If you’ve decided to take the leap into solar energy, you probably already know that a more energy efficient home can save you tons of money on your utility bills. Solar panels are the most effective way to decrease energy use in your home, and because of the urgent concern for our environment, there is now a wide variety of products and systems that can further increase your energy efficiency status. If you’re just about to start a solar installation, now is the perfect time to think about the big picture by including other energy-saving products in your home. Here are some of our favorite energy efficient projects to pair with your new solar installation project.
After making the decision to install solar panels, you’d be forgiven for thinking that your renewable energy job was done. However, you can further increase the positive effects of the sun in your home by installing skylights throughout your home. This added sunlight will make your home warmer and brighter during the day, and they can be conveniently completed while your solar pros are installing your rooftop photovoltaics. If you have spaces in your home that could benefit from added sunlight but are too small for skylights, sun tunnels are a low-cost and energy efficient alternative to artificial lighting.
Invest in a Solar Battery
Solar batteries are perhaps the perfect pairing for rooftop solar panels because they provide convenient storage for the excess solar power generated by your home. This kind of storage is ideal for homeowners who live in rural areas where grid-based energy sources are unreliable or unavailable, those who want to be prepared in the event of power outages, and anyone who loves saving money. While this particular technology is still currently developing, Tesla’s Powerwall 2 is one of the hottest products on the renewable energy market right now and stands to be the model for future solar developments.
Upgrade your Windows
Homeowners with period homes or fixer uppers might have noticed drafts and cracks in old windows and door frames. Upgrading to energy efficient windows throughout your home will not only make your house feel warmer in the winter (and cooler in the summer), but will also decrease your regular energy bills. Choose Energy Star rated windows with two or three panes of glass for maximum insulation, and look for products with low-e coatings and insulating gas between layers of glass to further improve reflective and insulating properties. If you’re thinking about getting new windows, large picture windows and floor to ceiling units will be more expensive initially but will benefit your home greatly by bringing more light in and creating the illusion of more square footage.
Update your HVAC system
Although homes with solar panels tend to rely less on grid-based power sources and therefore save money over time, renewable energy is still used to power the systems and appliances in your property. If your existing HVAC unit is more than 10 years old, it could most definitely do with a service and could possibly need replacing. Heating and air conditioning units are rated by Energy Star just like windows, so consult your HVAC professional to find the best, most energy efficient unit for your home. Once your new unit is installed, make sure to service and clean it regularly—we recommend before winter and again in the spring—to make sure it is functioning in the most energy efficient way possible. Here’s to a greener home and reduced energy bills!
About the Author
Kaitlin Krull is a writer and mom of two girls. She enjoys writing for the solar professionals at Modernize Solar Leads with the goal of providing expert knowledge on green home improvement projects and connecting homeowners to qualified solar panel contractors.