Solar panel installation is more affordable than ever, thanks to aggressive tax incentives and all-time-low production and installation costs. But the biggest savings come later in the form of lower energy bills, which quickly add up over time. In fact, the average family’s solar power system now pays for itself in about seven years.
An encouraging cost-benefit analysis is the #1 reason that solar power is now the nation’s leading source of alternative energy and a fixture in the residential real estate market.
But what if you could squeeze even bigger benefits out of the equation? While solar panels don’t require a lot of hands-on management, there are steps you can take to optimize their performance while simultaneously reducing your overall energy consumption.
That one-two punch can drive down your energy costs beyond the average family’s savings, meaning your system could pay for itself even sooner (and you’d enjoy even-lower energy bills along the way).
“How do I get the most out of my solar panels,” you ask? Here are five easy tips for maximizing performance.
1. Help Yourself to the Sun (It’s Free!)
It is a misconception that solar panels only work during daylight (on the contrary, they store up power during the day with a reserve supply of energy available at night).
Still, it is true that solar panels do their best work when it’s sunny outside. In fact, during peak sunlight hours, it’s possible for you to power most or all of your home solely using solar energy. That means you aren’t relying on the electric grid during those hours.
Experts advise saving your most energy-intensive activities for those sun-soaked mornings and afternoons.
Your local utility provider might even offer additional incentives to homeowners who rely on solar energy during peak-use afternoon hours.
To really get the most out of your solar panels, make sure they’re facing the right direction. Optimal angling can increase efficiency by up to 2%.
2. Use Different Appliances at Different Times
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 had run the dishwasher at 9:00 a.m. and then saved the dryer for the afternoon, you’d be making 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 how programming features that will allow you to set a specific hour of operation in advance. This can help you to consistently get the most out of your solar panels, week after week.
3. Insulate Your Home to Prevent Air Leaks
You can enhance your solar system’s performance simply by reducing your overall energy consumption — either by adopting more eco-friendly living habits or by helping your HVAC do its job more easily.
As for the latter goal, the best way to lower your heating and cooling costs (and to create a more comfortable living environment) is to seal off air leaks. You can do that by sealing ducts and/or insulating attics, crawlspaces, walls, and floors..
The less energy your HVAC needs, the more solar energy you can divert to other household uses.
4. 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.
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 Out of Your Solar Panels: Schedule a Home Energy Audit
REenergizeCO is a Denver-based home energy company that helps homeowners and businesses diagnose their energy efficiency problems and then correct them cost-effectively.
We offer full-service solar power installation services, as well as a variety of other easy and affordable solutions for lowering your monthly energy bill.
A good first step is simply to schedule a home energy audit with our team of energy experts. 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.
To learn more about a home energy audit in Denver, CO, please contact our office and ask about scheduling yours today.
We are here to answer any questions homeowners may have about home insulation, energy audits, and solar power.Contact Us