Solar Power For Homes : A Look At The Pros And Cons

March 4, 2012 by Mark Walters  
Filed under Environment

Using solar power for your home offers a great alternative energy source. You capture energy from the sun in a natural fashion and use that energy in your home. Solar energy is converted by installing solar panels on your roof. The names associated with this include photovoltaic, but if you are heating just water in your home it is referred to as a solar thermal system. One of the main advantages to using solar power for homes is that your energy bills are lowered. Not only that but the maintenance required after you have installed the solar panels is little to none, making them easy to have. When they work they don’t make any noise and are not a visible eyesore on the exterior of your home. Possibly the best advantage to solar power though is that you do not contribute to greenhouse gases when you use electricity in your home.

The worst disadvantage to solar power for homes is that it relies upon the sun and if the sun is not present, particularly challenging for those people living in place that have long, dark winters, then there can be no conversion of energy. This can be slightly rectified by capturing more than enough energy during peak sunlight hours and saving it for later. Also, not every item in your home will run on solar energy and as such, you need to verify how many products in your home will still require the use of your regular electricity. The costs are quite high for solar panel installation as well.

It is simple to understand which amount of energy is captured if you know how solar power for homes works. If your home is located in an area prone to drier temperatures and exposed to constant levels of sunlight, then solar power for homes is more suited for your home, assuming that your home can maintain solar panels.

Residential solar energy has an average capacity to capture 3.6kW of energy, which is about the average amount used in American homes annually. The cost of installing solar energy systems ranges from fifteen thousand dollars to upwards of fifty thousand dollars. However, many state governments offer rebate incentives and many solar companies do the same, thus qualifying the range of cost for solar energy systems.

Some residential solar energy systems are grid-tied which means that they work in conjunction with the local power company. In this case, if you have solar panels large enough to capture and convert more energy than you are actually using, your local power company can pay you for the extra energy that you have captured, and distribute it throughout your neighborhood. If your solar energy system is off-grid, then it functions on its own and is not connected to any other meters or local power companies.

Related reading – Solar Panels

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