To “go solar” no longer means that you have to install solar panels on your roof (and thank goodness because they’re a bit of an eyesore). Today, there are several different ways to utilize solar energy in your home, and some of the ways don’t require the hefty price tag that solar panels do.
That’s not saying that solar panels aren’t good, because they absolutely are. The point is that you don’t have to add expensive panels to your home to enjoy living in an efficient home. Companies like Community Solar have become an educational resource on sharing electricity harvested from the sun.
Photo by Mark McCammon from Pexels
But what people don’t realize is that there are other ways to use solar energy in your home. Whether you want to add more resale value to your home, reduce your environmental impact, or save on your monthly electric bills, here are ways you can use solar energy to enjoy living in a more efficient home.
Everyday Ways to Use Solar Energy in Your Home
Outdoor Solar Lighting
Most people get confused with outdoor solar lighting. In their minds, you don’t need outdoor lighting during the day, so how will the light work at night when there is no sunlight? Well, that’s the beauty of outdoor solar lights.
The way these lights work is that they will collect the sunlight from during the day and convert it into electricity. From there, the electricity is stored inside special batteries and the lights will then use the electricity that was stored from the day to be used at night.
The key is to make sure you place the lights in locations that will receive optimum sunlight. Also, before making your solar light purchase, check with the manufacturer to see if they provide replacement batteries and bulbs.
Solar Water Heater
Solar water heaters are great alternatives to traditional water heaters powered by gas or electricity. If you’re considering this as an option, it’s important you understand the two types of solar water heater systems: active and passive water heater systems.
Active solar water heater systems use mechanical circulating pumps that water or any other type of fluid and circulates it through collection panels from the rooftop. Passive water heater systems don’t have any mechanical pump components. It simply works off of the natural heat rising.
Solar-Powered Ventilation Fans
If your home has an attic, solar-powered ventilation fans are going to benefit your home greatly. These fans exhaust the hot air that builds in your attic during the hot summer months, which in turn, drastically reduces your cooling costs.
In the past, these fans were wired into your household electrical current (which completely ruined any efficiency efforts). But today, there are self-contained ventilation fans that use a small panel of cells that operates the fan’s motor without any need for an electrical current.
During the hot summer months and the cold winter months, that is the time when your electric bills are most high. Have you ever tried baking something during the summer? Did you notice how miserably hot your home became? That’s because the typical oven/stove unit emits so much heat that it makes your entire home feel hotter than it is outside!
ENERGY STAR is a great source for your big energy-efficient appliances. But it doesn’t have to stop at the big appliances. You can actually make your small appliances go solar too. The secret to success here is a 25-watt power bank that you can set in a window using a DC-to-AC inverter.
With these solar power kits, you’ll be able to power these small home appliances without:
- Coffee maker
- Slow cookers
- Electric can opener
All of these kitchen gadgets can be powered using the 25-watt power bank. The only thing to consider when using solar energy to power these small appliances is that you can only power one appliance at a time unless you have multiple power banks.
All in All…
As you can see, there are many ways to incorporate solar energy into your home without those gaudy solar panels being installed on your roof. Everything from outdoor solar lighting to solar water heaters, as long as the sunlight is being absorbed through various solar-powered devices, you won’t have a real need for traditional electricity.
According to epa.gov, using energy more efficiently is the best way to save on your monthly electric bills and it’s also a great way for you to make a positive impact on the environment.
Everything from using energy-efficient appliances to outdoor solar lighting, the way you use energy in your home will not only give you peace of mind in knowing that your bills won’t be greatly impacted during extreme temperatures but you’ll also be able to just enjoy your home more knowing it’s efficient.