Over the past decade, solar power has become more popular and more accessible. In fact, U.S. solar installations have increased seventeen-fold since 2008, providing enough capacity to power the equivalent of 5.7 average American homes. But while this source of renewable energy is undoubtedly impressive, you can’t simply schedule your solar installation and call it a day. In order to get the most out of your newly installed solar panels, it’s a good idea to adopt some new habits, as well. These new habits can help your family to be a bit smarter about energy consumption and benefit from all these solar products have to offer. Here are three simple tips you can follow to make your solar energy system even more efficient.
- Switch to LED Bulbs: Simply put, halogen bulbs have become virtually obsolete. Did you know that these types of bulbs actually use 90% of the energy from the electricity they use to expel heat? Only 10% of that energy is used to create light. In other words, this product creates a lot of waste. They also don’t last nearly as long as newer alternatives on the market today. LED bulbs turn nearly all of that electricity used into light, which means they stay cooler to the touch and don’t waste that valuable electrical currency. By switching to LED bulbs, you’ll be able to increase energy efficiency and save money in a couple of different ways. For one thing, you won’t waste the electricity gathered by your panels on useless heat. And because you won’t need to replace LED bulbs as often, you won’t have to waste money on products that won’t last.
- Opt for Daytime Chores: Certain household appliances require more power than others. For example, the washing machine, dryer, stove, and dishwasher all need more electricity to run properly than, say, a blender or a lamp. Because your solar panel system will have greater access to its source of power (aka the sun) during the day, it’s usually a good practice to use the appliances that require the most electricity when your system is more easily able to replenish itself. Whenever possible, plan to do a load of laundry when it’s nice and sunny outside, rather than late at night. And of course, switching to energy-efficient appliances is alwaysthe best way to go.
- Stagger Appliance Use: Speaking of appliances, you also may need to adjust your habit of doing all of your chores and household jobs at once. In many cases, using several appliances (or just a couple of bigger appliances) at the same time may exceed the amount of power generated by your panels. That can result in extra costs that you’re trying to avoid. Of course, some appliances have to be run at the same time (like your refrigerator and freezer, which run continuously). But you should try to stagger your use of larger appliances so that your dishwasher, washing machine, and other electronics aren’t all running at once. Make sure each cycle has ended before beginning another — or even better, try to run each on separate days to keep energy usage more consistent.
When homeowners work with solar companies to install new solar panels, they might assume that there’s no more effort needed on their part. And while solar panels do gather energy without any work from you, the truth is that you’ll get even more out of this system if you’re able to adopt some greener practices in daily life. To learn more about how our solar panels can help you keep costs down and reduce your environmental footprint, please contact us today.