Switching to Solar: Why You Should and How to Get the Most Out of the Sun’s Energy
A lot of people have a vague idea of how beneficial it would be to switch to solar for their energy needs. That said, the cost has been a prohibitive factor for most people, but as the price of solar panels and its associated accessories falls, more and more people are starting to see solar as a viable option to grid electricity. But what benefits could you derive from switching to solar? When you do, what can you do to ensure you get the most out of the sun’s energy and your solar system?
Understanding Solar Power
Solar panels harness the power of the sun and turn it into electricity. When this energy is converted into electricity, it can be used directly or stored in batteries that can provide power when the output of the solar panel falls. Even though the amount of power a solar panel generates can fluctuate according to the weather, there are a few things that you could do to get the most out of your solar panel installation in Sacramento:
- Keep your panels clean – dust and other debris can drastically reduce the output of your solar panels. Dust them off or run some water over them from time to time, especially during the drier, dustier months. Also, see that no leaves fall on your panels during the fall, and when you do, you should see your output remain at acceptable levels.
- Make sure the panels face the right way – A lot of people think that making the panels face south ensures the most electric output. Well, this is not true; scientists have found that placing your panels facing west could increase your output by up to 2%.
- Turn your panel the right way – This applies to people who have solar panels on the ground or panels that can be moved. If you can, tilt the panel according to the season. During different seasons, the sun passes over the sky at different angles and using slightly varying routes. Tilting your solar panel according to the season can help increase your output significantly.
- Know what to switch on and when – If you have heavy machinery that needs to be run, try to run it during the day or during peak production times (a good monitoring system should tell you when that is). Doing so ensures that you are using power from the solar panels and not from your electric storage unit which you might need during the evening and night.
- Get efficient appliances – Use your monitoring unit to know which appliances are using a lot of electricity. Once you have this list, try to shop around to see if you can find replacements that will use a lot less electricity. Also, get rid of any appliances that you use once in a while. For example, if you prefer to heat food using the stove rather than a microwave, get rid of the microwave.
- Switch to LED bulbs – LED bulbs use a lot less electricity than traditional filament bulbs. Because of this, using them will let you have a little more power for other uses.
- Don’t use standby mode – A lot of electrical appliances have a standby mode. Even though the electricity they consume in this mode is very little per appliance, when you have five or ten of these appliances on standby mode all at the same time, their consumption could add up quickly.
Finding a Solar Installation Company
Once you are ready to get your solar panels installed, it is time to find a company that deals with solar Sacramento or in your locality. If you are in Sacramento, a company such as Semper Solaris is a very good option. They can be found at https://www.sempersolaris.com/locations/bay-area/sacramento-city/solar-panels and they have been providing solar installation services for years. They are also certified by the relevant bodies to not only install the solar panels for you but to also keep the grid as a supplemental source of power once you switch to solar.
Getting an experienced company also guarantees they know all the laws, rules and regulations in your area. For example, solar panel owners who stay connected to the grid can get rebates and tax exemptions. Inexperienced solar installation companies or those who are located outside your area might not have this information.
When choosing the company, also find one that has great customer care and support. Although it is rare, issues can crop up after the installation of your solar panels and electric systems. A good company should come down in a few hours and get it sorted for you.
Finally, research to find a company that will do a good job. An investment in solar is a very expensive one and you do not want anything going wrong during the installation or a few years down the line. Find solar installation companies that have great user experience because a bad experience might end up costing you thousands of dollars.
Getting Your Solar Panels and Related Systems Installed
Once you find your company, it is time to have your solar panel installed. The company will usually come around to see the site and decide on the best installation option for your panels. They might also do an assessment of your home and suggest the size of the panels you need. Note that some companies will advise that you have your roof fixed before installing the solar panels. This is so that they do not install the panels, then have to remove and install them again when you need to replace or repair your roof in a few years’ time.
After the panels have been decided on, it is time to decide if you need battery storage. If you live in an area that has erratic sunlight or would not like to stay connected to the grid, it is always a good idea to get battery storage. This storage will vary in size in accordance with your uses. Tied to your power storage unit will be the size of your inverter(s). These are appliances that convert the direct current (DC) from your solar panel or battery storage into the alternating current (AC) that most appliances use.
If you would like to use the grid as a supplemental source for power, for example, during the winter when the sun is low, this would be where you tell your solar installation company. Once all of these details are noted down, the solar installation company will get to work installing your solar panels and related systems. This might take a few days, so be patient while the work is completed.
The last step is carrying out final checks. The solar installation company will go through your solar system to ensure everything works as expected.
Solar panels are a viable option for people who live in areas that have high electricity bills. Even though the upfront cost of a solar panel and its related system can be quite high, the tradeoff is worth it, especially if you receive tax breaks and rebates when you get your system installed. Just ensure that you choose a reputable company that will do a good job and be on standby should anything go wrong.