The Many Uses of Solar Energy in the Home



Going “green” and exploiting the many uses of solar energy in homes has become increasingly popular, whether you are building or remodeling. A great way to increase energy efficiency in your home is to replace your traditional electricity with solar energy. Although it may seem like a large investment to transform your home to use solar energy, the amount of savings over the following years will be plentiful.

What does solar energy actually mean and how does it work? Solar energy is made through a solar panel which binds the radiation from the sun and then converts it into efficient energy. In essence, when the sun’s radiation connects with the panel, energy is projected. There are some things that effect how well it works, for example, the solar panel must be in constant sunlight in order to produce energy. This can be accommodated through proper installation in that the panel should be placed on the side of your roof that will receive the most amounts of sun rays. Aside from installing a solar panel for electricity, solar energy can be used in place of your traditional hot water system. Again, the sun’s radiation is used to heat the water within a heat storage tank. Furthermore, there are beneficial tax incentives and/or rebates that come along with using a solar water heater.

There is an additional way we can think about solar energy in that there are passive uses of solar energy in our homes to become more energy efficient. First, if you are building a home, you can carefully plan where your windows and doors will be placed, so that you can take advantage of the sun’s radiation at the proper times throughout the day. Second, you can change your landscape outside your windows and doors to block some of the sun rays out during the summer, and won’t experience the hot temperatures. Third, you can assess how your house is currently insulated, and add additional insulation if needed. This is something that is often overlooked, but very easy to do to save a lot of money in the long run.

Through adjusting our homes to accommodate active solar energy, such as installing a solar panel to replace traditional electricity, or passive solar energy, such as adding insulation or trees outside of our windows, we can increase the efficient uses of solar energy within our homes.


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