With more than 200 days of sunshine a year, South Texas abounds in solar energy. You see those solar panels going up on rooftops around town and wonder if you’re missing out on big energy savings. Existing homes are successfully retro-fitted to utilize solar energy every day. How can you tell if your home is solar ready to start lowering utility costs? Here are three things to consider:
- A solar ready home should be situated with dependable southern sunlight exposure. Because the angle of the sun changes with the seasons, make sure your roof receives sunlight during the prime energy-producing window from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. year-round. Shading caused by taller adjacent structures may reduce adequate solar exposure. Tree shading is another factor. Any mature trees next to your home that cast shadows on the roof may have to be trimmed or cut down.
- For a typical array of photovoltaic panels in a common grid-tied solar system, you’ll need 100 square feet of unobstructed south-facing roof space. This may be easy to imagine when you’re standing on the ground, but the reality on the roof is another story. Residential rooftops typically host a medley of chimneys, sewer vent pipes, skylights, ventilation fans and A/C units. Some of these will have to be relocated to the north-facing side of the house to make your home solar ready. It’s very doable, but should definitely be discussed with your contractor while you’re still in the planning stage.
- Clean up your energy act. Is your home already as energy efficient as it can be? A residence already burdened with energy-wasting defects is not the best candidate for solar power until those issues are resolved. Inadequate insulation, poor ventilation, lack of sealing around doors and windows, and outdated HVAC equipment may offset potential savings from installing solar power.
CCAC, Inc. is ready to discuss your transition to solar readiness and help you overcome obstacles along the way. Homeowners in the Corpus Christi area are welcome to contact us for a solar evaluation.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about solar and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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