Blog

What You Need to Know Before Installing Rooftop Solar Panels

Installing Rooftop Solar PanelsRooftop solar panels are one of the most popular products for homeowners that value green energy. These home installations can help you to save money on every energy bill by selling power back to the energy grid. Making the switch over to solar power can be a far more energy-efficient solution for homeowners and beneficial for savings in the long run too. With a number of government rebates available for solar panel installation it’s more advantageous to install this technology than ever before.

Before you decide to install rooftop solar panels there are a number of inspection checks that you should complete before making the investment:

Rooftop Inspections

A professional rooftop inspection should take place before any solar panel installation. Assessing your roof to determine if it’s suitable for solar panels is important. A rooftop inspection will check to make sure that your roof is able to structurally support solar panels and that your roofing materials will not require immediate replacement. Replacing items like shingles before solar panels are installed can be a much more cost-effective choice.

Checking Your Yard

Checking for signs of obstructions such as overhanging trees can be important to maintaining efficiency with your solar array. Trimming back some of your trees and looking for other areas where solar panels could be obstructed through the day can help you prepare for maximum energy efficiency.

Choosing your Solar Panels

Choosing solar panel products for your roof can also be very important. There are photovoltaic systems for energy and thermal systems that can be used for your internal heating systems and water heating systems. Homeowners need to consider the type of space they have available and what products would work best for their cost savings. Choosing a manufacturer for your rooftop solar panels can be important for maintaining efficiency and minimizing the amount of maintenance you may have to complete on the rooftop too.

Speaking with a Utility

Some utilities may charge you for the hookup on your solar panels. It’s also important to consider how you be reimbursed by the utility company for the solar power you are installing. More information from a local utility company can guide your purchase decision.

installing rooftop solar panelsThis post was written by Reggie Reed! Reggie is a state certified roofing contractor and the owner of Reggie Reed Roofing, a St. Petersburg Roofing Company. They offer a wide variety of roofing services for Residential homes, apartment complexes, condos, commercial buildings, churches and more.

Busted: 3 Common Myths About Solar Power Explained

solar energy systemsWith conversations surrounding climate change routinely turning into heated debates, a lot of misinformation tends to get spread around. Solar energy systems — and all they do to combat waste — are often at the forefront because they are one of the most familiar forms of renewable energy. For those unsure about whether or not they should install residential solar panels, we’re here to set the record straight! Let’s bust these three common myths regarding solar power.

  • Myth: Solar panels do not work well in cold climates. In fact, most solar panels work best in cold, sunny climates: higher temperatures reduce the panels’ efficiency — they end up producing less power from the same amount of light. Cold temperatures, on the other hand, actually increase conductivity, allowing electricity to flow more efficiently.
  • Myth: I won’t be living in my home long enough to make my investment back. Depending on where you’re located and what kind of system you have, solar panel arrays typically pay for themselves within six to 15 years. When you throw in state and federal tax credits — not to mention the fact that utility companies will pay you if you produce more energy than you’re consuming –, you’ll be seeing a return on your investment within two to four years.
  • Myth: Solar panels can’t operate well in snowy or cloudy conditions. While it’s true that efficiency is reduced in snowy and cloudy weather, they don’t simply stop working. Panels in snowy climates are installed at an angle to help manage snowfall, which takes care of the maintenance and effectiveness all at once. Take Germany: the country gets less than half as much sun as the sunniest city in the U.S., yet it has one of the most successful solar initiatives in the world.

The sun is a limitless source of power, sending 120,000 terawatts of energy through to the Earth every day; that’s 10,000 more than flows through our industrial civilization at any given time! It would be foolish not to take advantage of such an endless source of clean energy, especially when it saves us money in the long run. Solar energy systems allow us to easily reap the benefits of our singular star.

Sustainable Sunshine: 3 Reasons Why Your Company Should Use Solar Power

commercial solar energy

 

The popularity of sustainable energy has skyrocketed in recent years: solar energy, in particular, has surged 20% every year in the past 15. Considering the fact that the sun is quite literally a limitless source of power (and that nobody likes those pesky monthly bills), investing in solar panel installation offers benefits that don’t end at your residential property line; many companies, both big and small, are seeing the light and making the switch to renewable energy options, increasingly in the form of commercial solar energy. Let’s take a look at what the three main benefits of solar panels for businesses are.

 

  • Reduced Operating Costs: Running a business is expensive. In fact, most of those costs originate from building operations — keeping the lights on, the air conditioning running, and the technology fully powered. By taking advantage of the ever-present sunshine, you can reduce or even eliminate your office’s electric bill; by installing a solar energy system, you’re essentially prepaying for nearly 40 years of energy but at a fraction of your current costs.

 

  • Maintenance-Free and Reliable: The installation process will take a few weeks, but once it’s finished, your panels will require little to no maintenance (especially if backup batteries are being used). You’ll have a quiet and reliable source of clean energy for around 25 to 40 years.

 

  • Getting that Green Label: Consumer interest in the source of their products has greatly increased in recent years. When they’re buying meat, they want to know how the animal was treated; when they’re buying a product or service, they want to know if the company who created it is ‘green’. When you depend on solar panels for your company’s electricity, you’re cutting down on fossil fuel emissions and reducing your contribution to global warming and pollution. Being environmentally responsible does nothing but boost your popularity in the public’s eye, and offers a bonus in the form of an excellent PR and marketing tool.

 

No matter what you’re most concerned about — saving the environment or saving your money — commercial solar energy is a bright solution. By relying on sustainable, clean energy, your business will blossom in the light of the sun.

How To Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

clean energy

More than ever, people everywhere are realizing the true importance of energy efficiency and clean energy, both on a larger commercial scale and within smaller residential settings. However, not everyone knows exactly how to take this ideal of clean energy and apply it to their homes. If you’ve been wanting to go green, here are a few tips to maximize your energy efficiency and minimize your carbon footprint.

 

  • Check your heating and cooling: Heating and cooling can make up a large percentage of your annual utility bill, but much of that spending and energy usage tends to go to waste. Heat gain and heat loss through windows are responsible for 25% to 30% of residential heating and cooling energy usage. Check your windows, doors, and any other potential areas where your heating or cooling may be escaping to improve the efficiency of your heating systems.

 

  • Make simple switches: Next time an appliance or fixture needs replacing, see what energy efficient switches you can make. This can apply to everything from major appliances like refrigerators to small changes like swapping your incandescent lights to LEDs. Rather than reinvesting in technology that doesn’t make the most of modern advances in energy efficiency, do what you can to install new systems that will help you cut down on your energy use.

 

  • Install solar panels: If you want to reduce your reliance on energy sources that aren’t sustainable as much as possible, installing solar panels on your roof can be a great step to take. Solar energy is a type of renewable energy that allows you to power your home without the creation of harmful greenhouse gasses. Installing solar panels on your home gives you a greater degree of control over both your energy usage and where your energy is coming from, letting you take comfort in the knowledge that your energy is sustainable.

 

Thinking you might want to install residential solar panels to take your home’s energy conservation to the next level? Contact Efficient Home Services of Florida today for more information on solar panels for homes or businesses, as well as how using solar energy can help you on your path to sustainability.

Common Myths About Solar Panels Busted

solar panels for homesIn the world of renewable energy, solar panels for homes are becoming an increasingly popular choice. More Americans are asking themselves how they can help the environment and reduce fossil fuel use, and often they determine that residential solar panels are the answer. These systems are cheaper than electric cars and offer a number of other benefits. Unfortunately, as some homeowners look for clean energy options, they may remember solar power rumors and misinformation they’ve heard from friends, families, and neighbors (not to mention many traditional utility companies, who may be hostile to home solar generation). As with any new form of technology, there are many popular misconceptions about solar panels for homes.

If you’re considering residential solar panel installation, make sure you know the difference between fact and fiction.

Myth 1: Solar Panels Only Work In Sunny Weather

While this myth may seem true because of the functional nature of solar panels, it is entirely untrue. Solar panels for homes, corporate buildings, and any other type of structure will work in sunny, cold, cloudy, and even snowy environments. In the same way that you can get sunburned during overcast weather, solar panels can generate power even when conditions are not perfectly ideal. Solar panel technology allows these devices to work just as efficiently in colder temperatures, and sometimes even better than in warmer ones. Cloud coverage does not inhibit their effectiveness either, as they still produce enough power to be viable sources of energy no matter what is happening in the sky.

Myth 2: Solar Panels Will Damage My Roof

As with any other professional service done on your home, solar panel installation should have no negative effects when performed properly. Experienced installers have put solar panels on every type of roof pitch imaginable in all kinds of conditions. The panels are installed a few inches above the existing roof in order to allow for air flow and they weigh no more than a second layer of roofing shingles. In fact, solar panels often extend the life of a roof by protecting it from harmful elements.

Myth 3: Solar Panels Aren’t Worth The Investment

Solar panels for homes tend to pay for themselves within six to 15 years, depending on your location and the exact system. As heating and cooling account for 54% of annual utility bills in an average home, you’ll soon see these expenses decrease once your panels are installed and you begin generating your own electricity. They also increase the resale value of a home by approximately $15,000. Even if you aren’t planning on staying in your home for another 15 years, you’ll see a hefty return on investment by installing solar panels now.

When you invest in solar panels for your home, you’re simultaneously helping the environment and reducing your monthly utility bills. This renewable technology is leading the way in modern energy usage and you’ll need to get on the train now to keep up with the times.

Solar Panels 101: The Installation Process

solar panel installation service

As fossil fuel use continues to cause personal monthly bills to skyrocket, and as a new consciousness about the health of our planet arises, people everywhere are looking to find an alternative means of power. Wind turbines and solar farms have cropped up across the country with the latter being a particular favorite for private homeowners — and understandably: possessing a serviceable life of decades, solar panels pay back the energy it takes to produce them within one to two years. They are a clean, efficient, and cost-effective alternative to traditional fossil fuel use.

 

If you’re considering making the switch, you may be concerned about what the solar panel installation service entails. Don’t worry; we’ve outlined the entire solar panel installation service process for your convenience below!

 

  1. Preparation: As with all construction jobs, the site must be surveyed for safety and clarification. Workers will locate attic access points and set up applicable work areas and may move some of your furniture around in an effort to protect it during the process. The final aspect of the prep involves installing ladders and/or scaffolding to gain easy access to the roof; you will most likely see workers attached to safety ropes as most city codes require them.
  2. Installation: The solar panels themselves need a base to attach to, so the workers will install metal rails on your roof first (fastened with mounting screws or bolts for solidity). Other crew members will begin work on the electrical components — such as the inverter which transforms the direct current collected by your panels to the alternating current required for your home. Depending on whether your solar energy system is off-grid, grid tie-in, or grid tie-in with battery backup, the workers will install batteries to ensure you’ll still have power during power outages or when conditions are not conducive to solar power production.Then, it’s time for the panels themselves! They will be set, mounted, and connected together on those metal rails that were previously installed. They are then connected to the electrical conduits (including the inverter) and are tested to guarantee they’re working properly.
  3. Final Touches: Your solar contractor will perform a thorough inspection, checking that the solar panel installation service was performed correctly and safely. The scaffolding and ladders will come down, and your house will be righted. Within the coming weeks, your local building department will perform an inspection of their own and will arrange a time to install their net meter and (if applicable) connect your system to the main grid. The net meter will determine if you’re contributing more electricity to the grid than your home is using — the power company will actually reimburse you if that is the case.

 

After all of this, you will be the proud owner of some shiny new solar panels. Congratulations! Now, there’s nothing left to do but sit back and enjoy your green home.

Top 3 Reasons to Look Into Using Solar Energy

using solar energy

There’s been an increased focus on renewable energy and finding clean energy sources. Solar energy has become one of the most tapped resources, with solar energy use seeing a 20% increase over the last 15 years. This is in part because of improved technology and a greater demand, which has made prices fall and exerted some pressure on finding more efficient ways to channel solar power. If you’re thinking about using solar energy for your home or business and are looking into contacting solar companies, we have the questions you should be asking, as well as why using solar energy can be such a smart choice on a few different levels. And we’ll give you an overview of what solar panel installation might look like.

Why Should I Think About Using Solar Energy? 

There’s no question that energy costs are rising and in the typical home, heating and cooling costs are responsible for over half of utility bills every year. And yet, we get around 120,000 terawatts every day from the Sun transmitted down to the Earth for free! That’s 10,000 times more than what goes through our civilized world, no matter what time it is. Though you’ll pay to install solar panels, the return on investment is a significant one and can even improve your property value in the long run.

Furthermore, along with wind power, solar power has 100 times greater lifetime energy yield as compared to nuclear or fossil fuels per ton of materials that are mined. However much energy is needed to make the solar panels is made back thanks to clean electricity production in the span of one to two years, depending on their usage. Their serviceable life could be decades.

And of course, using solar energy is much more sustainable and environmentally friendly option than fossil fuels. And using solar energy helps take some of our dependence off of oil-rich countries.

What’s Involved in Solar Panel Installation? 

A solar panel company will likely send a representative to your home or business to check out the location and advise on what you’ll need. After the installer visits, an engineer will also visit, to make sure your roof can support the solar panels and that your electrical panel is up to date and able to support the new system.

Once those visits are out of the way, you’ll need to secure permits and deal with the other paperwork that inevitably crops up. The installer will often handle a lot of this. After that, the equipment will be ordered and work can begin. You’ve likely already discussed with the installer what kind of system you want, but it doesn’t hurt to do a little research beforehand as well.

The actual installation can take anywhere from one to three days and then the switch can be “flipped,” enabling your power to flow from the panels to your home! You may need someone from the local electric company to also come by and do some final checks as well.

What Should I Ask Solar Panel Companies? 

As with almost any construction company or company that deals with installations, you want to make sure that they have the appropriate licenses and insurance policies. You can feel free to ask for this information to verify and double check.

You should ask about their expertise and past history. See if they have reviews or testimonials on their website or if you can speak to prior customers. Do they work locally and do they have a relationship with your energy company?

Since solar panels are definitely an investment, you should ask what their warranty policy looks like and also what happens if something goes wrong? What if a panel breaks or stops working? What happens in case of severe weather? What happens if you need to repair your roof? Planning ahead is always in your best interest and knowing what would happen in a “worst case” scenario might seem silly now but you’ll be glad you asked if something does happen. Make sure to get everything in writing.

3 Ways To Utilize Solar Energy In Your Home

what is solar energyWhen considering renewable energy options, few make more sense than solar energy. The sun is one of the most reliable objects in human existence: it has been shining for billions of years, and it will continue to shine for billions more. Logically, taking advantage of the essentially unlimited solar power the sun is emitting is the best way to reduce our carbon footprint without sacrificing any of the comforts we’ve become accustomed to; fortunately, there are a number of ways to do this. And if you’re wondering “what is solar energy and how does it work,” we’ll tackle that as well.

 

Let The Light Shine Down

John Denver may be famous for saying “sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy,” but we say sunshine on our roofs is better. Depending on your physical location, you have two options for solar paneling: off-the-grid and on-the-grid.

Off-the-grid solar energy systems are ideal for those who live in rural, sunny places as they rely on available solar radiation rather than a utility grid for power. However, if you want to ease into the solar-powered life, or don’t have the space (or sunlight) for your own solar panel system, you can remain connected to your town or city’s utility grid; this guarantees that you’ll always have power, even at night when the system is unable to keep up with your home’s energy demands.

 

If both of those seem to be a bit too much of a commitment, you can always start small. By utilizing solar energy systems to heat your water — or even your pool — rather than your home, you can continue to benefit from its clean energy without worrying about your home going dark.

 

What Is Solar Energy?

Let’s head back to the basics: the sun is essentially a natural nuclear reactor, putting out tiny packets of energy called photons that travel to the earth in 8.5 minutes; the number of photons that impacts our planet every hour generates enough solar energy to theoretically satisfy global energy needs for an entire year! Solar panels are designed to harness this power and translate it (through the use of photovoltaic cells) into electricity.
With enough solar installations in the U.S. to power 6.56 million homes, we think Mr. Denver got it right: sunshine almost always makes us high.