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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Harnessing the Sun’s Energy to Stay Warm This Winter and Operate Efficiently Year-Round

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It’s no surprise that many homeowners continue to seek time, energy and money-saving energy options for their homes – and one of the best options remains using solar energy.  Solar panels have been around for a while, in fact, for many decades and as with any technological advancement, they have progressed over the years.

In today’s world of hybrid cars, paperless offices, digital communication and so many other energy-efficient tools and techniques – solar panels have also evolved to keep up with the times.  In this article, we share with you the benefits verses risks of installing solar panels in your home, as well as touching on other important things too such as price and installation considerations.  Hopefully you will soon be on your way to harnessing the sun’s energy to light up and warm up YOUR life.

How Do Solar Panels Work?

Sunlight is converted into energy through the use of Photovoltaic cells – when the sun’s rays hit the Photovoltaic panels on a solar panel.  The energy can then heat water and air – providing ample energy to operate a home, including its heating.  Air conditioning units can also run using Photovoltaic technology when the sun’s energy is converted into electricity.  Ideally, to obtain the most sunlight exposure, panels are typically placed in places getting the most direct sunlight such as rooftops or other elevated areas on or around the home.

What Does It Cost to Install Solar Panels?

The cost to install solar panels will vary depending on a few factors.  First, the amount of energy needed to run the home will need to be assessed.  Some homeowners use this technology in designated areas of their home while others get all their energy through this source. Of course, the more energy needed, the more it will cost, as a greater number of panels will need to be installed.

There are ways to cut costs; discounts are offered through major membership warehouse retailers like Costco.  Another way to make it affordable is to assemble and install the system(s) on your own.  A sizable amount of labor costs goes into the installation of solar panels.  For homeowners interested in self-installing their system there is information available online or they can request installation guides from manufacturers, distributors or retailers.

Economic and Environmental Benefits to Homeowners

Solar panels provide a free source of renewable energy – not to mention a clean and environmentally save source of fuel.

Solar energy saves homeowners a significant amount of money on home utility bills.

Housing values jump up, increasingly sizably with the installation and operation of solar energy units.

The government provides tax credits to homeowners utilizing energy-saving techniques and systems in their homes.


When more energy is produced than needed, in some cases the utility company will buy extra energy from you and generate a credit on your account.  This concept is called net metering.
No fuel is required to generate energy using solar panels.
Since fuel is not needed to produce energy from solar panels, the cost of gasoline and the corresponding supply and demand of fuel that drives prices up do not affect homeowners who use solar energy panels.
Once the initial investment pays for itself, energy from the sun costs absolutely nothing.


Solar energy does not create any pollution through the release of harmful chemicals or by-products such as carbon dioxide, mercury, sulfur dioxide or nitrogen oxide.
Using solar panels contributes to the decrease of green house gas emissions.
Energy is generated only where it is needed and used.
Since solar energy is a clean and renewable source of energy it is a sustainable form of energy that does not add to the perils of global warning threats, acid raid or smog – making it one of the most sustainable form of energy.

Disadvantages of Installing Solar Panels for Solar Energy Use

Though the benefits outweigh the disadvantages there are still a few drawbacks to installing solar panels in a home for energy.

The high cost of installation usually is the biggest deterrent to most homeowners who want to use solar energy in their homes.
Solar panels are quite large and require a lot of space for installation in order to run most efficiently.
Weather patterns can and do affect solar energy efficiency so a backup system is needed.
Efficient operation depends largely on the position of the home and where the panels are installed so that maximum exposure to the sun’s rays can be accessed.
Energy is only produced during the day.
For people who know they will be living in a home for several years, or even those who plan to sell their home soon after installing solar panels – it is largely a matter of being able to recover the cost of installing the solar panels needed.  Once recovered, the cost of energy is almost non-existent.  Add to that the fact that there is little to no maintenance required once installed (assuming proper installation), if homeowners can afford it, this is an excellent way to save money while giving back to the environment at the same time!

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