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Are Home Energy Audits Worth the Cost?

A drafty house that allows air to move through cracks and gaps may be letting more than just air move through those cracks and gaps; it may be letting your money slip right out.
You can do your own energy audit if you are willing to take your time and be very detailed.

It is helpful to keep a list of any problems you find so you can prioritize the solutions. Go to each room in your home and check for any leaks or drafts from windows, doors, electrical outlets, baseboards or even the gap between the walls and ceiling. Don’t forget to check any fireplaces, attic hatches or window-mounted air conditioners.
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Which One is Better? Amorphous or Crystalline Solar Panel ?

When it comes to choosing solar panels you will find there are two major categories: amorphous and crystalline. Both of these technologies have been around for years and they each have different ways of covering your roof and collecting solar energy. So, which one is the best? It really comes down to what you are looking for.

Roof Space

The amount of roof space used is very important with solar panels. If the solar panel uses too much space then you won’t have room for more panels. You need to use more space with amorphous panels than with crystalline because the panels are larger and bulkier.

If you want to install a few solar panels without taking up much of your roof or if you are thinking of installing more panels later, then you should go for crystalline.

Installation Ease

Installing solar panels can take a long time and this may be the most tedious part of buying solar panels. While both have the same relative installation difficulties, amorphous panels are slightly hard to install. These panels usually need more rails and take slightly longer to install.

Health Hazards

While solar panels are supposed to be eco-friendly, they can be made of toxic substances that can be harmful. Some amorphous solar panels are made from cadmium, which is known as a carcinogen. This does not represent all amorphous solar panels and you should be fine if you read up about the product before buying it.

Performance

One of the most important things about choosing a solar panel type is choosing the type that collects the most solar radiation. On average, both collect nearly the same amount of energy. However, crystalline panels do not collect as much energy in very hot environments.

Durability

Along with performance, durability is another major concern. Some solar panels may crack in very hot or cold conditions. This forces you to spend more money on new panels and keeps your house from collecting solar energy. Usually crystalline panels are more durable, though amorphous can be good in mild climates.

Conclusion

If you look at the two side by side you will notice that crystalline solar panels are the best on average. They take up less roof space, are usually more durable and they are often easier to install. While amorphous panels are very capable, they are just not quite as good as crystalline panels in many respects.

Residential Solar Inverters

What is a Solar Panel Inverter?

A solar panel inverter is a device that converts the Direct Current (DC) generated by solar panels to Alternating Current (AC), which is the type of electricity used by household appliances and electronic devices. The inverter also converts the voltage generated by the solar panel from 12 volts DC, to 110 or 220 volts AC, in U.S. applications.

Types of Solar Inverters

– Off Grid Inverter

This type of inverter is used with an off-grid solar power system. Also called a stand alone system, the off-grid system is not connected to the electrical power grid. Off-grid systems connect the solar panels to a bank of DC storage batteries, with the inverter placed in-line between the batteries and the breaker box that distributes power to your home. The inverter draws DC current from the batteries as needed, converting it to usable AC current.

– Grid Tie Inverter

A grid tie inverter connects directly to the solar panels, converting the DC electricity to AC, then sending it directly to the breaker box for household consumption. Grid tie inverters work in tandem with the electric grid so can be configured for net-metering, allowing excess electricity to be sold to the utility company.

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Solar Powered Christmas Lights: the Basics

Traditional holiday Christmas lights are quickly becoming antiquated. New technology, utilizing growing advances in solar energy, is creating a stream of reasonably priced and cost saving Christmas lights.

Solar Christmas lights are rapidly expanding commodities. Reliability, eco-friendliness, and cost-efficiency over traditional Christmas light bulbs contribute to solar power lights rapid expansion. A solar panel, containing a photovoltaic cell converts sunlight into an electrical current. This current is then transferred to a battery, ensuring the Christmas lights can run all night long. The battery then transfers current and lights the LED bulbs, with a burn life fall longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.
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Solar Panel Grants and Funding for Homeowners

For homeowners interested in utilizing the sun’s natural power to be used for residential electricity consumption, there are more initiatives and funding available than ever before. Putting up the substantial costs for the initial installation is out of reach for most homeowners but what many people don’t know is there are many options available to help offset those up-front costs and make solar energy a possibility for every household. Many states provide grant funding to support residential consumers in making the switch or supplementing their current power supply.
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The US Can Decrease Energy Prices

There really is a way to force down energy prices in the United States. Everyone complains about energy prices, no one does anything about it. That is because no one know what to do. It’s like most other concerns here and anywhere else. People are frustrated with a certain situation, then the frustration escalates becomes they feel powerless to make a change. The concerns with energy are no different. Energy prices keep going up and up. Citizens are upset because wage are not increasing to keep up with expenses. Exasperation increases because everyone feels caught, controlled, with no recourse to take.
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Saving Electricity – The Easy Way

At the point in time electricity became a necessity, the lines of energy conservation began to blur. Today, there are many options that not only save electricity but reduce the residual footprint of energy use. It’s a matter of rethinking lifestyles in a way that doesn’t add inconvenience or increased labor involved in ordinary daily activities. Even the most conscious efforts to saving electricity can become pleasurable experiences.

Saving Electricity The KISS Way
There’s a second meaning to KISS: Keep It Simple Savings. Saving electricity may be as simple as reliving simple life pleasures. What can be more comforting after a hectic day at the office than a tranquil candlelight dinner for two, or for one? Even kids don’t mind roughing it like this one or two nights a week at dinner. They may even look forward to it. At the end of the day, a bath or shower by candlelight is one great way to be good to yourself and indulge in a lovely, half hour of soothing “Me Time”.
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How To Set Up The Most Basic Solar Power System?

When thinking of a basic solar power system, think of a small cabin in the woods that needs four 12 volt batteries as a simple example. The assumption being that you are planning to run a small minifridge, a few lights, and a small stove. Perhaps, you may plan on powering a few simple tools as well.

The most basic setup will include a 3 panel (45 watt) solar kit and perhaps a 300 watt inverter at the minimum. This actually is a good starting point for a basic solar power system and then an additional 60 watts can be added. Anywhere you can eliminate the use of an inverter will help cut back on cost and the amount of converted current needed.
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What Is Residential Solar Leasing?

Are you frustrated with the fact that buying solar panels for your home is an expensive investment? It’s kind of ridiculous to think that the costs of setting up a system could be upwards of 40 thousand dollars. Even though it is a good investment with tax advantages, most people could not afford the up-front costs.

Fortunately, there is an affordable option available for people who want to go green without having huge investment costs. This option is known as residential solar leasing. In this article we will discuss what residential solar leasing is, as well as provide you with the positive and negative aspects of it. In the end, we hope this article will help you to make an informed decision.
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