Ways to Use Solar Energy at Home
A drop in the cost of residential solar power in the last few years has made it possible for more homeowners to make the switch. The US set a record by installing 5GW of solar panels in the first three months of 2021, enough to power 18.6 million homes.
Are you interested in getting a solar panel installation for your home? Did you know there are many innovative ways to use solar energy beyond supplying electricity?
Read on for six creative ways to use solar technologies at home.
1. Household Heating Systems
Rather than using gas or electricity to heat water for your home, one of the ways to use solar energy is to install a solar heating system to reduce your carbon footprint. Solar panels for home heating are installed on the roof to heat water using the energy generated from sunlight and circulate it through the building. This can provide heat for radiators and under-floor heaters as well as hot water for faucets and showers.
There are two main types of solar hot water systems.
Active solar water heaters transfer solar energy through a heat exchanger and pump hot water through the system. They use automated sensors and controllers to efficiently manage the water circulation and temperature.
Passive solar water heaters do not use pumps but instead transfer solar energy to a water tank, in which hot water rises to the top to circulate. They are less efficient than active systems but also cheaper.
2. Heated Swimming Pools and Hot Tubs
Depending on the climate where you live, another of our favorite ways to use solar energy is by connecting a solar water heating system to a swimming pool or hot tub. It will circulate water from the pool through the solar panels and back, keeping the pool warm enough for you to jump in at any time.
You can use a heat exchanger panel to circulate the water, passing cold water out the bottom of the tub and through the panel to pump hot water into the top of the tub. Or if you do not live in an area with several hours of consistent sunshine, you can use a solar panel kit with batteries to store energy and circulate the heat as needed.
If you’ve been put off from getting a pool or hot tub because of the cost of keeping it heated, a solar unit could be the answer.
3. Ventilation Fans
Using solar power to run roof ventilation fans is one of the most popular ways to use solar energy, and is a great option to reduce your utility bills. Self-contained solar vent fans keep your home cool by removing hot air from attic spaces. They use small solar panels to power the fan without needing to be connected to your home’s electricity supply.
Once your home is cooler, you can avoid cranking up the air conditioning. You can also use solar-powered ceiling or floor fans to keep rooms cool.
Not only does good ventilation keep your home cool, but it also reduces the buildup of moisture that could turn into mold and cause damage over time.
4. Outdoor Lighting
Advances in solar landscape lighting mean you no longer need underground wiring to light up your yard or patio. Solar lights are brighter and run for longer than in the past, saving you money on wiring installation and energy bills.
You can install individual LED lights that combine a small solar cell with a storage battery. The battery recharges during the day to keep the lights running brightly at night. There are larger systems available that use central solar panels and batteries to power multiple lights at the same time.
Now there’s no need to head inside on warm summer evenings because your outdoor lighting is too dim.
5. Motion Sensor Lighting
Another of the most popular ways to use solar energy is using solar-powered motion-detection lights for your outdoor home security. And if you forget to switch off lights inside the home, especially after a long day in your home office, for example, motion sensor lights will save on energy costs.
Indoor solar lights with motion sensors have solar panels attached and batteries in the base to store enough power to run them for several hours. You can program their motion and light sensitivity to your needs.
It may seem counterintuitive to have solar lights indoors, but they’re ideal for homes with large windows or a terrace or balcony that is exposed to sunlight. You can also install lights that are connected to rooftop solar panels.
There is a range of interior solar lights available, from desk lamps to bedside table lights and night lights. Solar reading lamps offer soft lighting that helps to prevent eye strain. And solar lighting is ideal for use in power outages or other emergencies.
6. Charging Electronic Devices
Solar chargers can extend the battery life of your electronic devices whether at home or on the go. They can power laptops as well as cell phones, tablets, power banks, and any other gadgets that need recharging.
Using sunlight to charge devices reduces the number of times you need to plug them into your home electricity supply. While it may seem like small electronics use less energy than home appliances like heating and air conditioning systems, cookers, and refrigerators, frequent recharging adds up over time.
Make the Switch to Solar Energy for Your Home
Are you ready to get the full benefit of solar panels for your home? From heating to lighting and ventilation, there are plenty of ways to use solar energy panel installations to cut your energy bills while doing your part for the environment.
At Sun State Solar, we have extensive experience in the solar industry. We pride ourselves on providing our customers with the highest quality solar products at affordable prices.
We hope this overview of creative ways to use solar energy gave you some ideas. Contact us today for a quote to see how solar energy can power your home.