How to Maximize Solar Energy
Energy efficiency is a matter of optimization. No matter what energy-efficient improvements you invest in, it is crucial to make sure the updates are a good match for your home, your lifestyle, and your energy use. Over time, adjustments may be required for better performance and to get your money’s worth.
So it is with residential solar energy systems. Both newcomers to solar and homeowners who are already enthusiastic about their energy systems want to know how to get the most from the technology.
Keep reading for information on how to maximize solar power for your home. Or you can contact REenergizeCO to get started on an optimal solution for increasing the output of your solar panels.
How Do I Optimize My Solar Panel Output?
One of the major benefits of solar power for your home is that the technology does not require a lot of hands-on hardware management. Solar panels and other components of the system can effectively generate electricity for years or even decades without adjustments.
Homeowners who invest in solar enjoy a great return on investment. With the savings on electric bills, the system can pay for itself in as little as 7 years.
Optimizing the performance of solar panels often begins with the decision to hire a professional solar company. Knowledgeable installers can angle solar panels just right to catch the maximum amount of sun and minimize shade, improving the output of electricity.
After installation, you can take additional steps to improve efficiency and optimize the output of your solar energy system – thus enhancing the money you save on energy. These 5 tips can help you get the maximum benefit from your solar panels:
1. Install a Solar Battery
While it is true that solar panels can only produce energy when the sun is shining, you are not limited to powering your home during the daytime. Solar battery storage enables you to have a reserve power source at night and when sunlight is scarce.
For many years, homeowners with solar had to switch over to the local power grid after sunset. However, solar-plus-storage allows you to maximize the electricity generated by your solar panels day or night.
2. Modify Your Habits
While battery storage can free you from reliance on the grid, solar panels still do their best work when it’s sunny outside. Energy-intensive activities such as doing the laundry are best performed in the mornings and afternoons when your solar panels are soaking up the rays.
Using solar energy during the day prevents you from paying peak-hour prices on electricity from the grid. In fact, you should check with your local utility for incentives that reward homeowners who rely on solar during peak hours. Net metering programs can further improve your solar savings by allowing you to “sell” the extra energy you generate back to your utility.
3. Use Different Appliances at Different Times of the Day
When you run multiple appliances at the same time, you increase the likelihood that your home will have to dip into the electric grid to keep things running.
For example, if you run your dishwasher and your dryer at 1:00 p.m., you might end up using both solar energy and electricity to get the job done. By comparison, if you run the dishwasher at 9:00 a.m. and then save the dryer for the afternoon, you make steadier and more efficient use of the available solar energy throughout the day.
Try to run no more than one major appliance at a time. Many of today’s appliances even have programming features that will allow you to set a specific hour of operation in advance. This can help you consistently get the most out of your solar panels week after week, month after month, and year after year.
4. Insulate Your Home to Prevent Air Leaks
Cooling and heating make up the single biggest energy expense in your home. That is why utility bills always seem to skyrocket in summer and winter.
Installing solar panels and adopting eco-friendly habits will save you money and reduce your dependence on the grid. However, if your home is inefficient, your solar energy system will have to work harder.
Upgrading your ductwork insulation can help your HVAC do its job more efficiently. New insulation can also stop air leaks in other areas of the home, including:
- The attic
- Exterior walls
- The basement
- Crawl spaces
- Lighting fixtures and electrical outlets
- Plumbing fixtures
- Windows (old windows may need weatherized or replaced with more efficient designs)
The less energy your HVAC needs, the more solar energy you can divert to other household uses.
5. Download a Monitoring System
A number of apps are available to track your overall home energy usage, solar power performance, local weather forecasts, and your monthly energy bills. These apps are a simple and sophisticated way to maximize the value of the electricity generated by your solar energy system.
Your local utility provider may offer basic monitoring services for free, while more advanced monitoring may be available through your solar installer and/or third-party app services. Knowing when, where, and how you’re using energy can empower you to optimize your overall energy savings.
Learn How to Get the Most from Your Solar Panels
Before installing solar panels or making other upgrades, it is important to know where you are losing money and energy efficiency. At REenergizeCO, our team of experts starts each project with a comprehensive home energy audit.
The energy audit enables us to assess the efficiency of your home and identify potential improvements. In just a few hours, we’ll determine where and how your home is wasting energy. Then we’ll identify the most cost-effective ways to turn things around.
Many homeowners enjoy maximum benefits from combining solar installation with other energy-efficient upgrades. Our experienced team members will discuss all options with you, customizing the project to your needs and goals.
For more information about optimizing your home’s energy use with solar, please contact REenergizeCO today. You can reach our office in Denver at (303) 227-1000 or call our office in Fort Collins at (970) 323-3191. We proudly serve homeowners throughout the Colorado Front Range.