Residential Solar Energy
Because of new technologies, lower costs, and government incentives, residential solar energy is an option for more families than ever before. Solar energy can help reduce your monthly electric bill, or cut it out altogether. Having this type of energy system will also help raise the value of your home, and increase your selling price
There are two types of home solar energy. The most commonly used right now is solar thermal energy. Many people are using it to heat their water, pools, and even their homes.
Solar Thermal Collectors
Active solar thermal energy captures the heat from the sun and adds it to water, which is then circulated through tubes or solar thermal collectors. These tubes run through spaces distributing the heat. Using this technology, people are now able to heat their water and homes using nothing more than natural sunlight, cutting their electric bill dramatically.
Passive solar energy entails building features into a home to automatically allow more heat absorption. Large windows, stone floors and brick walls are some of the features that have been found most effective. If the warm air does not circulate enough to heat certain parts of the house, fans can be used to help push the warmer air where it is needed. Good insulation is also a key factor in this option as is a thermal mass to absorb heat.
Panels on your Roof
Photovoltaic is the other, form of residential solar energy. This technology captures the light from the sun, rather than the heat, and converts it into electricity.
Until recently photovoltaic energy production has been considered expensive, and had some efficiency issues. The system and panels were also very large, taking up more space than many people can devote to them.
Advances in Technology
New breakthroughs such as nanotechnology and thin-film solar have recently been introduced into the home solar energy scene making panels more efficient at collecting and converting the energy, as well as cheaper to manufacture. Much of the problem of solar panels was the materials being used, but with the new found technologies there are more choices in materials and methods of production that will make this much more affordable for the average person.
The Money Tree
Did you know the federal government is not the only one giving away incentives, rebates, and tax breaks for installing residential solar energy? Your local and state governments and your utility company may also have extra incentives aside from the federal funds, and many different companies offer rebates and discounts for solar energy products. Some people may see as much as a 70% savings on the cost of installation. This is above and beyond the savings you’ll see when you start to get those smaller electric bills.
If you’re trying to sell your home, solar energy capabilities may be an important part of whether it sells or sits on the market for a long time. People who are looking for homes are going for the more eco-friendly homes. This means a home that can produce its own energy will look very tempting next to the one that relies solely on the public electric system. This is especially true as electric rates seem to climb more every year.
Residential solar energy now offers a wider variety of options for homeowners and the financial incentives make this much more affordable. This cleaner, highly renewable resource may offer fossil fuels some serious competition. If you are considering an alternative energy option for your home or small business, solar energy may have just what you need.
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