Thinking of going solar? There is a variety of things that can already be considered before you build your new home in order to maximize the efficiency of your solar installations. With these tips, investments and energy costs can be kept low for years to come.
Investing in solar is a big step for most homeowners. However, there is a variety of things that can be kept in mind before you become one. If future homeowners consider these tips when designing and building their property, they can easily reduce investments and recurring costs for years to come.
Solar prefers morning and evening sun
While it is widely believed that solar installations are most efficient when facing southwards, this is actually not quite true. Make sure your home faces East or West for maximum productivity, as this helps releasing the produced energy steadily throughout the day. The peak usage times, morning and evening, are also covered best. The strongest solution consists of three panels: one to the East, one to the West, and one to the South. If at all possible, build a covered terrace or a conservatory on the South side. The roof will shelter you from the sun in summer and help generate energy in winter. Large windows should be placed on the East and South sides of the house, as unlike West or Northwest, these sides are rather sheltered from wind and rain and will let in plenty of light. Again, choose a roof as well to make sure the rooms won’t overheat in summer.
Size does not matter
When planning your solar installations, make sure you know your usage and your peak times. If the size of the installations is adjusted to your needs, that is all it takes to provide you with energy. In sunny countries, this can work year-round, less fortunate countries in more Northern hemispheres can at least profit from March until October. An additional energy source might be required for the winter months.
Use electric water heating systems
Flow heaters use a high amount of energy, but a boiler is a great choice for households that are powered with solar energy. They are heated electrically whenever the panels have generated enough power and keep the water hot for a long time. An added bonus is the fact that the boilers are usually installed next to the tap, thus no energy is lost on long transports through pipes and maximum hygiene is ensured.
Choose smart heating
Depending on where you live, you might need heating for those cold months. Heat pumps powered with solar energy are a great and environment-friendly solution. The pumps will use all thermal potentials from the outside air and the ground. Air-heating pumps are usually preferred as they are more affordable and easy to install. However, big houses might do better with geothermal heat pumps as these houses require more energy.
In order to shelter your household from the cold, it is advisable to ensure appropriate and efficient insulation is installed.
Local products, professionally installed
When choosing the right products for your installation, consider local manufacturers, simply because maintenance service and spare parts should be readily available. Continue thinking local when it comes to the installation, which should always be done by a professional. Someone based in your neighbourhood will be familiar with the climate and ensure you get the best results possible.
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