What homeowners should know about solar

Homeowners wishing to “go green” usually start with solar power. The benefits include major tax credits, savings on the power bill, low maintenance, in addition to being good for the environment. Since the price of solar power is down to $1 per watt, homeowners are looking with alacrity to Fort Worth HVAC companies. There are several things homeowners need to know, though, before rushing out to buy them.

How Solar Panels Work

Solar panels are installed on the roof of a house facing the direction of the most sunlight, usually south. The sunlight is turned into power and stored in batteries. When electricity is required, the inverter shoots it to the appliance or electronic item in question. Any power not used can be sold to the local power company. Power companies are happy to oblige, often offering preferred prices for the solar energy.

When a home is using its solar energy, it’s called being “off grid.” This means the home is not using electricity offered by the power company. The house goes back “on grid” at night when the sun is not producing energy. Powering a whole house requires knowing the square footage of the house, determining the number of panels needed.

Dedicated Panels for HVAC

Homeowners must know up front that solar panels specifically for air conditioning cannot and will not power the whole house. The panels are strictly for use with the solar-ready HVAC unit. That said, generally three panels are installed on the roof.

A few facts about the products of Fort Worth HVAC companies include:

  • Solar panels don’t necessarily have to be on the roof. They can be placed beside the HVAC unit
  • Oddly enough, the hottest time of day is when people most want cool air. That’s the exact time the solar unit cools the best due to the sheer volume of heat turned into energy
  • Solar panels operate just as well in partial or full shade as in direct sunlight
  • Solar HVAC units are smaller than their regular brethren, cost less, and helps to increase the resale value of the house

How Solar HVAC Units Pay for Themselves

Prices vary locally, of course, but solar units have been known to pay for themselves within two to five years. Although the federal tax break has been extended to 2021, any future excess power generated may be sold back to the local power company. Homeowners don’t have to wait for tax cuts to refill their wallets. Even if the unit costs quite a bit, homeowners can possibly make back a lot of their money in the first year or so.