According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the single most cost-effective strategy for reducing your heating and cooling bills is by improving the energy efficiency of your home. There are two ways of thinking about this – you want to use as little energy as possible to power your home, and you want to make sure that this power is being delivered as cheaply and as efficiently as possible.
That’s why so many people in Northwest Arkansas are embracing solar energy – sunlight is free and there’s tons of it, and it’s just a matter of converting all the natural goodness of the sun into energy as efficiently as possible. To maximize your solar efficiency, you’ll want to have the best possible solar panels possible for converting all that free, natural sunlight into electricity.
The more efficient your solar system is, the more sunlight is converted into electricity. And while sunlight is a free natural resource, it’s not free to convert it into electricity. Even the very best solar panels on the market are only able to convert 10-15 percent of all available energy into electrical power.
That’s where a good solar installer can make all the difference in optimizing your home for energy efficiency. An experienced solar installer, (such as ourselves) can make sure that all the solar panels are installed in a way to maximize the number of hours of sunlight that they receive. We take into account a number of factors here – the direction and angle of the roof, the presence of any shade (think leafy trees), and the amount of airflow between the solar panels.
But before you even think about installing solar panels on your roof, you’ll want to make sure that you’re using as little energy as possible. That’s because the less energy your home uses, the smaller the solar system will be for your home. That means fewer solar panels on your roof, and more cost savings for you as a result of cheaper heating and cooling bills!
The way to start here is with an energy audit of your home. The general rule of thumb is that 40 percent of all energy consumed by homes is actually wasted, due to factors like poor insulation, leaky ducts and inefficient appliances. So the goal of an energy audit is to discover all the places where your home is “leaking” energy.
There are usually a number of easy fixes – improving home insulation, replacing old windows with double pane or low-emissivity windows, shifting to energy-efficient lights and sealing up any cracks or leaky ducts. Plus, there are simple steps that you can take that don’t require any investment at all – switching off the lights when you leave a room or minimizing the use of your washer and dryer.
The energy efficient home, then, really starts from the inside out. It starts with all the little behaviors that really add up inside the home. Your goal should be to optimize the energy efficiency of the home before you install even a single solar panel.
And then, once you’re ready to flip the switch on your solar system, the cost savings will impress you. For starters, there’s no out-of-pocket money to get started - you only start paying for the solar system once it’s been installed and it has started to produce energy. Contrast that to buying a new energy-efficient appliance or installing new home insulation, where you have very definite up-front costs!
The good news is that it’s possible to save money by making your home energy efficient before going solar. And once you go solar, you’ll improve the energy efficiency of your home even more. All those cost savings should light up anyone’s day.
Is solar a good fit for your home?
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If you are considering going solar, the first step is to get a solar savings report to determine if solar is right for you and your home. Click the button below to get your solar savings report now!Get Your Solar Savings Report Now!