In light of the recent environmental crisis, many activists are urging the public to go green. One of the most popular ways of doing that is by installing solar panels in your home. But how do you switch to solar energy? We’ve got you covered. With our complete homeowner’s guide to going solar, you’ll be able to power your home and save the planet all in one!
The Basics of Solar Energy
Before getting into the homeowner’s guide to going solar, first, you need to understand the basics — how solar energy works.
On the most basic level, solar energy is the light and heat generated by the Sun. This light gets transformed into energy when photons, also known as light cells, knock electrons free from their atomic bonds. The process generates a steady stream of electricity you can use to power your home, generate heat in the winter, and power your appliances.
To kick start this reaction, you need a smooth surface that generates a magnetic field. This is where solar panels come in. manufacturers coat the panels in a thin layer of silicon, phosphorous, and boron.
Since phosphorus and boron have an opposite charge, when you coat the top and bottom of the silicone layer with them, you generate a magnetic field. Therefore, when a photon knocks an electron free, the magnetic field will force the electron out of the silicon junction. The consequence of this is electricity.
While solar panels are the most common way to harness the sun’s rays, they aren’t the only ones. You can transform any smooth surface into solar architecture if you coat it in this phosphorus, silicon, and boron sandwich. And the best part is, the energy stream you get from your solar architecture will be constant, no matter the weather.
Though solar panels work less efficiently in the shade, they don’t suddenly stop generating electricity when it gets overcast outside. The clouds may hide the Sun, but they don’t make the star disappear. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about your panels shutting down the moment autumn rolls around.
Homeowner’s Guide to Going Solar
So you’ve read about all the benefits of going solar and have decided to make the switch. But don’t rush into buying the panels just yet. There are plenty of things you need to consider before switching to this sustainable energy source.
- Is Your Home Compatible with Solar Panels?
This is possibly the biggest and most important step in the homeowner’s guide to going solar. While solar panels work in all kinds of weather conditions, there are instances where getting them may not be the best choice. For example, solar panels work best on south-facing rooftops with a 15-40 degree slope.
Therefore, if your roof is too old, or covered by too much shade, then installing them on the roof is not the smartest idea. However, you can still install the panels in your backyard. Before making that decision, it’s always smart to look up the solar potential of your area from trusted sources.
- Will You Get Enough Power?
This is an easy question: absolutely! The key here is to choose a solar system that will get you the most energy at the best possible price. A good way to estimate the amount of energy your system will generate is to use the PVWatts tool. Developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, this calculator will help you estimate the amount of energy your panels will produce, as well as how much it will cost.
- How Much Will Going Solar Cost?
Though eco-friendly products have a reputation for being pricey, solar panels are actually quite affordable. Companies like Atlantic Key Energy are striving to make solar affordable for everyone. They’re offering potential buyers the opportunity to get their solar panels at incredible prices.
But beyond the cost of the panels, and the installation itself, solar is cost-effective because it helps you save money long term. Solar power can help you save upwards of $19000 on energy bills over a 30-year period. Thus, they’re one of the best investments you can make.
Solar energy is not just the best thing for the environment. It’s also the best energy source for your wallet. Switching to solar power helps you save money on your energy bills, as well as up the value of your home.
To be fair, the switch may seem daunting if you’re new to solar energy. However, with our complete homeowner’s guide on going solar, you’ll be able to make the switch in no time!