Solar Power for Residential Homes


Solar power for residential homes can provide hot water, warm pools, heating and even energy for cooking. This resource can be tapped with an initial investment that will pay for itself over a reasonably short period of time. Instead of paying power companies for use of non-renewable resources, families can not only save money, but help save the environment as well.

Most systems that provide solar power for residential homes compliment the traditional power systems in the house. During peak times of extreme cold, additional hot water can be heated using traditional sources. During extreme heat or cold, solar powered home heating and cooling systems can be supplemented with additional use of traditional systems. Even those residential homes that obtain only forty to seventy percent of their power from solar power systems enjoy a huge savings over a period of time.

Depending on what solar power for residential homes are chosen, the initial investment can range from about $2,000 for a do it yourself home water heating system to much higher for systems that store power in batteries for use for heating, cooling, cooking and lighting as well as hot water. A small home created solar powered pool heating system can be built for as little as $1,000 or perhaps even less. Use of recycled material in these solar power residential systems can reduce the cost significantly. This is one area where it pays to be creative.

Of course, if you are not a do it yourself handyperson, you can have a qualified, licensed and insured contractor provide and install a complete solar power system for your residential home. Of course, this is more costly than a do it yourself system but it can pay off in the long run. Your solar power system will have a warranty and you will be assured of certain performance standards. If you choose to build your own panels from recycled materials, finding design plans online or in a book, there is no such guarantee or warranty. You can choose to purchase commercially available solar panels and install them yourself; this provides a warranty on the solar panels while saving money. Be sure to read the warranties and be certain that they will be valid in a self-installed system.

Some residential homes display large roof top arrays of solar panels called solar photovoltaic panels. This type of solar panel is often used to heat pool water and provide some or all of the household's hot water needs. Often several solar arrays are necessary to meet the needs of an average family's solar power requirements.

Probably the most common use of solar power for residential homes is to heat water for the swimming pool. The solar power system required for this application is very simple and low cost. There are even designs that can be found that use empty aluminum cans, such as beer and soft drink cans, and old sliding glass doors to create a perfectly functional system at very low cost. A little carpentry, some bending of copper pipes and the ability to follow simple instructions is all that is needed for a person with a good collection of hand and power tools to be able to build a solar power system of this type.

How complex or simple a system for solar power for residential homes you choose, you will enjoy the knowledge that you are doing your part to save the dwindling resources of our planet. You will also enjoy the fact that you will save on energy bills and, over time, the solar power for residential homes always pays for itself.

About the Author: Anita van Wyk strives to make make more people aware of the benefits of using solar energy through her website

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