5 Myths You Believed To Be True About Solar Energy

March 27, 2016 Category :Uncategorized Off

Solar energy has been at the center of a long standing debate on whether it truly lives up to its claim of being a self-sustaining source of energy and a wise monetary investment. While we agree that solar energy is environment friendly and reduces greenhouse emissions, many of us hesitate from adopting it for our homes. This is generally because of the many myths that surround it. Here, we will attempt to uncover a few such myths and bring to fore the facts behind them.

Myth 1: Solar is too expensive for an average household

Most people presume that setting up a solar Panels system is an expensive affair that will negate any monetary benefits it yields.

Fact: Installing Solar PV panels require an upfront financial investment but this pays off in reduced utility bills. In households with average electricity consumption, the solar panels will push surplus electricity into the grid, thus earning you credit. Going solar will also bring you substantial benefits from the government.

Myth 2: The panels work only on hot days

Solar panels are often considered to be efficient only on hot, summer days. This misconception is a big reason why people shy away from going solar. Fact: Solar panels work on the sun rays falling on its surface and not on outside temperature. Even in cold winter months, you can generate sufficient electricity to meet your energy requirement.

Myth 3: Solar PVs are difficult to maintain

Solar panels are considered to be complex systems that require frequent maintenance and replacement, making them bothersome.

Fact: The efficiency of the solar panels is optimal when its surface is kept clean and free of obstructions. But it is usually sufficient to clean it once a year.

Myth 4: Solar installation will damage the roof

Some people fear that installing solar panels will cause their roofs to leak and may cause it to become weak.

Fact: Most of panels are mounted on supports that rest on your roof. They actually protect the area of the roof they cover. Also, agencies that install the panels will cover up any gaps with sealants to eliminate chances of leakage.

Myth 5: Solar will affect the look of my house

Home owners often hesitate to install solar panels on their house because of the fear that it will affect the external appearance of their house.

Fact: Solar panels have come a long way from the traditional, bulky designs. Today’s panels are sleek and well-designed with thin-film, non-reflective surfaces that merge with your roof.

The prices of panels have decreased in recent years and the panels are also more durable with a warranty of 25 years. With oil, gas and electricity prices steadily increasing, solar will bring you concrete savings and prove to be a sensible investment that you can benefit from for years to come.

The Basics of Residential Geothermal HVAC Systems

March 27, 2016 Category :Uncategorized Off

Energy from the sun is absorbed by the Earth’s surface. Depending on what part of the country you are in the earth just a few feet below the surface is a constant 50 to 70 degrees. This is also true for ponds, lakes or wells. A geothermal HVAC system pulls that energy from the earth or water to heat, cool, and even provide hot water for your home.

There are many benefits to geothermal. The systems are quiet and dependable. There are few moving parts so it requires very little maintenance. There is no outdoor equipment which protects the system from the elements and thieves. Maintains a comfortable temperature year round by providing energy for heating, cooling, and hot water. These products are safe because there is no combustion so no chance for carbon monoxide poisoning.

A pump circulates water or an antifreeze type fluid through a series of pipes that travel underwater or underground. The recommended solution is propylene glycol which is non-toxic and in most states the only fluid allowed besides water. During the winter the fluid absorbs heat from the ground or water it is being circulated through. That heat is compressed to a higher temperature and then circulated through the home using a forced air system or radiant system. During the summer the process is reversed. The system pulls heat from the home and lets it be absorbed by the ground or water. The result is a cool dehumidified home.

The two generally used applications for these systems is the open loop system and the closed loop system. Depending on how much property you have or if there is a significant fresh water source will determine which would work best for you. The open loop system would need a fresh water source consisting of a running stream or a well. This application would need approximately one million gallons per year to perform correctly. It is important to have your water tested for sustainability and excess minerals. Excess minerals could damage the equipment nullifying any benefits to installation. A closed loop system typically contains an antifreeze solution which is better at transferring heat. The non-toxic fluid is not exposed to the environment. The piping system is buried underground or placed at the bottom of a pond taking advantage of the energy stored there. The closed loop system in a pond is by far the most cost effective because of the lower installation expenses.

When considering installing a geothermal HVAC system in your home there are many factors to take into consideration. It is paramount that you consult an experienced professional before taking on such a large project.

Is Electric Heating Energy Efficient?

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The popularity of electric heaters is on the rise, and big companies have been spending a good of money to get more experience in the field of electric heating. They manufacture advanced electric heaters that are very energy efficient, which is what makes this type of heating system a lot more prominent.

Electric heaters are incredibly good at consuming electricity. As a matter of fact, all types of heating systems, such as towel radiators and storage heaters use power with great efficiency. If you still don’t agree, please read on.

Actually, energy efficiency is one of the main advantage of electric heaters. Since there is no “joint” system, no heat leaks out of the room via pipes. In case of a central heating system, the entire system is engaged even if you need to heat up just one room. On the other hand, electric heaters don’t use a central heating system for warming a single room, which can cut down on your electricity bill cost.

In the same way, electric radiators generate a mixture of convected and radiated heat that heats your rooms up in an efficient manner. With the help of dry thermal components, the electric radiators tend to heat up a room relatively quickly pushing the heat into the entire room.

As far as energy efficiency goes, infrared heats are also very popular. They make use of radiation in order to produce heat. These devices are ideal if you want to use them outdoors and other hard-to-access areas, like conservatories. The fact of the matter is that the heats tend to heat the objects around it directly. If you are on a budget, we suggest that you opt for patio heats that make use of near infrared for generating lots of heat.

Cost is an important factor that you should take into account when buying a heating system. A good thing about electric heating is that it can be easily controlled. Most electric heats come with digital thermostats. The function of the thermostat is to turn the device off as soon as the room reaches a certain temperature, and then turn the device on again when the temperature drops below the required temperature, which saves you on heating bills.

As a matter of fact, an electric heater starts to save you money as soon as you turn it on for the first time. Aside from this, with electric heating, you don’t need to do a lot of plumbing or digging. All you need to do is get the electric device installed on your own. It doesn’t require a lot of technical knowledge. With a few DIY tips, you can get the job done without the help of any professional.

So, you can see that electric heating devices are an ideal choice as far as energy consumption is concerned. Based on your comfort and budget, you can go for the right type of device to meet your heating needs. Just make sure you have done your homework prior to opting for a device.

Top 4 Reasons You Will Benefit From Solar Installation

March 27, 2016 Category :Uncategorized Off

From cost-efficiency to environmental friendliness, there are many reasons why solar installation is a major plus. Here are a few of the biggest ones.

Good for the Environment

It’s no secret that the rate with which humans have been burning through fossil fuels is ravaging the planet and accelerating climate change. Coal, natural gas, and petroleum are the main resources we mine to power our cars and heat our homes, but the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases they emit are building up in the atmosphere, steadily overheating the planet. Weather patterns are changing, with crippling effects on economic systems worldwide. The polar ice caps are melting, and wildlife everywhere is suffering from changes in long-established natural habitats.

If everyone utilized solar installation, these effects would be drastically slowed and maybe, eventually, halted. Solar energy is clean and renewable. The panels use a photovoltaic (PV) system, which converts sunlight to electricity and then converts the electricity from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC), to make it compatible with home or office use. No greenhouse gases are emitted.

Sustainability

Natural gas and fossil fuel use, in addition to hurting the environment, are doubly ominous because these resources are limited. Once they are all extracted from the ground, they’re gone, and if we don’t have a Plan B in place for power, individuals and socioeconomic systems the world over will be in dire straits.

Solar energy is renewable. As long as the sun is there, PV panels can convert the rays to energy. They produce power in all sorts of situations too; constant sunlight is not a necessity. As long as you have them, they will reduce your carbon footprint.

Cost-Efficiency and Self-Sufficiency

Utility bills are expensive, and it can be hard to keep up with them. Relying on the sunlight reduces the costs of purchasing energy, and it gives you the peace of mind of knowing you have a degree of self-sufficiency. The future and economy are always uncertain, and there’s a lot of satisfaction to be had in knowing you can produce some or all of your own energy.

What’s more, there are often government incentives and tax breaks in place to increase solar installation and help the planet, cutting costs even more. One of the biggest incentives is the Solar Federal Tax Credit.

There’s a good chance your property value will go up as well, given the increased consumer awareness of environmental friendliness and the value placed upon cost efficiency in this day and age.

Low Maintenance

This type of system requires little maintenance, and it’s easy to find a good solar installation company that will put the panels in and take care of any repairs and upkeep for not too much of a charge. These days, installation is easier than ever before, and prices are lower.

For all these reasons and more, you shouldn’t wait to install solar panels in your home or business today. It’s an investment well worth making.

Is Solar Power Right for You? Three Questions You Should Ask

March 27, 2016 Category :Uncategorized Off

Changing over to solar power from conventional power sources can be a great way to help reduce your environmental footprint, not to mention your energy budget. While this kind of energy is becoming more and more popular each year, it’s still a long way from being a quick change. Here are three questions to consider before investing in a new solar power system.

1. Are There Ways to Save on Installation Fees?

Many jurisdictions (and even Google) have begun to work with utility companies to offer discounts, rebates, or even tax credits (both local and federal) for installation of panels on homes and buildings. So, before you jump in, make sure to check and see if there are ways to add a little more breathing room to your budget.

2. Do You Know What Type of Panels You Will Need?

Solar power is passed through the home via panels that are usually installed on the roof of your house or in your backyard. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all panel system. The good news is that means a solar panel system can be tailored to your specifications. The bad news is that means you will have to do a little extra research and due diligence. Make sure to do proper research on what type of panels you’ll need, what size of panel your roof can hold, and what exactly the install will entail. Keep in mind, too, that your municipality may have certain safety requirements or regulations about how much clearance must be around the panels, which will be a factor into how big of a panel system you can get.

3. What Are Your Timeline Expectations for Switching to Solar Power?

While it is becoming easier to make the switch each year, phasing out of electrical power and into solar power is not a quick procedure every time. Many towns and municipalities will want building permits to be filed before the solar panel installation can begin. In addition to that, different providers have differing timelines for installation, with some running as high as six months. Also, remember that the cost savings might not show up right away. Depending on whether or not you leased the panels, there could be a bigger chunk of money upfront, but bigger savings on your energy bill later down the line.

While this may seem like a lot to think about, adding solar panels to your home not only decreases your energy costs in the long run, but it also offsets CO2 emissions and reduce your carbon footprint, making a safer and cleaner earth for future generations. Be sure you have a clear understanding of your current electricity needs. Speak with a qualified sales team member from a reputable company so that you can be certain your new system is going to produce the output your home needs.

Steps That Homeowners in Epsom Can Take to Improve Energy Efficiency

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The popular market town of Epsom in Surrey is well known for its historic past and spa town status. Used by the aristocracy and nobles in the past for important meetings, the spas were popular with a number of wealthy families who also were also catered to with various other entertainments. Furthermore, the town is home to the famous salts that everyone in Britain knows well.

This town is, however, now as modern as any other in the United Kingdom, and is subject to the same forward thinking energy efficient movements and budget restraints that affect the population of the rest of the country.

Indeed, Epsom and Ewell Borough Council is committed to taking steps to reduce the impact that local energy use has on the climate and global warming. The council has said that part of this commitment is to encourage various energy efficient methods to be taken by local homeowners and landlords.

Secondary glazing and double glazing are two things that people in the town are investing in to fulfil this agenda. The council has stated that not only can installation of these windows reduce the amount of heating needed in a property, but also that people living in homes in the area can enjoy reduced bills too.

There a plenty of suppliers of double glazing in Epsom, but it can be difficult to know who to trust and which kinds of windows to spend you money on. With that said, here are a few steps to take in order to ensure you get great service and excellent value for money.

The first thing is to check the experience of the individuals fitting your windows and their knowledge of the industry in general. Many people often opt to go for the most inexpensive supplier, but this can be a misleading choice to make, as badly installed windows can result in inefficient windows, complete with air leakage, structural damage to the window frame and more.

The question you should therefore ask is how long has the professional been working in this field and how much full time experience have they had in this particular role. If the professional you have chosen is worth his salt he will be open and honest with you about his experience and be happy to tell you all about the projects he has already completed for other clients in the area.

The next question that is absolutely essential to ask your supplier of double glazing in Epsom is what accreditations the professional has. Often this is a big indicator of whether you can expect a quality product or something subpar and amateur.

Some of the accreditations that you should be looking at include ones from the British Standards Institute (BSI) and the British Board of Agrement (BBA), as these are essential as evidence that what your supplier and fitter is doing is a quality job. Ask any professional if they have these and consider it a risky endeavour if they do not and you still want to proceed.

The third and final question that you should ask any supplier of double glazing in Epsom is whether or not there are any guarantees and after service included in your package that you have bought. Some suppliers will only supply the material and fit the windows, yet others will include interesting benefits as part of their services.

Some suppliers will guarantee their windows for long periods of up to eight to ten years, and others will provide an emergency call out service absolutely free of change for a determined period of time. These are all very useful to have, and you should expect at least a minimum of a guarantee and after sales support, just in case you really need it.

Dorking Glass has been providing high quality glass and glazing products to the local community since the 1930s. We are a small business which prides itself on a professional but personal service from the initial point of contact, right through to the final completed installation. Here at Dorking Glass, we can provide you with a reliable and quick glass repair and a traditional glazier service, alongside the supply of: quality double glazing, uPVC, aluminium and timber windows and doors; cut glass mirrors and splashbacks; replacement fascias, guttering and soffits; new flat roofs using state-of-the-art, long lasting EPDM roofing materials; rooflights and much more. We currently deliver our services to customers in Ashtead, Epsom, Reigate, Cobham, Redhill, Horsham and surrounding areas.

All One Needs to Know About the Parts of a Solar Power System for Their Home

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Everyone has seen solar panels on a person’s roof before. They usually can assume that person’s invested in a solar system, but are unaware of all the remote area solar components that make up the system. IF considering the investment of a solar power system, the first move should be to become educated on all the elements necessary to build it.

Check out this quick guide to remote area solar power components so that when working with contractors the terms used will be familiar and a better deal can be struck.

The Panels

PV are the most common type of solar panel in home installations. When it comes to knowing about panels, knowing what they’re made of is key. They’re composed of three layers:

• The N Layer – A mix of silicon and phosphorus
• The P/N Junction – Only silicon
• The P Layer – Boron and silicon mixture

When the beams of the sun hit the N-Layer, electrons are let loose. They then move through the P/N junction and into the P Layer. An electrical field is created that becomes an electric current when the electrons are knocked from the silicon; and we have power!

About the Battery

Not every solar power system houses a battery, but some of those that produce a greater amount of electricity than necessary for the structure they are mounted on rely on a battery to store extra energy. It can be used on those rainy and dark days when the panels aren’t producing much power.

The Inverter

Anyone that knows the principles of physics is aware that an electric current that’s generated in this manner is considered a DC or direct current, which is similar to the electricity that’s stored inside of batteries. However, electricity is alternating current, where the flow changes direction at a rate of 50 times per second.

To make the electricity supplied by solar power suitable for use in domestic homes, a remote area solar power component is needed that does the job of converting DC current to AC current; this is the inverter.

The Distributor

The remote area solar power component that distributes the AC power made from the inverter, which is then sent to the grid, and sometimes to both the home where the system is installed as well as the grid, is the distributor. Inverter output is sent quickly to a dedicated breaker within the home’s electric panel, and then straight to the home. When more power is made than what is used, a portion of the power moves backwards and into the grid. At this point, the homeowner gets a credit from the utility company. If the system is not giving off enough energy for the home, then the difference is made up by the power company.

These are the basic remote area solar power components of any solar energy system, and as anyone can tell, solar power is not a very complex system for energy. Basically, the cells of the panel make a DC current, the inverter changes that current to an AC current, and the distributor controls the way that power is distributed between your home and your utilities supplier.

Aligning with a professional solar components dealer is of the utmost importance. Be sure they have plenty of experience and will give a complimentary quote in which they’ll assess the house in question and explain in detail if necessary the benefits that will be gained. Ask about warranties on both product and installation, and always get references.

With all this knowledge anyone can switch to using remote area solar power components and reap the benefits that come along with making the jump.

For about ten years, Springers Solar has been offering solar products, installation and advice to Lawnton, Capalaba and the surrounding areas in Australia. The family-run business works with homeowners and businesses, and also does work on vehicles, RV’s, boats and more. Let them show you the value of solar panels and other quality products to help you go green, and save money too! Accredited installers and the rest of the team are dedicated to giving the best service possible at all times, which is why the company continues to grow and thrive. To learn more,

All About Spray Foam Insulation

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Movement of air in and out of a home can be a leading cause of escalated energy bills. Air can enter your house through holes, cracks and crevices. You can stop unconditioned air from entering your home and indoor conditioned air from escaping outside by adding an advanced insulation system to achieve optimal building performance.

Spray foam insulation can be used in walls, ceilings, contoured surfaces and other parts of your home to protect it from air and moisture intrusion and strengthen building structure. It is the most versatile form of insulation available. Spray foam insulation combats heat loss and air infiltration better than other insulation products like fiberglass and cellulose. Available in spray cans, this type of insulation is composed of resin and certain chemicals, such as polyurethane.

When the spray foam insulation is sprayed, the chemicals and resin create a foam which coats the surface. The foam quickly expands and solidifies at the place where it is sprayed. It dries quickly, providing a relatively permanent insulation solution for your home. It is recommended that spray foam insulation should be done by an experienced and professional contractor, but nowadays, DIY kits are also available. If you are using a DIY kit, it is highly advisable that you follow proper safety measure.

Benefits

Installing foam spray insulation offers a lot of benefits to the homeowners. Here are some of the important benefits that you can enjoy by investing in spray foam insulation:

– Maintains consistent temperature by reducing air and moisture infiltration.
– Reduces pollen infiltration.
– Saves energy cost by 30 to 50% per annum.
– Reduces airborne noise from external sources
– Keeps your home warm in winter, cool in summer and comfortable all year round.
– Increases resale value of your home
– Strengthens the structure of the building.
– Reduces ice damages.
– Has the best performance of all other insulation processes.
– High and stable R-value per inch.
– Makes home more comfortable.
– Reduces entry of airborne particles and fibers.
– It is insect and fire resistant.
– It is permanent.
– Reduces chances of mold formation.
– Reduces the requirement of HVAC equipment.

Spray foam insulation provides superior home performance. It offers superior and long-term benefits that are unmatched by traditional insulation types. Initial investment in this type of insulation will result in good monthly savings. It is advisable to call an expert to handle large scale insulation projects.

How You Can Save Thousands of Dollars on Your Heating and Cooling Expenses

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With the way global warming is increasing with each passing year, having heaters and air-conditioners in houses and offices have become the norm. But this norm hasn’t come cheaply because every year energy costs are rapidly increasing. Every homeowner has to fork out a considerable sum of money on electricity bills if they are to install heating and cooling equipments in their house.

Getting options

A focal warming framework is put in one proficient area in your home. These furnaces or heat pumps warm the air or water to convey warmth all throughout your house, be it pipes or ducts.

Once set up, these heating and cooling framework turns out to be a piece of your home’s structure and environment, all around. It’s great to measure your choices so you introduce the framework that best suits your necessities.

Water or air? Which is preferable?

When it comes to a boiler that uses hydronic heating, the water radiates from within through pipes that are even, quiet and clean. The main drawback with this system is that in regions of hot summers, you can’t use ducts to support the system.

In rural areas, proper connection to natural gas lines is absent. If you are living in a rural area and are looking to save on your electric cost and also natural resources, this system is the most favourable. With no added cost, you can enjoy proper heating and cooling services.

Some of the main advantages of this system are:

· Immediate reaction to any kind of temperature changes

· Air is filtered and humidity is adjusted for comfortable indoors.

· Humidification and dehumidification.

· Year round circulation of fresh air

· Much safer air quality as compared to stoves or bonfires

· State of the art technology which is fully automated

· Due to several vents, it doesn’t make much sound

· Much lower fuel costs

· Heat pump options

· Depending on what your house requires, it is fully customizable

· These systems are available in varied types which help in choosing the most preferable one.

Rather than heating just one or two rooms with a heater, it’s much cost effective and environment friendly to install a centralized system which helps in keeping the whole house warm during winters. There are several companies that offer this kind of services which you can avail but make sure that you do enough research about the company which you are hiring. If not, you could end up paying much more than the actual market price.

The Beginners’ Guide to DIY Home Solar Installation

March 27, 2016 Category :Uncategorized Off

You may think that DIY home solar installation is too hard for you.

Perhaps you think it’s too technical or too big of a job for a do-it-yourselfer. The truth is that a DIY solar kit installation is possible for almost anyone. Besides, the long-term financial benefits and energy independence a photovoltaic system provides is more than worth the effort.

Why Switch to Solar Energy?

Homeowners have much to consider when evaluating the potential benefits of installing a solar system.

The biggest reason to adopt PV energy is the exceptional level of cost savings. Once your system is up and running, you will save on energy costs throughout the life of the system. And you can expect your PV panels to function at or near full capacity for 30 years or more!

But the benefits don’t just stop at the savings. Adding a solar panel array also:

Increases property values
Creates energy independence
Protects the environment
Sets a good example for your friends and neighbors

So, are you ready to get started?

Where to Begin with DIY Solar

A DIY solar installation requires a bit of planning. Find out:

Is there enough room on your roof or elsewhere on your property for an array?
Where is the most convenient place for you to place the array?
Does your roof or property have sun for most of the daylight hours?
Are there any obstructions such as trees or buildings that would block the sun?
Is your roof structurally sound? Can it handle the added weight of panels?

Once you’ve answered these questions and decided that solar energy will work for you, you’re ready to keep going. And don’t give up if you can’t unequivocally answer yes to every question. You can find any number of ways to work around shade or even a small roof.

Look at Your Electric Bills

Now, gather up your electric bills from the last 12 months to determine how much electricity you use during your highest months of usage.

Look for the kWh (kilowatt-hours) consumption numbers, and total them up for the year. Keep this number in mind so that you can refer back to it during the rest of your planning.

The size of the system you need will be determined by your highest monthly level of power use.

Select Your DIY Solar Kit Components

To build your own system you will need, at minimum:

Solar panels
A mounting system
An inverter

It’s important to note that an off-grid system requires a battery backup. This adds a level of complexity to the DIY process that most experts don’t recommend you attempt, unless you have direct experience.

The DIY Solar Installation Process

Professional installation is a large portion of the cost of a solar panel system, so doing the work yourself saves you big bucks.

It is extremely important, however, that you bring in a licensed electrician for the electrical connections. This costs more than doing the wiring yourself, but it isn’t an option in most states, unless you’re an electrician.

When it’s time to mount the panels, you must first prepare the mounting and racking system. These systems, especially SnapNrack products, are plug-and-play systems and are very easy to assemple.

The panels themselves are quite easy to mount, once the racking is attached to the roof. You simply need to lay the panels in play, connect together as you go, and ratchet them into place.

Now, have the electrician wire in the panel and voila! You should be ready to go!

Be sure that you purchase your DIY solar kit from a reputable and established source. This is the only way to ensure that your components come with a full warranty. Plus, a solar kit provider can be an invaluable resource for helping you design your system and for answering any questions you have throughout the DIY home solar installation process.

Jen Stott is a writer and blogger, and works as the Content Director at Be Locally SEO in Salt Lake City, Utah.