Discussion in 'Environment' started by Manuel, Jun 5, 2008.
Just out of interest - do you have solar panels installed in your home?
No and I wouldn't waste time with them here until the technology is a lot better. Lots of cloud cover. I live in the newer portion of a subdivision that 20 years ago did that, every home had them. NO new units built after the initial ones had them and almost none of the originals still have them.
Battery Technology, panel technology and making them smaller needs to get better.
The tech is ok now adays in the right areas. I read that the cost of your investment will pay back in about 8 years if you have the ability to sell back to the Electric Company. Assuming you buy the right equipment and storage batteries. This only works in certain areas though.
So far all I have are a few of those solar garden lights that run on rechargeable batteries.
My pool, jaccuzzi, and lawn pumps are run by solar panels and that is working pretty well. I figure it's going to take about 3 years to recoup the initial cost as it decreased my electric bill nearly $60/ month. I'm contemplating doing more, as I live in Florida where we get more sun than is healthy, but other changes, like putting in a demand water heater and installing a main power capacitor, and replacing certain appliances with something more efficient has done as much if not more. My next step is installing DC low voltage LED lighting and ceiling fans throughout the house.
That would pretty much leave me dealing with the AC power use (not a luxury in Florida). That's a big hurdle.
Insulation tech is getting better and better. Depending on the age of your home you may want to check your window types. You can save a ton with newer window designs. They are not cheap but they pay for themselves like every thing else.
Make sure the insulation in the attic or ceiling is newest and well loaded. Check into newer types of siding that insulate as well. Ensure your source for your AC is the right type for your area, some places Heat pumps are best some that is not true. Newer models again are more efficient but cost more. Check your doors and ensure they are the right type and do not allow unneeded heat or cold in.
If your house is an older model all these things count. Don't forget to install blinds as well and to use them.
Your absolutely right and most of those issues I took care of back when we bought the home 10 years ago. Heat pumps work well here.
As for windows, I recently put in hurricane resistant windows on the south face of our house!!!!! (They were inaccessible or not condusive to my using hurricane shutters) Very well insulated and a pickup truck couldn't plow through these things but, man... they were expensive.
I got those, too, and I love them. No more shutter humping for me!
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