How to Start Creating an Eco-Friendly Home

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Although there are multiple ways to make your home eco-friendly, you can start a major important renovation by the installation of solar panels. Not only will you have extensive savings on the cost of energy, but studies have shown that homes with solar power systems sell for approximately 3.74% more than comparable non-solar residences. Even if you do not live in the home long enough to break even on the original and energy costs, home buyers are willing to pay a premium to move into a solar-ready home, and that is likely to cover your investment.

How Much Money Is Saved?

By opting to go DIY (do-it-yourself) solar, you can actually cut your costs by more than $12,000 for the average home. The cost of solar today is approximately one-third of what it was 10 years ago. An installed system went down from about $7.14 per watt in 2010 to $2.50 per watt now in 2020.

As data has illustrated, 20 to 25 years of electricity savings from a solar system over its lifespan is significant and ranges from $10,000 to about $30,000. Payback on the system occurs in approximately seven and a half years, and homeowners continue to save for the rest of the life.

What are solar panels and how do they work?

Solar cells are made mostly from the chemical element silicon that has conductive properties. Light exposure changes the electrical characteristics and an electric current is generated. A 6” x 6” square of silicon with electrical contact plates is called a cell. Solar panels are a grid of cells that are on a protective back sheet and are then covered with glass on the front. Multiple panels are needed to provide power. A panel collection is an array. Panels that are wired into a common inverter is a string of panels. Inverters have a maximum upper limit to the number of panels that can be supported.

Read also: Using the Eco-Friendly Approach to Fleet Management

How long do solar panels last?

Most manufacturers have a guaranteed warranty on their panels that they will be extremely reliable and at least 80% efficient for 25 years. Even then, when the warranty is up, the panels keep working at a reduced output. For example, a panel that is rated at 300 watts would continue to produce 240 watts of output at 25 years. A study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory reported that over 75% of panels outperformed the warranty. Inverters are warrantied for 10 to 20 years. Lead-acid batteries usually last 3 to 7 years, and lithium batteries are normally warrantied for between 10 and 15 years.

What are more of the benefits?

* Heat your water by using the free energy from the sun instead of depending on electric or gas by installing a solar water heater. That circulates water through a black insulated collector that maximizes the retention and absorption of the sun’s energy to heat the water.

* Solar panels do not require a lot of maintenance, but you want to set up monitoring so that your system continues to work properly and catch any problems that can be fixed right away to avoid unnecessary costs.

* A solar system also increases the value of your property. According to Unbound Solar, “Studies of the real estate market have proven that homes equipped with a solar power system sell for more than their non-solar counterparts.”

How do you get a solar system installed?

You can build it yourself and save thousands of dollars or hire a local professional team to do it. If you choose DIY “do it yourself” solar, you can use their “Do-It-Your-Way Solar Guide” to learn about preparation for installation including site evaluation and permitting as well as detailed planning, designing, resources, and more. You can also take a free DIY Solar Workshop that will guide you through the project step by step.

DIY solar panel systems save money starting immediately upon activation and protect against rising utility costs over the years. There are numerous options in size, style, and how they impact your budget. Your level of experience, if you want to install the system yourself, and the goals for your project will guide a company to help lead you to the type of system or solar kit that will work best for your family’s specific needs.

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