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How You Can Use Solar Power in Your Own Home

Aug 26, 2008
As I am sure you have noticed the cost of your electricity and gas keeps rising year after year, this inculded with more people looking to move to living a more carbon friendly lifestyle, many of us are starting to look into alternative ways to power our homes. One of the most popular is through using solar power.

How much is it going to cost.

The easiest way to get a solar powered home would to be buy or build a home that solar power designed into it from the beginning, but this is not an option for many. The exact price tag to kit your house out with solar powered system, depends on a number of factors, that include the following:

1. Where do you live? The area you live in can have a big difference on how well solar power will work at your home. For example, the Seattle area may receive on average about three hours of sun a day since it's a rainy region while places in Arizona and Texas receive six to eight hours. Obviously, the more sun you get, the more efficient your solar power would be.

2. How much electricity do you actually use in a month? Because each month may fluctuate wildly, you will have to get a history of your electrical usage per month and round it out and determine how much it is per kilowatt hour.

3. Space availability is another factor for installing a system for solar power. First of all, you would need a place free of obstructions. Your solar panels will need full access to the sun; therefore no buildings, trees or other structures that would create shade should be nearby.

4. Do you plan to go straight solar power all the way or install a system, which allows for electricity access from the power company as needed? Also, will you try to purchase an entire solar power system or choose an option, which allows you to add components as your budget allows?

From the above you can see there a couple of points you have to think about before deciding if Solar Power would be a good idea for your home. You may have the money to install a complete system straight from scratch, but the better option may be to buy a unit that will allow you to add components inline with your budget and time. The best place to look would be in your local yellow pages, or the internet that should give you a good idea of what is available. The upside to solar power energy for the home is that you may get some tax credits! It depends on the state in which you live so you might want to look into whether you will get any returns such as a portion of the installation costs refunded to you.

Once you have got the unit, the next thing to think about is actually installing it. If you are very handy at home and understand the basics of electricity and mechanical things, chances are that you could probably handle the project on your own. However, before you make that ultimate decision, you will want to check out the warranty for your equipment that you buy. Some manufacturers will void a warranty if a licensed professional does not install it. So you have to take the additional cost of installation into account if that scenario occurs.

Just remember that there is no "one size fits all" when it comes to solar power. If you take into account all of the factors listed above, you will be able to make an informed decision as to which system would work best for your needs and lifestyle.
About the Author
Gavin Dye is the webmaster at http://www.solar-power-4u.com where you can learn about solar power and other forms of alternative energy you can use around your home. You can also learn how you can do your bit to stop Global Warming
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