It appears that whenever you turn on the TV or open a newspaper nowadays, the prospect of solar power for the home looks better and better. The media is rife with stories of people losing their jobs as well as their homes. It kind of makes you wonder if a less expensive source of energy could have helped these folks cut costs and hang on to their most valuable asset and not have to sell it well below market value, or even worse, lose it to foreclosure. If you are looking for ways to cut energy costs by installing a solar energy system, it is important that you understand some of the solar energy fundamentals.
First, to optimize solar power for the home and if you live north of the equator, you should orientate your living areas to the southern part of your home. This is the reason. This is the part of the home that receives the most sunlight during the day, so it obviously will be the warmest part of your home. If possible, keep the lesser-used rooms such as storage areas and unused bedrooms to the north. That way, the solar energy is being utilized the most where you actually need it, which ultimately will make your system more energy efficient.
Another way to get the most out of solar power for the home is to make sure your home itself is as energy-efficient as possible. This means being certain that the roof, walls, and floors are properly insulated to prevents any drafts. The windows on the south side of your home should be larger to take advantage of the warmth of the daylight sun, and the windows on the north side should be smaller to help keep the warm air in. Also, if possible, position doors and windows opposite each other to allow for cool breezes to flow through the house during the summer.
There are also things you can do to the outside when using solar power for the home. When planting trees, for example, position them so that they direct a cooling breeze into the home in summer, and be certain that any external shading structures such as awnings are large enough so that they block out the summer sun.
While these changes may require some effort and minor expense initially, the switch to solar power should save you money in energy bills in the long run. Another great place to learn more about solar power systems is Solar Roofing.