Is a Solar Powered Home Worth It? Here Are the Undeniable Benefits

Is a Solar Powered Home Worth It? Here Are the Undeniable Benefits

In 2019 the United States surpassed two million solar installations, with this number forecast to double by 2023. More and more US homeowners are realizing the benefits of installed solar panels on their properties.

While only a small percentage of homeowners have so far installed solar panels, a sizeable 46% of those without say they have given serious thought to the idea.

In this blog post, we will look at the undeniable benefits of having a solar powered home. From reducing your home’s energy bills to increasing its overall value and much more, there are a large number of unquestionable benefits to choosing solar for your home.

1. Better for the Environment

Solar panels are a renewable energy source that utilizes the power of the sun. As such, they can be considered a clean form of energy, in stark contrast to non-renewable power sources such as oil and coal.

As the world battles climate change, switching to solar energy in your home is one way that you can play your part. With solar panels, you will greatly reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to a brighter and greener tomorrow for the planet.

2. Increase the Value of Your Home

According to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, buying a solar energy system will likely increase the value of your home. Solar panels are viewed as upgrades, similar to a renovated kitchen or a finished basement.

Homebuyers are willing to pay a premium of around $15,000 for a property that has an average-sized solar system. This is a useful thing to keep in mind if you are considering installing solar panels on your property.

Check this link—https://blueravensolar.com/blog/can-solar-panels-increase-the-value-of-my-property/—to learn more about how solar panels can increase your home’s value.

3. Save On Energy Bills

This is the primary reason why most homeowners choose to install energy bills. By producing your own electricity, you can save thousands of dollars in energy costs over the lifespan of your solar system. If you live in a location with high levels of sunlight, solar panels are an especially good choice.

People who live in tiny homes are opting for a solar powered tiny home, helping them remain off the grid.

4. Little to No Maintenance Required

Solar panels are durable and generally require little to no maintenance over the course of their lifespan. That means less hassle for homeowners; all that is usually required is a quick dusting a few times a year. A solar system can last between 20 to 30 years, which highlights the durability of this energy source.

5. Make Money Through Net Metering

If you produce more energy than you need through your solar panels, you have the opportunity to earn extra cash. Net metering allows you to sell your excess energy to the grid for use elsewhere. Just another great reason to make the switch to solar energy!

Discover the Benefits of a Solar Powered Home

A solar powered home stands to reduce your energy bills, protect the environment, and increase the value of your home. If you have been considering installing solar panels on your home, then the above benefits are remembering the next time your energy bill comes in the mail!

Like this blog post on the benefits of a totally solar powered home? Be sure to check out our other interesting articles on our blog post today.

How to Hire a Plumber for Your Home: A Basic Guide

How to Hire a Plumber for Your Home: A Basic Guide

Did you know that the average family of four in the US goes through around 400 gallons of water on a daily basis?

When your plumbing is running smoothly, that probably isn’t a fact that means much to you. It’s only when things go wrong that most of us realize how much we rely on our pipes!

Whether you have a leaky faucet, a faulty water heater, or a clogged drain, a plumber can be a lifesaver—as long as you hire the right one. An experienced professional can resolve plumbing issues in a matter of hours, but the wrong one can lead to further headaches.

If you’re not sure how to hire a plumber, we’ve put together a basic guide to walk you through the steps. Here’s what you need to know to partner with the right professional.

Find Plumbers Near You

If you don’t have a go-to plumber, one of the easiest and most straightforward ways to find one is to ask trusted friends and family members to refer one to you.

Barring this, it’s a good idea to do a quick search for the “best plumber near me.” This can help you come up with a list of potential companies you’d like to work with. Make sure, of course, that the businesses in question are residential plumbers, not commercial ones!

Check the Basics

Before you go any further, make sure the plumbers on your list meet a few basic requirements.

Any plumber you work with should be licensed, insured, and certified by your state. In addition, they should have significant business experience to ensure that they’ll do things right the first time around.

Look for Reviews and Testimonials

A great way to narrow down your list is to see what others are saying about any plumber you’re considering. To do this, head to the plumber’s website to see if they have any testimonials to share.

In addition, be sure to check third-party review sites like Google, Yelp, and Facebook, as well as the company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Consider the Scope of Your Project

To further narrow down your options, consider the scope of your project.

For example, if you’ll need to upgrade your entire system or require extensive plumbing repair, you won’t want to work with a smaller business based out of a truck. Instead, you’ll need to find an established company with the tools and manpower for this sort of work.

Weigh the Details

From here, it’s time to pay attention to a few key details that should factor into your decision.

  • Pricing: Get a quote from any company you’re considering to ensure that they’re giving you a competitive offer
  • Warranties: Find out if the plumber offers any guarantees on the work they perform
  • Availability: Most reputable plumbers have typical work hours in addition to an “emergency services” option, so make sure these hours work with your schedule
  • Response time: It’s always a good idea to seek out a company that boasts a low estimated response time for emergencies

Once you have a better idea of how well the plumber can meet your needs, it’s time to make the hire!

Take These Steps to Hire a Plumber Today

Though it takes time and effort to hire a plumber you can trust, these steps are well worth the investment. Finding the right professional to tackle your plumbing problems can mean the difference between a smoothly running system and long-term frustration, so don’t hesitate to take your time finding the best person for the job!

Need more helpful guides like this one? Check out our other posts for additional insights.

Solar Panel Installation for Homes: The Average Prices Explained

Solar Panel Installation for Homes: The Average Prices Explained

The cost of solar panels is less than 25% of the price it was in 1990.

Solar panel installation costs have fallen as the technology continues to mature. Still, it doesn’t get on your roof for free. So how to solar panel installers come up with their pricing for home solar panels?

Keep reading to see the breakdown.

What Goes Into a Solar Panel Installation?

The best way to know what it will cost to get a solar panel installation is to ask professional contractors, such as those found here, for a “shopping list” of sorts.

The common components of a solar energy system in your area will likely include:

  • Solar panels
  • Solar inverter
  • Mounting system
  • Battery backup system (optional)
  • Gas, Diesel, Propane backup system (optional)

Battery Backup Systems and Generators

A battery backup system is required if you’re trying to be off-grid. A battery backup system may end up costing as much as the solar and the install, and affects how and where the inverter is installed.

The constant costs and maintenance of gas, diesel, and propane systems is one reason that batteries are coming into favor. Yes, the upfront cost causes many to stagger, but it will save over the lifetime of the system.

Going off-grid or using a battery backup will understandably make your system more complex, and therefore more costly.

Different Types of Solar Panels

Something that changes the price of home solar panels by a large margin is that not all solar panels are created equal. There are three main types of photovoltaic solar panels in use today, and this causes a direct effect on solar panel prices and solar panel cost. They are:

  • Monocrystalline silicon solar cells
  • Polycrystalline silicon solar cells
  • Thin film solar cells (TFSC)

TFSC are great because of their flexibility. You’re able to use them in a range of situations that a rigid system can’t.

Monocrystalline silicon solar cells come from a single crystal of silicon and carefully sliced into thin wafers. Polycrystalline silicon solar cells are made up of bits of several silicon crystals.

Monocrystalline solar cells are the most expensive, but only by a few cents per Watt. As the Watts increase, though, so does the price. It’s more expensive, but the efficiencies from monocrystalline make it a clear winner for saving on electricity bills in the long run.

Solar Inverters

A key part of solar panel installation, solar inverters convert DC power to AC.

If you’re going to get a battery backup, this has to be arranged in advance for this reason. Batteries must receive DC power to work effectively. After the battery gets its DC power, the inverter will change it to AC.

A solar inverter system hooked up to a battery costs about ten times as much as each inverter type otherwise would.

There are again three options to choose from if you’re not going with a battery backup.

  • String inverter
  • Power optimizer
  • Microinverter

Microinverters invert each panel individually. Power optimizers have a separate and direct line to the inverter. String inverters are the base type, and cheapest, which links all solar panels together before going through the inverter.

The larger the system of solar panels you have, the larger the inverter, the pricier the system.

Things Are Heating Up

Solar panel installation is trending toward a high demand in coming years as prices for solar technologies fall. Currently, installation is only 24% of the total cost of a home solar power system. Since this sector is seeing so much growth, you’ll likely see a lot of other costs drop as well.

Interested in more solar facts and guidance? We have the latest in technology and home improvement tips to keep you busy. Keep browsing to stay ahead!

Signs You Need to Replace Your Furnace

Signs You Need to Replace Your Furnace

Your furnace is an essential part of keeping your home comfortable. Unfortunately, people often miss the early warning signs that they need to replace their furnaces.

This can cost time, hassle, and money on your energy bills. Regular maintenance and inspections can increase the lifespan of your furnace because, rather than opting for replacement, a simple furnace repair could be all it takes.

Here are the main signs that you need to replace your furnace.

Your Furnace is More than 20 Years Old

There’s significant debate over how long a furnace should last. On average, a well-maintained furnace should last for twenty years before it needs to be replaced.

Even if your furnace is still operating after 20 years, it’s wise to invest in a replacement to maximize efficiency and to take advantage of the latest technology.

Your Heating Bills are Increasing

Perhaps the biggest sign that a furnace is about to come to the end of its natural lifespan is rising heating bills. Rising heating bills could mean that your air ducts are not properly sealed, or it could mean that the internal parts of your furnace are beginning to wear out.

Older furnaces cause your heating bills to rise because they need to work harder to maintain your desired temperature.

Hire a professional if you notice a spike in your heating bills.

Your Furnace Needs Regular Repairs

If during the last two years you have had to carry out more than a couple of repairs per year, it is time to get a new furnace.

The cost of regularly repairing your furnace will quickly surpass the cost of a new furnace. Compare prices to see if it’s a cost-effective decision to make.

An easy way to tell whether it’s worth purchasing a new furnace is if the repair bill is more than 50% of the cost of a new furnace.

Your Furnace Makes Strange Noises

The running costs of a furnace make up almost 51% of a home’s energy consumption, alongside air conditioning. A telltale sign that your furnace is becoming problematic is to listen to the sounds it’s making.

Rattling, popping, and banging are just some of the sounds your furnace should never make. Furthermore, if your blower appears to be turning itself on and off regularly, this is another sign that your furnace needs to be completely replaced.

Your Furnace is No Longer Keeping You Comfortable

Do you frequently find that your rooms are too hot or too cold? Are you adjusting your thermostat every few minutes to reach your desired temperature?

This means your furnace is no longer distributing heat properly around your home. While it could indicate that your thermostat is faulty, in most cases, it’s a sign that your furnace must be replaced.

Conclusion

The cost of a new furnace can be expensive, but in the long-term investing in a new furnace could save you money. Whether you’re bleeding money on biannual repair bills or higher heating bills, it’s time to consider upgrading to a modern furnace.

Contact an HVAC professional in your local area for a full inspection of your home’s furnace.

Tips for Saving Money on Air Conditioning This Summer

Tips for Saving Money on Air Conditioning This Summer

Air conditioning is a lifesaver as summers get hotter across the country. Approximately 90% of homes within the U.S. include an air conditioning system of some kind, including older homes.

Keeping your air conditioning unit in good condition is key to ensuring efficiency and keeping your energy bills down.

Here is what you need to know about saving money on air conditioning this summer.

Insulate Your Home

Unless your home is brand-new, the chances are much of the cold air from your air conditioning system is leaving your home.

Call in a professional energy auditor from an HVAC company like Infiniti Air or conduct your own audit by running your hands around your windows and doors. If you can feel the cold air escaping, it is time to caulk the windows and insulate your doors.

Keeping air inside your home is key to saving money this summer.

Turn Your Thermostat Down

Too many homes within the U.S. leave their air conditioning systems running at a low temperature all day. Turning your thermostat down can make a big difference. Alternatively, invest in a smart thermostat.

A smart thermostat will automatically shut off your air conditioning when you reach the desired temperature. There are also settings allowing you to opt for a short, controlled blast of cold air to keep temperatures tolerable.

Close the Blinds

Sometimes it is as simple as closing the blinds. If you allow the sun to shine through your windows during the hottest hours of the day, you are heating your home. This means your air conditioning system must work twice as hard to keep the temperature down.

With 6% of all electricity produced in the U.S. originating from air conditioning systems, closing your blinds could help to contribute to a greener world and lower average household energy bills.

Increase the Temperature

Try to choose the hottest temperature you can comfortably stand. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends aiming for 78 degrees indoors when you are at home.

If you need to go lower, it does not matter. Even the smallest of changes can save a large chunk of change.

Upgrade Your Air Conditioning

Older air conditioning systems typically require more regular repairs and run at a lower level of efficiency. The older an air conditioning system gets, the harder it needs to work to maintain your selected temperature.

The average air conditioning system has a lifespan of between 15 to 20 years. You can extend this by opting for regular maintenance from a qualified professional.

Finally, upgrading now can mean lower energy bills in the long term, so get over the initial price shock and upgrade your worn HVAC unit.

Conclusion

Keeping your energy bills down this summer is all about being aware of the temperature in your home and ensuring the air is not escaping. Additionally, ensure your HVAC unit is in tip-top condition before the summer months arrive so you do not get a nasty surprise when you receive your next energy bill.

Contact an air conditioning professional in your area today to schedule a home air conditioning inspection.

5 Reasons to Get a Portable Solar Generator

5 Reasons to Get a Portable Solar Generator

Whether you live a fun, alternative lifestyle on the road, or if storms are always knocking down your power lines, you’re probably interested in some kind of solar energy.

Renewable energies are sustainable, reliable, and the fuel of the future, with over 2 million people in the US relying on solar for their energy needs.

Well, it doesn’t just have to be solar panels on your house. You can take solar on the road with you, on the water, or even in your backyard!

Let’s talk about some reasons to get a portable solar generator for your home, business, or road trip.

Portable Solar Generator Benefits: Less Hassle

If you’ve ever had a standard generator, you know what a benefit this could be. Nobody wants to have to stop and fill up their gas tanks every few hours just to keep their lights on, and if you’re road-tripping or camping, this adds so much extra weight and volume to your haul.

Carrying around the gas in your trunk also poses some serious risks, and you have to take several precautions when doing it. Well, with solar generators, all you have to do is point it at the sun. You can even keep it there indefinitely, if you want.

Ahem… WiFi!

Enough said right there! If you’re going to try out the van life, or if you’re going on a long camping trip, or simply if your power goes out at home, you can have portable WiFi and a place to charge your devices all at once!

If you’re stranded somewhere because your car battery dies, and you have your generator in the trunk, this could be a matter of life or death. A dead phone or one with no service won’t help you much.

Take Your Work On The Road

With more and more people having the option to work remotely, imagine working with a view of a National Park in the background! Well, with portable WiFi and a solar generator, you won’t have a problem! This could even be your means of living the popular “van life”, or a life on the road if you can land a remote job!

Save Money

Not only is buying gas or diesel a hassle, but it’s also expensive! One of the best benefits of buying a solar generator is that you don’t have to spend money on the sun. It’s available to you for free for most of the day!

Going Green

Everybody wants to find ways to lower their carbon footprint these days. Switching to clean energy, wherever possible, is always a great option for anybody looking to live more sustainably on the planet that we all share. This just happens to be an easy, affordable, and practical way to start!

Get Solar Today

There are so many reasons to get a portable solar generator and now is the best time. Solar technology is getting better and better by the day, so get it while it’s hot!

Keep looking for new ways to save money and build a more sustainable future for yourself! Get started today!