient and use less water than conventional washing machines. While your washing machine isn’t your biggest energy-user, every little bit helps in conserving energy, as your utility bills will no doubt tell you. This is especially a great option for those who are looking to just dip their toe in the pool of solar energy solutions, and a major money-saver for those with large households and hefty laundry needs.
Solar water heaters are a great way to get a hot shower without having to double your utility costs for both the energy and water. These systems can actually improve the value of your home, as can the other solar options mentioned here, by making your home more energy efficient and eco-friendly. By getting a hot water system replacement, you also are then assured that you are getting the most up-to-date technology in efficiency to ensure that your water is hot and ready, whether for your shower, laundry, sinks, and so on. The energy efficiency requirements for utilities have been increased in recent years, meaning that newer models of any brand are guaranteed to be saving you energy from your older systems.
Another great way to try out solar energy is with outdoor solar lighting. Using solar lights in your yard allows for beautiful lights that power themselves, taking out any extra costs for energy and any need for unsightly power cords. Many of these lights charge up during the day so they can shine at night, working to beautify your yard as well as to discourage thieves from coming near your home. These lights can be purchased at most hardware stores or online, and are easy to install yourself, often needing nothing more than for you to stick them in the ground.
You can install small solar arrays yourself with a little know-how, but most of us should probably call a professional. Solar appliances are a little more expensive than conventional ones, but without the continued utility costs of energy, you save yourself a lot of money while saving the environment. It’s important that you sit down with a professional and discuss your options. Find out which solar solutions are best for your lifestyle and your budget.