Solar Energy

Choose solar power for your home

Solar energy has been heralded as the wave of the future for some time now, and the future is finally arriving. Thanks to improvements in the technologies that drive solar energy systems, it is now more affordable than ever to take advantage of the sun's ability to produce clean, never-ending power.

Using solar power to cover at least part of your energy needs can be a very wise move, from both a cost-savings and environmental standpoint. Most homes outfitted with residential solar energy systems use the sun as a supplementary rather than primary source of power, and while it's initially cheaper to install solar cells and panels in a new house, it's also easily possible to retrofit an older home to take advantage of solar energy.

Should You Switch to Solar Power?

To determine whether or not it makes sense to switch to solar energy, you need to conduct an audit of your annual energy usage. Perform a cost analysis to see if and when you will eventually recoup your investment in solar panels through savings on your power bill. That said, there are some solar energy products that you should consider regardless of your electricity needs.

Solar hot water heaters can save you a lot of money and are viable alternatives to electric or propane water heaters in almost every case. This is because your water heater is a major consumer of energy, accounting for as much as 25 percent of your home's entire power usage, and switching to a solar hot water heater will put most of that money right back in your pocket. A solar hot water heater can take care of up to 60 percent of your hot water needs, or even more if you live in a particularly sunny climate.

If you have a pool, solar technologies have a great deal to offer. Solar pool heaters are an excellent investment and have the added benefit of extending the typical swimming season by as much as a month. Combining them with solar pool covers can help you save even more.

However, relying solely on solar power to take care of all your home's electricity needs is still not entirely viable with current technologies. Nevertheless, it is an excellent supplementary tool that provides sustainable, cheap and pollution-free energy.

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