5 ways to get the best solar deal for your home
Photo via BigStock.
As electricity bills rise, the switch to solar is becoming more popular. However, it's important to consider lower energy costs vs. the initial investment, as well as the benefits of reducing use of non-renewable energy before making the switch.
But before making the change, soak up these 5 sun-loving tips on getting the most out of solar.
- Don’t Be Sold. Do Your Research.
Before you go solar, research all available options so you can make an informed decision.
Don’t rely solely on advice from solar providers. By all means, listen to their tips and sales pitches – but remember: their main objective is to sell you their product.
To develop a balanced, impartial understanding of the pros and cons of solar, talk to friends, read customer reviews, and engage with relevant online forums.
- Number Crunch: Know Your Needs
Every household has different energy needs. When you decide to go solar, do some math to gauge how much energy you need to get you through the year.
In order to choose the right type, size and number of solar panels for your home, calculate your wattage. Review old power bills so that you can factor in seasonal fluctuations in power usage.
When estimating how much solar power you’ll need to sustain your power needs, remember that sunshine levels vary from one season to the next. Typically, more solar energy is generated in summer, and more energy is consumed in winter.
- Call In The Experts
DIY types may want to cut corners by installing your own solar panels – don’t do it. Solar panels are expensive and the science behind solar installation is complex.
Incorrect installation can hinder energy absorption. So, the money you think you are saving with self-installation is likely to turn into an expensive shortcut down the track, when your solar panels don’t perform as they should.
Solar panels must be installed where they have optimal sun exposure, tipped at an angle towards the sun. Professional installers can help you decide on the best placement for your unique situation.
- Insulation: Keep A Lid On It
Insulation helps to keep your warm areas warm, and your cool areas cool. For the best results with solar, doors and windows should be insulated to keep energy inside.
There are different types of insulation, including foam, fiberglass, and cellulose. Find out which type best suits your needs.
Whenever we open and close doors, we release heat. To minimize this problem, fit doors with insulation strips. Where possible, windows should be double-paned too.
- A Holistic Approach
Going solar is a big step that can save you lots of money. To optimize those savings, adopt a holistic approach towards how you consume energy in your home.
Simple measures - like turning off lights in empty rooms and fixing leaking taps - can reduce your energy expenses. Beyond lifestyle habits, consider investing in energy efficient appliances and light bulbs. New energy efficient appliances and products can be expensive upfront but, over time, they tend to pay for themselves in energy savings.
Read more about home solar power.
Katie is a blogger, digital marketing specialist and community manager for Airtasker, a community-based marketplace. People post and receive offers for handyman services from Airtasker in Australia. Katie is a great cook and also enjoys interior design, especially DIY. Living next to the beach, she’s always there (on weekends) swimming, catching up with friends or volunteering as a lifesaver.
Guest Blogger These columns are the work of our guest bloggers who want to share their expert green opinions on a range of topics.