The Truth About DIY Solar Panels

If you’re like me, you’ve looked everywhere for answers to help save money on electricity. These days many people are interested in helping the environment by becoming more earth friendly. But the big question is; how can I do it myself and save money in the process?

One solution I looked at was installing home solar panels. This, because a friend of mine converted his home to solar a couple of years ago. But the problem he ran into was the cost. He ended up taking out a second mortgage just to do it. He did manage to get a boat load of tax credits from the government, and that, coupled with the overall savings he earned, paid for his ‘do it yourself’ solar panel installation within a few short years. Still, as for me, I had a lot of trouble facing the thousands of dollars I thought I needed to make a switch like he did. I just couldn’t rationalize it. That is, until the prices started coming down. And come down they did!

Home Solar Panels Lowers Your Electric Bill

As technology progresses, and as more and more companies come on board with their products and ideas, prices always seems to drop. And what’s even better, not only are renewable energy solutions becoming more economically available than ever before, but they are even better than before. That’s probably the biggest reasons you can see more and more of these units installed on homes. With all of this enthusiasm and interest in installing solar panels as well as wind mills, a number of very good and very interesting DIY guides have hit the market, allowing virtually anyone, regardless of their experience of skill, the ability to build their own solar cells, solar panels and wind mills for less than $200 and using supplies found at every day hardware stores.

I must admit, I was more curious than I was skeptical. I went ahead and purchased a couple of these guides to see how it was all possible. First I was able to put together some simple solar cells like the guide showed me. And much to my delight, a month or so later I already noticed that I was saving upwards of 80% on my bill. Each month since installation, the savings have always been there for me.

I could try to put together the wind mill. It looks pretty simple. But for now, I’m really not too interested in that. Someone emailed me recently to say he put together the wind mill from one of the same guides I used, and he says it is saving him over 50% on his monthly power bill. He said he made the wind mill in his garage one weekend, and now he’s considering making a second so that he can produce more than he uses.

What can you do to save energy and money at home?

Start by looking at an old electric bill you’ve received. Ask yourself, is there anything you can do to cut back on your energy consumption? For starters, consider the following energy saving tips:

Saving Energy at Kitchen

  • Check your refrigerator. If it is close to the stove, heat vents or even the dishwaser, move it to a different location. Remember, its whole job is to produce cold temperatures. If external sources such as ovens are running next to it, the cooling job it does requires more energy, costing you more.
  • Don’t overload your dishwasher and only run it when it is full.
  • Keep your dryer filters free of lint and remove lint before each load.
  • Keep your water heater set to 120 degrees.

Saving Energy at Living Room

About 90% of the energy used by the regular pear shaped incandescent light bulbs is lost as heat. So, switch out your incandescent light bulbs for compact fluorescent bulbs. They don’t produce heat and last for years rather than Months. They will cost you about $1.20 a year to operate while a standard bulb costs about $4.80. Making this simple switch gives you lower costs, longer bulb life and more efficient use of energy.

Utility Room Energy Saving

  • Maintain your central air conditioner, heat pump and furnace annually. Have a professional tune these up yearly. Make sure he seals leaks in ducts.
  • Replace air filters used with forced air furnaces every few months or as needed. Use blinds and curtains on windows to shade out the sun and seal holes around your heating pipes.
  • Replace and repair caulking and weatherstripping as needed.
    If you have a crawl space in your home, close the vents in the winter and open them in the summer.
  • Use ceiling fans if you have them. If you don’t have them, install them. Ceiling fans are highly efficient in cooling the home and they also add to the heating efficiency during the winter. Install an attic fan to keep your attic air cooler in the summer. This will reduce the work load of your central air conditioner, saving you money.

Garage & Vehicle Energy Saving

  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on octane levels for your car when fueling.
  • Understand that so called “gas saving” devices that claim to boost mileage are not always as good as they claim. Most products simply don’t work. Specifically avoid devices such as: Additives, magnets, devices that strap onto the fuel line and injectors which pump platinum into the engine. These specific devices have been tested by the EPA and have been found not to work.
  • If you need a new car, remember that alternative fuel vehicles are designed to achieve better air quaility thus improving the environment by lowering mmissions. Consider purchasing such alternative fuel vehicle if you are in the market for a new car.
    You can conserve fuel by driving more efficiently. Maintain the posted speed limit. Always keep your vehicle’s tire pressure at the optimum pressure level. Also keep your vehicles tuned up with regular oil changes and filter replacement.
  • One of the best ways to save money and be earth friendly is to simply leave your car at home. Walk to your destination if it’s within a reasonable distance to do so. Use public transportation and start bicycling where ever you can.

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