The usage of electricity is commensurate with the energy costs. It therefore means that the more you use electricity, the more you’ll have to pay for it. To make matters worse, we are in an age where almost all our essential tech devices need constant charge to function as desired. For this reason, electricity bills will continue to amount as long as we continue depending on our tech devices to carry out our day to day activities.
Fortunately, the sun offers a reliable and affordable alternative source of power. Because the sun freely exists and is inexhaustible, it can be harnessed and used to provide for our daily power needs. Hence, the question we need to ask is; how can one go solar and save on energy? Well, there are very many simple ways. Here are top 10 extraordinary ways one can go solar and save energy.
1. Install solar panels
Some years back it seemed unconventional to have solar panels on top of one’s roof. Today, with technological advancements and the soaring prices of electricity, it’s the most rewarding thing you can do in your home. Having solar panels installed in your home can significantly help on saving on energy. If your area is a place that gets lots of sun throughout the year, then installing solar panels to produce electricity is a wise investment that will surely reduce your electricity bills.
Moreover, the cost for installing solar panels has plummeted in the recent past and research indicates that prices will continue to fall in the future as they encourage environmental sustainability. As much as you’ll spend a heavy initial investment on solar panel installation, you’ll be able to save a lot on energy in the long-term.
2. Use solar heaters for heating water
The majority of people use huge amounts of energy on heating water. In a bid to cut on electricity or gas costs and save energy, you can go solar by heating your water using the sun’s free energy. Simply install a solar water heater. It works by circulating water through a black insulated collector to maximize absorption and retention of the sun’s energy to effectively heat the water.
Once the water is heated, it is collected and directed to a reservoir tank or directly fed into the water system for use. Again, the initial investment can be a bit costly but you are guaranteed of potential savings amounting to hundreds of dollars a year.
3. Use solar light bulbs
The use of solar light bulbs for lighting can go a long way in reducing the need for artificial lighting, which consumes a great deal of electricity. Furthermore, solar light bulbs are durable and provide the same or even higher lighting efficiency as compared to the conventional light bulbs.
On this account, if you are looking for a simple way to save on energy, consider replacing some of your light bulbs particularly those for outdoor lighting with solar light bulbs. The payback is almost immediate and doesn’t require high initial investment costs. Also, they are suitable for both home and the office.
4. Use solar power banks and solar chargers
Solar power banks and chargers directly utilize sun’s energy to power electronic devices. The advantage with them is that they are very portable. This means that even if you are traveling, you don’t have to worry about finding places with electricity to plug in your electrical devices to charge.
And if you are really serious about saving energy, you can make your solar power bank and charger your primary charging option. You simply have to leave the charger out during the day to trap sun’s energy then use it during the night to charge your devices.
5. Use the clothesline instead of the dryer
By having a clothesline in your backyard or near the windows in your home and using it to dry your clothes, especially in summer, you’ll save on the energy that you would have used running the clothes in the dryer. What’s more, using the clothesline comes with an added advantage in that; you’ll save on cooling costs.
Using the dryer during summer generates heat and will thus require the occasional use of air conditioner or fun to cool down your apartment or home. With all these factors considered, the summer energy bills can be substantially reduced by simply going solar on drying your clothes. Besides, this is a do it yourself initiative so it has zero costs.
6. Use solar to dry your food
There are various ways of making food last longer, which is also termed as food preservation. One of the longstanding techniques is drying or dehydration which was used as early as 12,000 BC. In as much as the modern techniques in existence today weren’t available then, people still successfully managed to preserve their food.
What I’m I trying to say? My point is, you can save on energy by using solar food dehydrator for food preservation. Instead of heavily relying on the refrigerator to prolong the longevity of food staffs such as vegetables, fruits, and or even meat, you can use the free sun’s energy to dehydrate and keep them in good condition for future use. Solar dehydrators work by collecting heat from the sun as using it to dry food.
7. Purchase solar hot water panels for heating your pool
Pools offer great places for relaxation and at times, you may want it heated to enjoy the moment. Instead of using electricity for heating the pool, solar hot water panels can provide worthy solution particularly in terms of saving on energy. Moreover, incentives for solar hot water panels for heating the pool are available in various states.
According to the average financial payback estimations for purchase and installation on such solar panel systems, it takes less than 4 years to realize the savings on energy. Initial investment may be costly, but it surely pays off in the long-term as you are assured of saving money and energy.
8. Use a solar oven to cook food
Why not save on energy by investing in a solar oven and reap the benefits of off-the-grid cooking? People may question the performance quality of a solar oven on cooking food or getting it hot enough. Well, solar ovens can get hot enough to cook food by reaching temperatures of 120 to 178 degrees Celsius. At these temperatures, you can safely cook food such as cereals, vegetables and even meat by cooking at lower temperatures for an extended period.
9. Passive solar heating
Passive solar heating is one of the simplest methods of tapping solar energy because it doesn’t need any special technology. Provided your windows are facing the direction of the sun, that’s all you need to have your house heated and retain warmth during winter. By opening the curtains, it allows the windows to capture the warmth and radiate it into the house thereby providing free indoor heating.
Closing the curtains at night in winter periods is essential as it prevents the heat from escaping. In summer, closing the curtains during the day will help in keeping out the heat. This saves on the energy that you’d have for heating during winter. When building a home or choosing a new house, it is best to look for the ones with the windows facing the direction of the sun to enjoy the benefits of passive solar heating.
10. Use of solar furnace
Though not frequently used, this is among the do it yourself solar projects that will not only save you hundreds of dollars per year, but also help you save on energy. The solar furnace is used to warm up the air using the sun’s energy then directing it to the place where the heat is needed.
You can use solar surface to supplement heating during daytime hours especially in winter because it can be operated independently. If you can’t install a solar surface yourself, which may require some technical knowhow, you can spend hundreds of dollars upfront then enjoy the benefits later.