Saving Money And The Earth Through Solar Energy

One of the most popular forms of renewable energy is solar power. These days, you see it being used everywhere both commercially and residentially. If you are considering turning to solar energy for your power needs, this article is for you. Read on and learn everything you need to know about solar energy.
You should assess how much energy you need for your household before investing in a solar energy system. You will get the most out of your solar energy system if it is powerful enough to cover all your energy needs and allows you to sell a small quantity of power to the main grid.
If you really want to see how your solar panels are working, keep a diary of the day to day energy output. Make a note if you are recording data on a particularly dark or shady day. Having this information can help you to understand how your panels work, and this can help you to optimize their performance.
Keep the weather in mind when thinking about purchasing a solar system. A good rule of thumb is to ensure your panels will receive a minimum of five hours of good sunlight per day. During the winter, if you have snow on your roof or if most of the days are overcast, you should consider other options in green energy.
Purchase batteries to store excess solar energy. These batteries are similar to rechargeable batteries; however, they use the sun's energy to power up the batteries. This energy can be used in the evenings and at night to help power your appliances, televisions and lighting requirements. These batteries are relatively inexpensive making them a great choice for the beginner.
Solar heating systems use the power from the sun to help heat your home in the Winter. This type of system is a great option for locations that do not get especially cold. Using this type of system in conjunction with your regular heating system can save you up to 50 percent of your energy costs.
Look into the warranties of the solar panels you are considering. A quality solar panel should have a warranty for twenty years or more. If you don't get that with the panels you are considering, then move in a different direction. It may cost a little more, but it'll be worth it for the peace of mind.
Be sure to account for maintenance and upkeep costs when figuring out the costs of a solar energy system. While solar energy has the potential for a lot of savings, it greatly depends on your location. Solar power is not right for every situation, and even has the possibility of costing you more money in the long run.
Don't assume that just because a company sells and installs solar panels means they are good and trustworthy people. Shop around. Get a minimum of three quotes. Read all contracts. Check backgrounds of potential contractors. Deal with this like any other home-improvement project that you would otherwise do.
Regardless of the solar system you choose to use, ensure that the panels face towards the direction of the sun. If your panels are not pointed at the right angle, you are not getting the most benefit from them.
Decide whether you want to be on or off the power grid. Many people look forward to getting "off the grid" when they switch to solar power, however this may not be the best choice. Staying on your power grid means that when you have poor sunlight conditions you have the ability to purchase additional power when you need it. As a bonus, when you produce more power than you use, you can sell the excess back to the utilities.
Solar power heating, whether for heating water or for a direct heat source, is different from solar power electric. By installing one of these systems, you can reduce your gas bill by up to 50 percent. This is on top of the savings you have on your electric bill already.
Do not fret if you live in an area where it is frequently overcast. Solar power does not necessarily require full sun all the time. The sun's radiation penetrates through the clouds and can energize the solar panels effectively. Before you give the idea, do your research and discuss your options with reputable solar energy companies.
One of the easiest things at your home to convert to solar power is your outdoor lighting. There are many attractive solar lighting options available at your local home center. These fixtures are easy to install and are relatively inexpensive. Spend some time browsing the selections and see which options will be suitable for your outdoor needs.
What size solar system do I need for my home?
Use winter sunshine hours instead of summer hours whenever you are calculating how many solar panels you will need. This is because winter sunshine hours only add up to about half that of summer. It is better to overestimate how many panels you will need rather than underestimate. If you underestimate, you will end up losing power when you need it.
Going green is not a fad, it is a lifestyle change that many people have made. You should think about doing the same since it will help cut down on the use of other energy sources. The information provided above should be more than enough to help you get started.

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