Archive for the ‘Solar’ Category

Myths About Solar Energy

Monday, February 8th, 2016

There have been a lot of myths and misconceptions circulating about solar energy almost since its conception. To this day, many homeowners buy into various myths about solar energy and use them as an excuse not to invest in the technology. You may think that you have a good reason for not installing a solar energy system, but you might actually be missing out on a huge opportunity. Let’s take a look at some of these solar misconceptions, and separate truth from fiction. (more…)

The Advantages of Solar Installation

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

Solar energy has been the subject of many misconceptions over the years: that it’s expensive, inefficient, and not worth investing in. While these misconceptions may have actually been true back when solar energy systems were first invented, they certainly aren’t true now. Solar energy has the potential to save you quite a bit of money on home operating costs. Read on to find out more about the benefits of solar energy. (more…)

Why Should I Invest in Solar Installation?

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Solar power has been the source of great debate since its inception. Arguments have raged from company board rooms all the way up to the floor of the senate about whether or not solar energy will be the technology that finally frees us of our reliance on fossil fuels. Though that debate is still going on, one thing is certain: solar energy can absolutely save money at the individual level. If you have never looked into installing solar technology in your home, now is the time to consider it. Let’s take a look at why you should invest in solar installation.

What is Solar Energy?

As you probably already know, solar technology involves harvesting the sun’s thermal energy and using it to power some of the home’s appliances. This is done through the installation of solar panels, either on the roof of the home or adjacent to it. The exact details of solar installation are dependent on the individual home, and will vary. What matters, though, is that solar panels themselves are incredibly resilient. They don’t need to be cleaned more than once every few months. They are built to be resistant to inclement weather, up to and including hail. These are devices that are meant to spend their lifespans outside, and their design reflects that.

How Much Can I Save?

This is usually the first question that people ask when they’re considering investing in solar energy. The answer is: it depends. How much money you save with solar energy will depend largely on the size of the system you install. If you are committed to solar energy, you could actually install a system large enough to cover your home’s entire energy bill. Once the system had paid itself off with savings from the monthly bills, any money it saved after that would go right into your pocket. Over the course of a decade or two, you could save tens of thousands of dollars by eliminating your monthly energy bill.

If you’d like to know more about why you should invest in solar installation, call Sound Heating. We provide professional solar installation throughout Kent, WA.

When is it Time for New Solar Panel Installation?

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

The solar panels on your roof are some of the most extraordinary components of your home. Solar panels can generate enough electricity to power an entire home, yet they don’t have any mechanical parts and require very little maintenance. In some areas, solar panels benefit from a little bit of cleaning from time to time. But in our area, the rain often takes care of this for us. Solar panels are tough and durable, and should last for many years without any trouble.

But the truth is that some sort of trouble may still occur with your solar panels. Be sure to schedule our solar installation service in Lakewood, WA if you experience any trouble or if you suspect damages.

Some Reasons for New Solar Installation

There are only a couple of main reasons to install new solar panels. It’s possible that your panel is damaged to the point that it greatly affects your energy bills. Or perhaps you want new solar installation for even greater energy savings.

  • Panels are cracked or otherwise damaged: Sometimes, a professional may be able to solder a small crack in a panel before it becomes any worse. Actually, your damaged panel may still function just fine, but cracks leave your panel more susceptible to further damage, which is why repairs should be taken care of right away.
  • One broken panel affects them all: If there are multiple panels installed on your property, a single damaged panel may not necessarily have too much of an impact. If you have 5 solar panels, one damaged panel will still allow solar energy to operate at 80% of its original capacity, as long as an electrical current can still run through the rest of them. If one panel cuts off the current to the other interconnected panels, repairs become urgent.
  • You want more solar energy in your home: A final reason to install a new solar panel is if you want more from your solar energy system. Perhaps you already had one or two solar panels installed for your heating or AC system. If this has worked out well, you may consider adding additional panels to power the entire home.

The solar experts at Sound Heating can take care of all of your solar installation needs in Lakewood, WA. Call our trusted team today!

3 Common Solar Repair Issues

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Solar technology is being implemented in homes across the country, as more and more homeowners embrace the free and renewable energy it provides. While solar panels are great for cutting down your electric bill, however, they still have their own set of repair issues that occasionally need to be dealt with. Let’s examine some of the repair needs that you need to be aware of when installing solar technology.

Weather Damage

Solar panels are left exposed to the elements by necessity, seeing as how they need to be out in the open to get as much sun as possible. This can become a bit of a problem if you live in areas with common inclement weather, like strong winds or hail. Solar panels are, of course, designed to resist these kinds of eventualities. However, no solar panel is going to fare well if it gets blown off the roof or gets pounded by baseball-sized hailstones throughout the night. Be sure to consult with a professional about the best place to install your solar panels, and what quality glass they’ll need to have to withstand the climate. If your solar panel does become cracked or otherwise damaged by weather, don’t worry. Depending on the severity of the damage, you may just need to have the glass replaced.

Damaged Wiring

Solar panels are pretty sturdy, owing mainly to their design and lack of moving parts. However, they still have vulnerable areas that should be inspected regularly. Wiring is one of those areas. The wires that connect the solar panel to the rest of your system can be exposed to moisture fairly easily, as well as becoming loose due to weather conditions like high winds. While the wires are insulated, any damage to that insulation make it possible for a short to occur in the system. Make a habit of checking your solar wiring regularly to make sure the wiring is in good condition.

Burn Out

Solar systems make use of a number of different parts beyond the panel itself. The solar inverter is responsible for converting solar energy into electricity that the home can use, while batteries store solar energy for use during periods of darkness or cloud cover. These systems are capable of burning out over time. Be sure to inspect them on a regular basis for signs of rust, corrosion, or other damage. If you notice any of these signs, you’ll probably need to have the part replaced.

If your solar module is experiencing problems, call Sound Heating to schedule an appointment. We provide professional solar services throughout Olympia.

Passive vs. Active Solar Heating

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Solar energy has been used for hundreds of years, but better technology over the last few decades has allowed us to harness and use this energy more effectively. However, there are still two choices in how solar energy is harnessed: passive or active. It’s important to understand the difference between the two solar options before you decide to schedule a solar installation service.

Passive Solar

Passive solar is harnessing solar energy without the use of devices. Examples would be a greenhouse, sun-heated stones and solar water collectors. Correct design is critical to the success of passive solar use; things like southern exposure and consistent exposure to the sun are critical to capturing the solar energy. Thermal mass can also be a factor, depending on how you want to use your passive solar. For example, passive solar water collectors need to be placed on the sunny side or roof of any building; height is also necessary so that the heated water can use gravity to flow downward for use. The key to any passive solar use is convection, which is the main way heat moves with using passive solar. With the right attention to detail, passive solar can help cut energy costs in your home.

Active Solar

As you can probably guess, active solar heating involves mechanics. Solar panels, solar hot water tanks and solar electricity are all considered active solar because they need the help of pumps and a medium in order to work. The two mediums used with active solar are fluid (many times this is water) or air. Both mediums are used to facilitate the transfer of the solar energy (heat or electricity) into energy to be used in some capacity for your home. Typically those using air are referred to as “air collectors” and those using a fluid are called “hydronic collectors”. Once installed, active solar systems can reduce your energy usage significantly.

Finding a solar option that best suits your home is something that should be determined with the help of an expert. Since 1989, Sound Heating has been helping customers with energy decisions for their homes, and we can help you, too. If you need more information regarding your solar options in Sumner, WA, simply give us a call today!

Steps Involved with Solar Panel Installation

Friday, January 30th, 2015

Installing a solar panel is a great way to save money on your home’s energy costs from month to month. However, it also happens to involve a pretty complex series of steps in order to be installed correctly. This is definitely not something you want to be doing yourself, though there are some benefits to knowing what exactly is involved with the process. Let’s take a look at the steps involved with solar panel installation, and why you want a professional to take care of it for you.

Preparation

Before anything else, the site has to be properly prepared for the solar panel to be installed. Space has to be considered. Do you have enough room on your roof for the solar panel, or would it be best to install it elsewhere? Will it be easy to access the panels in case of a problem? If you are installing it on your house, is that area strong enough to support the added weight? What about sunlight exposure? Do is the location you’ve chosen exposed to enough sunlight throughout the day? If those seem like a lot of questions, they are. In fact, they’re just the tip of the iceberg as far as preparation goes. You do not want to be navigating this kind of stuff by yourself, especially if you don’t have any experience in the matter.

Installation

After everything has been laid out, and the proper calculations made, the actual installation starts. It begins with a rack, which the solar panels will sit on. Next, the panels have to be wired together and connected to the rest of the system. As with all electrical work, this can get dangerous if you don’t take the proper precautions. That’s one more reason to let a professional do it for you. After the panels are all properly wired, the whole thing has to be connected to the home’s electrical grid. The whole process involves dealing with a lot of electricity, and if done incorrectly can cause a whole host of problems. With a professional covering each step, however, the whole thing can be done safely and efficiently.

If you need a solar panel installed, call Sound Heating and make an appointment with us. We offer solar installation service throughout Auburn, WA.

How Much Can Solar Energy Save You?

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

We’ve been hearing about how much money and resources solar energy can save for a long time now. A lot of numbers get thrown around on the national scale and in government buildings, but you rarely hear specifics about how much solar energy can benefit the average homeowner. Considering that average homeowners are the ones with the most power to implement solar energy on a wide scale, we feel that this lack of information is a major oversight. With that in mind, let’s examine how much money solar energy can save you if utilized in your home.

Operating Cost Savings

As you are well aware, each home has an operating cost, which is comprised of the total cost of things like electricity, plumbing, and all other utilities that are required for the home to function. Electricity is usually the most expensive of these utilities, as it is used for so many different things in the home. Electricity also happens to be the area that solar energy is designed to supply, making it one of the most cost-efficient improvements that you can make to your home.

This cost efficiency is illustrated by comparing the inflation rates of the two resources. Solar energy is free and renewable, as long as you have the equipment installed which can make use of it. Electricity, on the other hand, costs money to produce and deliver. According to a recent study from the Edison Electric Institute, the price of electricity rose around 2.5% each year between the years of 2000 and 2006. That’s a significant jump in price, which only increases the value that solar energy provides by saving you a percentage of your electricity bill.

The average home consumes around 900 kilowatt hours per month. That’s the total power consumed by all the different electricity-using devices in your home. An average solar system, assuming that it is receiving an average amount of sunlight, can provide approximately 450 kilowatt hours per month. That’s around half of your total electricity bill, which will only increase in value as the cost of electricity rises. So you see, a solar energy system can save you a great deal of money, and will pay for itself in fairly short order.

To schedule an appointment or if you’d like to know more, call Sound Heating today. We provide quality solar installation service in the Gig Harbor area.

What Are The Benefits Of Installing A Solar Energy System?

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

Even in cloudy or foggy weather or on a very cold day, the sun gives off enough radiant energy to sufficiently power all of the electronics in your home. If you’ve been thinking about switching to solar energy, why not start by powering some of the appliances that use up the most energy? You can use solar panels to power your heater, air conditioner, and water heater if you don’t want to convert your entire home just yet, and in any case, you’ll be helping out the environment and saving a lot of money over time. Learn more about how people benefit from solar installation in Olympia in today’s guide.

Energy Savings and Peace of Mind

The energy savings from solar alone convince many people to convert. Solar energy systems pay for themselves over time as you’ll notice dramatic cuts to your monthly bills. Although solar-powered appliances are also hooked up to an electrical grid as a backup power source, the meter actually runs backwards as you contribute electricity to the grid due to overproduction. This means money is credited to your bill, for even greater savings. Besides that, there are government incentives in place so that you’ll usually get a tax credit when you go solar.

And you can also have some peace of mind knowing that you’ve done some good for the environment. Generally, electricity is generated from fossil fuels, which emit dangerous toxic gases into the environment, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. Solar panels reduce CO2 emissions so that we can all breathe a little easier.

Furthermore, solar panels have no moving parts and require very little maintenance from year to year. Some manufacturers recommend hosing off the unit from time to time, but the rain can also take care of this job for you. Solar panels are built tough so they rarely run into repair needs. And despite some myths to the contrary, panels will not damage the roof, and can actually protect it from harsh weather.

Discover the benefits of solar energy for yourself. Call the experts at Sound Heating for an assessment of your home and budget so that you can decide whether it’s time to upgrade your home with solar installation in Olympia.

The Science of Solar Panels

Friday, August 8th, 2014

Humans have used the power emanating from the Sun for power since before the beginnings of civilization. But it was only with the invention of solar cells capable of collecting the Sun’s radiant energy and turning it into electricity that humanity has been capable of using solar power to provide for the needs of entire buildings and complexes. Today, you can have your whole house wired to run exclusively from solar collectors on the roof… or you can have a smaller installation to handle a single task, like heating your home’s water.

Solar energy come with enormous benefits: the Sun’s energy is free, renewable, and clean. If you haven’t considered solar installation in Bellevue, WA before, now is a great time to look into the possibilities. Call Sound Heating and speak to our solar experts today to learn more about the types of installations we can perform that will place the power of the Sun into your home.

How Modern Solar Energy Panels Work

You already know how the Sun provides energy directly: the warmth from its rays heats up exposed surfaces and raises their temperatures. But how do solar panels and solar cells work to change the Sun’s energy into electrical power?

The basic principle of solar cells is photovoltaics, which is a method of electrical power generation that changes solar radiation into electrical current. The photovoltaic effect was first observed in 1839 by French physicist A. E. Becquerel: certain material, when exposed to light, creates voltage or electric current. The exposure to light excites the electrons to generate electromotive force, converting some of the light into electrical power.

The material inside modern solar panels that exhibits the photovoltaic effect are semiconductors, which are arranged into groups of photovoltaic modules that make up the PV panels. The semiconductors generate electric voltage without using any moving parts (this is one of the reasons that solar energy systems require very little maintenance or repairs). The electricity created is direct current (DC). A power converter, also known as an inverter, changes the direct current to alternating current (AC) for use in a home. Many solar power systems will also contain a battery to retain voltage for later use and during times when the PV cells lose efficiency.

Solar power continues to advance, and the current technology of PV panels allows for the effective and efficient generation of enough electrical power to run an entire home. Solar panels are not ideal for every house, but you may be surprised to discover how flexible they are. Although solar installation is more expensive than more traditional power systems, the savings are immense (remember, the energy of the Sun is free) and the longevity and low maintenance and repair costs will increase your savings. Best of all, you’ll contribute to a greener future for the planet.

Sound Heating is proud to help people in the Greater Puget Sound Area find solar solutions for their homes. Contact us to learn how we can help you harness the Sun’s power for your household.