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Simple Steps To Reduce Your Home Energy Bills Through Solar Panels

Simple Steps To Reduce Your Home Energy Bills Through Solar Panels

Simple Steps To Reduce Your Home Energy Bills Through Solar Panels

Homeowners experiencing high energy invoices are searching for ways to make their homes more comfortable an energy efficient. Reducing the amount of power a home requires can be approached numerous ways, and when put together, they can make a significant difference not just in money saved, but raise the long-term worth of the property.

A major energy waster in many homes are the large appliances which make our lives easier, such as laundry machines, dishwashers, fridges and electronic entertainment. newer models of all major appliances have gone through review under the U.S. EPA EnergyStar rating system that determines the actual rate of savings realized when new appliances are brought in. Aside from the fact that they draw less power, recent appliances are less noisy, perform better and do not have to deal with imminent repair costs because the warranty still stands. Even changing small appliances such as blenders, coffee makers and toaster ovens with the energy efficient counterparts can make a big difference in your monthly power bill.

Numerous resale and newer properties lack the most efficient insulation in the attic which can strongly impact the capability of your home heating and air conditioning system. By laying out modern insulation on the floor and roof lines of the attic, much of the heat may be harnessed instead of dissipating outside. By installing an attic fan, you can force the hot air out so that on moderate days you can keep the air conditioner off. Every region is a little different and often has newer houses therefore you might not see as many of these problems.

If your heating and air conditioning system is over fifteen years old, it is most likely time to replace it because it has probably become a burden on your energy bill as it becomes less efficient and demands more frequent upkeep. Portable heating and cooling units and full home HVAC systems with EnergyStar ratings usually have incentives for homeowners to upgrade that include Federal subsidies, manufacturer rebates or local grants. In an effort to discover which subsidies are accessible you might want to speak with an agent since they often attend that keeps them informed on such government incentives.

Solar power equipment, windmills and geothermal heating and cooling systems can be set up to virtually take your house off the grid and they often pay for themselves in twenty years, after which you’ll have free renewable energy. For smaller equipments, you can use solar panels on outdoor appliances to feed your outdoor lights, gate opener, swimming pool motor and hot tub water heater. Doing this can boost a when there is a purchaser’s market when competition is stiff.

Especially in drought-prone areas, water costs can be a substantial expense, and having proper measures in place to preserve water is always a good idea. Low-flow toilets, faucets and drip irrigation systems can help reduce the volume of water you use on a everyday.

The plants you choose to put in your front and back yard can effect your ability to effectively heat and cool your home. Large leafy trees, shrubs and strategically placed trellises will help filter the sun and keep windows and walls that receive lots of light cooler. An additional cost-saving idea is to place evergreens in a row to block winter winds.

The biggest obstacle to the widespread adoption of solar power is the simple homeowner question: Will I see a return on my investment? In response, major cities across America have unveiled online “solar maps” that allow residents to type in their address and receive estimates of how much money they would save on their electric bill per year.

The most accurate solar map in the United States is one being used by residents of Cambridge, Massachusetts. According to the map’s creators, the MIT Sustainable Design Lab and the design workshop Modern Development Studio, their solar mapping tool can provide energy-saving estimates that fall within 4 to 10 percent of real-world measurements. “Looking at these other maps and all the assumptions that were made, I said, ‘I think we can do a lot better,’” says MIT Associate Professor Christoph Reinhart, who led the underlying research.

MIT created a topographical map of the city based on nearly one million data points gathered by aerial flyovers using LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), which measures the distance to an object by bouncing a laser beam from it. This data not only allows the researchers to take into account roof shapes (flat, angled), but even the extent to which nearby trees and buildings block or reflect sunlight.

And then there’s the weather data. Solar panels generate energy not only from direct sunlight, but also from diffuse light across the sky. MIT dug into historical weather data to ascertain sky conditions (overcast, sunny) over Cambridge for every hour of a typical year. The researchers also plundered the weather data for hourly temperature changes. Higher temperatures increase the resistance levels of electric circuits, leading to a decrease in voltage output. “Scien­tifically, that’s probably the biggest overall correction factor,” says Reinhart. “We see that in the summer, when we think they generate most, the solar cells actually have less efficiency for many roofs.”

The product of all this data is an online map of 17,000 rooftops, using Google Maps and its satellite imagery. On every roof, the solar tool overlays a spectrum of color-coded dots that indicate the fitness for solar power for every 25 square feet. Residents can obtain more detailed data by clicking on or typing in their address. For instance, one address reveals that 611 out of 2,863 square feet of roof space is optimal for solar panels. The actual cost of installation, with federal and state tax credits, would be $33,506. Annual savings would be $4,952. The map also provides comparative financial returns on other investments, such as gold. And an environmental over- view reveals an annual reduction of seven tons of carbon emissions.

The map is still in the prototype phase, but once it’s ready for prime time, the MIT team says it will work with other cities to develop maps of their own. “The end goal,” says Modern Development’s Eduardo Berlin, “is to help consumers capture every feasible kilowatt.”

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