Solar energy is the wave of the future, since it has an unlimited supply and is a clean source of energy. If you want to make the transition, but are unsure of where to start, there are ways you can take steps toward solar energy.
Assuming your jurisdiction allows installation of solar panels, it can be expensive to start harnessing solar energy. To make it more cost effective, start small. Aim to install a single solar panel on your roof and give it a dedicated function. For example, you may want any solar energy you collect to be saved in the event of a power outage, or use it to offset energy consumption for cooking or heating water. Ideally, the solar panel you choose should be connected to a battery, so you can "bank" the energy you collect and have it for use at night or on days when the there is insufficient sunshine. Another good use of the energy you collect is to use it during peak times when electricity is more costly to use. Typically, the rate per kilowatt-hour is usually higher during high-demand times of the year, such as winter or summer, and during the daylight hours.
If you are in the process of remodeling your home or building a new structure, factor in the positioning of windows in relation to the sun to help heat your home. You may want to integrate skylight windows in large spaces to allow more sunshine in during the winter. Since skylights can be installed with blinds, you will have a way of blocking out excessive sunlight during the warmer months. Another advantage of this passive solar method is it reduces energy consumption by helping you add light to large areas.
Add Heat-Absorbent Materials
Heat-absorbent materials are especially helpful if you live in areas with extreme winter climates and mild summers. These materials are typically installed in the floor and/or walls to help capture the sun's energy and use it to off-set heating costs. In general, the materials used for walls and floors are thick and dense, such as concrete and brick. Although it is necessary to add traditional insulation to these materials, they naturally retain heat better than wood or vinyl siding. To add more heat-absorption to these materials, they are coated or painted in dark colors.
Small changes in harnessing solar energy and making it work for your household needs is the easiest way to start utilizing solar energy. Over time, you can make modifications to offset more of your energy with a cleaner, renewable source of energy.
Contact a business like DFW Solar Electric to learn more.