Solar power has been proven over and over again to help homeowners rely less on conventional power sources by creating their own electricity. The biggest benefit of solar power is that it doesn’t depend on fossil fuels and is completely renewable. The other benefit for homeowners is that it can save a lot of money on their power bills because they are using less electricity from the power grid. In fact, in some areas, homeowners with solar power can actually feed their extra electricity back into the grid and get paid by the electric company for it.
But as with any electrical usage, even with solar power, homeowners still want their homes to be as energy efficientas possible. Solar panels can only produce so much electricity, so it is possible to use more electricity than their solar grid can produce. When that happens, the homeowner will need to rely on the conventional power grid that will cost more money.
Your solar panel installer has just finished installing your new system. You’re excited to save money and reduce your carbon footprint. Now the question is how do you make more efficient use of your solar power system? Here are some great tips to start saving energy, and money, on electricity.
1. Install LED light bulbs in all your fixtures. LEDs are known to use very little electricity and will last a decade or more. If your house uses a lot of artificial light, then LEDs will save you a lot of electricity over the years.
2. Make better use of natural light. You can even reduce the amount of artificial light you use by relying more on natural light during the summer months.
3. Run high electrical consumption devices during the day. The daytime hours, when sunlight is plentiful. This seems counterintuitive because electrical companies usually charge more for electricity during the day. But your solar system will produce the most electricity during these hours, and if you have a high-capacity battery to store electricity, then your system should easily be able to handle these spikes in usage.
4. Increase your energy storage. Aside from panels, the other component of your solar power system is batteries. These are what store the power your panels produce from the sunlight. If you increase your storage capacity, then you’ll be able to create a buffer for the days the sun isn’t shining, or you just need more electricity on a short-term basis. As technology continues to improve the price of batteries keeps going down, making larger capacity batteries more affordable than ever.
5. Keep your solar panels clean. Your panels will collect dust and other debris over time, which reduces the efficiency of those panels. Make sure you’re regularly cleaning your panels to ensure that they’re able to absorb as much sunlight as possible. The company that installed your solar power system should be able to teach you the best way to keep the panels clean. In fact, some systems will even alert you to the fact that the panels aren’t producing power as efficiently as they should be.
6. Eliminate all the shade on your solar panels. Even a little bit of shade can greatly reduce the amount of electricity they are able to generate. Check for tall trees, antennas, and other structures that may cast a shadow on any of your panels.
7. Install energy efficient windows. Windows are generally one of the biggest sources of energy loss in many houses. By replacing your existing windows with ones that are more energy efficient, your house will stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. This means that your AC and furnace will be running less. And because heating and cooling can be 50% or more of your energy bill, installing efficient windows will pay for themselves in savings in just a few years.
Converting your house to solar is a great way to save money and help the environment. By making your house as energy efficient as possible, you’ll get the maximum benefit from your solar system and it’ll start paying for itself right away. And don’t forget that even the small things help, like converting all your light bulbs to LEDs. All that little stuff adds up to big savings in the end.