So you’ve decided to add solar to your home? Congratulations — after a short payback period, your solar energy system will provide you with years of free, clean, local energy you can feel good about using.
Solar is a significant investment, so it makes sense to maximize your benefits by taking a few simple steps before you install your system.
Keep in mind that the more efficient your home, the easier it will be to power it with solar. By making your home more efficient, you can enable your solar system to handle a far greater percentage of your energy needs — saving you even more in the long run.
Here are a few easy ways to prepare your home for solar:
For solar electrical (PV) systems:
- Replace your old, inefficient appliances with new, Energy Star appliances. They will pay for themselves in the long run, and you may be able to take advantage of state, local or utility rebate programs to help offset the upfront expense.
- Switch to energy-efficient CF or LED light bulbs, if you haven’t already. You may qualify for rebate incentives on these as well.
- Unplug your computer, TV, and other electronic devices when not in use. This will eliminate “vampire loads” — the small amount of energy these devices draw even when switched off. Using a surge protector strip with a built-in on-off switch makes it easy to switch off multiple devices at once.
For solar heating:
- Air seal and insulate your home before trying to heat with solar. It’s a very good idea to get an energy audit beforehand — the State of Maryland, DC offers a rebate for this service and it will tell you exactly what you need to do — and in what order — to best improve your home’s efficiency. (It will also address your electricity usage.)
- Fix any leaky faucets or pipes.
- Get in the habit of using the “eco’ setting on your dishwasher.
- Upgrade your appliances to efficient, Energy Star models. But before you change out your water heater
…and regardless of the type of solar system you’re interested in installing
Get a Professional Solar Evaluation of Your Home
Often called a solar site audit, this is a free service we offer to anyone seriously considering investing in solar. We will conduct a thorough review of your property to determine your sun exposure and roof availability. We’ll also calculate your average energy needs and estimated savings, and explain how you can take advantage of solar energy incentives available in your area.
Following these simple steps will ensure that your solar energy system performs optimally for the maximum possible energy savings for your home. Contact us today to schedule your FREE solar audit.