Installing solar panels at home has numerous benefits from reduced energy bills to protecting the environment. Nonetheless, opting to install solar panels is not exactly a walk in the park. There are few things that you must take into consideration before you install solar panels.
The initial investment for installing solar is significant. However, the benefits of free unlimited supply of electricity from solar will reduce your monthly energy bills massively. You can also opt to purchase cheaper electricity generated from solar instead of the expensive main grid power.
How soon will you begin saving?
Solar panels allow homeowners to make huge savings in energy bills. If you own the solar system you will incur a huge initial investment and save in the long term. Leasing, on the other hand, allows you to start saving immediately by offering you cheaper solar energy at an agreed flat rate. However, you do not own the system.
How much power will the solar panels supply?
The electrical energy generated by the solar panels will depend on several factors including the solar panel efficiency, the size of the panels, roof orientation, the angle of tilt, latitude, potential obstructions such as trees etc. A professional installer should be able to provide a solution that will guarantee optimum performance.
Selecting the best type of panels
The quality of solar panels varies from one manufacturer to another. Your contractor should help you determine the best panel for your situation. You should consider how the solar module is manufactured and the material used. According to this Winnipeg solar company you need to find out the positive power tolerance, temperature coefficient, the PID & LID resistance, and efficiency of the solar panel. Check the warranty of various solar panels and learn more about the different brands.
Check out the various solar financing assistance options and take advantage of incentives and rebates provide by the local authorities and state. Government tax credits can reduce the cost of your solar installation by almost 30%.
It is recommended that solar panels are installed by a qualified and certified installer. Finding a reputable installer can be difficult since there many self-proclaimed solar installation experts without professional training. Make sure you check out their reviews and check with the local authorities.
When will the panels start generating electricity?
When you invest in solar panels you want to start enjoying cheaper electricity as soon as possible. Immediately you sign the contract for solar energy, you expect the system to be up and running in the shortest so you can start saving. However, solar installations can take between 1 to 6 months depending on your installers. Ensure your contractor takes the shortest time to minimize costs.
In order for your solar panels to have maximum electrical energy output, they need direct sun exposure. South facing roofs are believed to receive the maximum amount of sunlight. However, the way you arrange the solar panels is important even in the east and west roofs. Your installer should be able to assess the amount of sunlight light hours you receive throughout the year and offer the best solution.
You solar installation contractor should help you get the necessary building permits to avoid trouble with the authorities.
An experienced installer will have your solar system up and running in no time so you can start saving from reduced energy bills.
Sustainability is a huge topic nowadays and it is influencing how everything is designed and built including swimming pools. The latest swimming pools have been designed to optimize energy efficiency. There have been a lot of innovations and advances in developing energy efficient pool equipment. These technological advances along with some energy saving tips will make your pool energy efficient and extend the season for swimming.
If you want to lower your operating costs and maintain the cleanliness of your pool consider placing pool covers over them. A high-quality pool cover will retain moisture and heat in the pool, keep out leaf litter and other kinds of debris out of the pool and basically provide a protective seal over the pool water.
A pool cover that is properly fitted will considerably limit the evaporation of water one of the main problems for outdoor pool owners. Pool water evaporation is influenced by the high temperature of the water and air, low humidity and high speed of the wind over the surface of the pool.
The water temperature will increase when you use a pool cover however with proper sealing neither the water nor the chemicals will evaporate much faster. These will consequently lead to considerable energy, water and costs savings.
Efficient Filters and Pumps
A swimming pool pump is a major part of the filtration process and when it is efficient it considerably lowers the operating energy costs. For an efficiently operating pool filtration system, the size of your pool pump must be proportional to the pool size and the frequency of water circulation.
To become energy efficient during the swim season consider using a smaller pump size to reduce the time of filtration to about 6hrs per day and keep the drains debris free. Remember to correctly backwash the filter. Consider installing some of the pool filtration systems that are eco-friendly.
Extend this swimming season using the appropriate pool heating allowing you to enjoy the company of family friends much longer. Selecting the best pool heater will depend on the geographical location, the pool depth and size, the level of use of the pool, the level of control and flexibility needed. You can significantly reduce your energy costs using modern solar pool heaters and extend the swimming season for about 4 months.
According to UV Pools what is more popular is the latest technology heat pump water heaters. They can operate in any weather and are energy efficient. They heat the pool by extracting heat from the air.
The pool temperature is constantly monitored using controllers that turn on the filtration pump when the temperature drops so that the pool can be heated by the heat pump.
Light Emitting Diodes(LEDs)
Energy efficient light emitting diodes or LEDs are the best way to conserve energy while lighting up the pool. They also last long and do not require regular changing. LEDs do not generate any heat like the energy inefficient incandescent bulbs that produce more heat than light.Read More
Apart from spring cleaning, home maintenance is also ideal for the summer season. The weather during summer can get very hot, windy and with a heavy downpour of rain that can cause damage to the house. Set aside some time this summer to undertake the following home maintenance projects to not only prepare for summer but also other seasons.
Bathrooms are highly vulnerable to accumulation of dirt, grease, mold etc. and they need proper maintenance particularly during summer. Ensure the drain pipes are all clean and clear to avoid unnecessary costs in repair because of future damages. Unclog and disinfect the sink using vinegar and baking soda to eliminate bad odor and make sure there is no leakage under the sink. This will help homeowners cut expensive plumbing costs.
To ensure that the Patio can withstand the weather ensure that it is cleaned using the right materials and tools. Prevent the accumulation of dirt and debris through regular sweeping and cleaning to avoid the use of harsh chemical cleaning agents and intense scrubbing in the future. Ensure that the concrete, stone pathways or tiles do not stain and there is no rusting or deterioration of the wooden decking.
Undertaking a roof inspection is a task most people will most probably not want think about because it is a tedious task. However, according to Owen Enterprises Inc. you should not worry because a roof inspection is the best way to prevent much bigger problems in the future. As time goes by, your roof begins to deteriorate and could get worse depending on the roofing material. When the roof starts to leak it can seriously destroy to the attic and the ceilings. There is a danger of the roof collapsing if there is serious damage on it. It would be best to allow a professional inspect your roof and recommend repairs, especially if you have a fear of heights.
As the roof is inspected, do not forget to clean the gutters and unclog them before the rains. It is common to have gutters filled with debris from trees and animals, particularly in the fall or winter season. During summer, there will be heavy rains and the gutters will need to be clear for the rain water to be channeled properly. Because of the hot summer season dried gutter debris can lead to fires. Therefore, ensure the gutters are free of debris this summer especially if there are trees close to the house.
Since there will be strong winds and heavy rains this summer, make sure that the trees are well pruned to safeguard your house from falling branches and to keep the surroundings clean.
Keep your home clean and well maintained not only during spring and summer but also all through the year. Save the big projects for a particular season to get your home running without incurring huge costs in repairs. Enjoy a trouble free summer without worrying about leaking roofs or sinks.Read More
The off-grid solar systems such as solar water heaters are a great way to conserve energy. The solar panels normally use solar energy to produce electricity however solar water heating systems heat water directly using solar energy. The popularity of solar water heating systems as a clean energy source has increased all over the globe especially in remote areas.
Utilizing solar energy to heat water can be extremely rewarding in very many ways. The following are some of the reasons you should install a solar water heating system:
Solar water heating systems rely on the sun’s energy, with no dependence on utility or other energy sources like fossil fuels. It contributes to energy efficiency by reducing reliance on external energy sources. It provides energy as long as the sun shines. Once you have solar water heater system installed the utility only comes as a backup. It can be a fulfilling experience getting hot water supply without incurring any utility bills from a clean energy source.
Fossil fuels have been the major source of energy for a long time despite the negative impact they have on the environment in terms of pollution and increasing carbon footprint. Environmental pollution leads to climate change and other health effects. The risks associated with nuclear energy are dangerous as was witnessed during the tsunami in Japan. Therefore, clean energy sources like solar water heating systems that rely on the free energy from the sun offer an ideal alternative. Solar water heating systems do not have any negative impact on the environment, they capture the heat from the sun.
Apart from the initial costs of purchasing and installing solar water heaters which make up the biggest investment, you get hot water supply for the rest of your life incurring any utility bills. Solar water heating provides even greater energy savings than solar electric panels. Within five years of installing water heating systems, you can get back your initial investment depending on the cost of utility energy and the availability of the sun’s energy. Installing water heaters usually comes with tax credits and utility refunds to encourage more people to invest in it.
Solar energy is green and renewable, even though the initial investment is expensive it eventually pays off along the way. Installing solar water heating systems is different from installing solar for electricity. Mounting the solar hot water collectors is complicated because their weight and fragile nature. The installation of the controls, pumps, thermostats, hot water storage tanks, heat exchangers and plumbing is not your typical DIY job. Therefore when setting up the solar water heating systems it is critical that a plumber checks it out especially if you live in a remote area that doesn’t have a plumber open 24 hours. The last thing you want is to spring a leak in the middle of the night and have a full on flood before the plumber comes in the morning.Read More
Nowadays bathrooms have been transformed to become almost like sanctuaries. In the past a bathroom consisted of a shower, tub, and basic lighting. However, the recent bathroom modernizations have changed the bathroom to a place you can escape to at the end of a busy day to unwind and relax. I have outlined some of the latest and most trendy bathroom renovations ideas.
Bathroom tiles are the focal point in the bathroom. To add more depth to bathroom walls use textured tiles combined with glass mosaics which is more durable than decorated wallpaper. Instead of using the usual square tiles try other geometric shapes like hexagon r octagon. There are lots of other options to explore.
The modern bathrooms are also environmentally friendly for everyone who wants to go green. The latest toilets consume less water for every flush. Automatic faucets also reduce the water consumption within the home. The use of durable recycled materials for floor tiles such as glass is a great feature of modern bathrooms.
Stylish Bathtub and Showers
The new bathroom styles consist of separate areas for shower and bath. The walk-in Showers nowadays have a bigger room with simple to clean glass frame-less doors. The exquisite bathroom design also features freestanding tubs which are the center of attraction in the bathroom with glass tiles making the serene and spa-like.
Modern bathrooms feature natural elements in the exotic design such as stone waterfalls and indoor plants. The sound of flowing water falls makes the bathroom a relaxing sanctuary. The design also maximizes on the use of natural light to enhance the natural atmosphere and décor.
White is still considered trendy in modern bathroom designs. However, shades of gray have now become the universal neutral for most modern bathroom according to latest trends.
Most modern bathrooms designs incorporate a lot of natural light and illuminating features. Large windows, Glass mosaics tiles and mirrors make bathrooms brighter reflecting more natural light. The latest LED bathroom lighting is not only energy efficient but it also illuminates areas such as mirrors and sinks. For class and glamor, you can use exquisite chandelier light to make the bathroom elegant. Try and explore other suspended lighting systems for your bathroom.
All in all, select a universal design that can stand the test of time. Check out Granite Renovations for the latest in bathroom remodeling trends.
Electrical work should always be carefully undertaken within the home. Whenever you decide to carry out some renovation or installation of major electronics, having a qualified professional do the work is important not just because of the cost involved, but also the health hazards you are exposed to. Here are a few issues you should look into when choosing an electrical contractor to come in and carry out work in your home or business.
There are very many areas in which you may require the services of an electrical contractor. It could be the design of a lighting system, installation of a generator or emergency repair after a storm. When choosing a contractor, seek one who has had wide experiences handling various kinds of projects. In this way, you may even wind up establishing a working relationship that could last a lifetime. Those with such knowledge also tend to be creative in fixing unique problems. Also, ask about the kind of training that the employees of the contractor have had that will help to inspire confidence in their abilities. Ask about the industry certifications the contractor has received.
This relates mainly to how long they have been in business. While it is kind to help a young electrical contractor establish themselves in business, remember that someone with a solid track record is better able to guarantee their work and continue to be available to you in the long run. This industry does tend to have high turnover rate, so seek businesses that have staying power.
When it comes to something as important as electrical work, cheap can be expensive, so do not go for the lowest bid. Narrow down to a few choices of contractors and have them each provide you with an estimate. Their choice of materials, understanding of your needs and reasonable time frame for installations should matter more. Remember that if a deal is too good to be true, it probably is.
If you are considering a contractor that you have not been referred to by the manufacturer of your appliances or other reliable source, then be sure to ask for references. This will serve as a testament to their skill, competency and reliability. If you are uncertain about a provider, seek recommendations from your family, friends, neighbors or business associates. Pay special attention to recommendations from those who have had the same kind of work you want done. An online check of the business on social media and independent review sites can also provide useful insight.
This may seem a minor consideration, but it within the industry, one of the biggest complaints relates to the behavior of the contractor and his or her employees. Even before you sign any deal for work to be done, you have a chance to interact with eh contractor so use it as an opportunity to assess their behavior. You will want people that are respectful of you and your property to be working on the project. Check with referees to further ascertain this trait.
For more information on hiring electricians visit http://powertec.ca.Read More
Many homeowners become overly concerned with the state of their HVAC appliances that they forget about what comes in between. Air ducts are hidden channels for the circulation of air around the home, and deserve serious consideration when not only running these appliances, but also ensuring that indoor air quality is kept healthy. It is important to note that because these vents are hidden, we cannot easily see what is lurking beneath. Allergens like mold, dust, pollen, fur and other debris can clog up within the vents with time and pose a risk to human and animal health. Here are a few things you can do to help keep your air ducts clean and home environment healthy.
– many air duct cleaning providers offer a free duct inspection to assess whether a professional cleaning is required. Generally speaking, specialists recommend that you should have your air ducts professionally cleaned, every 3-5 years. If you however have reasons for concern, a free inspection will let you know if there is an unforeseen problem. Remember to get several estimates before selecting the firm that will carry out the cleaning. Also keep in mind that duct cleaning can kick up a lot of dust in the house and make a real mess and duct cleaning companies aren’t always good at house cleaning, so you might want to hire a house cleaning company to come in after the duct cleaners and do a thorough clean of the home.
– in between professional cleaning of air ducts, it is important that you regularly change your air filters. This will help maintain air quality at a good level and prevent the accumulation of debris that may build up and cause damage to your coil.
– air registers also require regular cleaning. Chances are you can do this yourself and don’t need to call in a heating and cooling specialist. If you however notice mold growth, get a professional in urgently as it may indicate unseen clogging within the ducts that is encouraging mold growth.
– a hose and nozzle attachment on your vacuum can be very useful in getting rid of any buildup of dust and debris in air ducts. If all seems well and you can reach the interior of the duct walls, wipe them down with a clean rag.
– if you detect any signs of mold spores when cleaning, it is important to have mold remediation work carried out alongside professional air duct cleaning. Without this action, you may only be placing a temporary Band-Aid on a problem that will later become more costly to fix.
In cases where the ducts are difficult to look or reach into, a professional service is recommended. If you also suspect an infestation of rats or mice in your air ducts, a professional can help to thoroughly clean them out, and seal any gaps created.
Keep in mind that the more sources of pollutants you have within the home, the more frequently you should undertake cleaning exercises. For instance, if you have several furry pets and occupants that smoke, there will be a faster build up of debris in the air ducts, calling for attention that is more frequent. In the long run, keeping your air ducts clear will also help reduce your energy utility bills, boost air circulation and improve upon the performance of your HVAC units.Read More