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.
Sound Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Solar’
Myths About Solar EnergyMonday, February 8th, 2016
The Advantages of Solar InstallationMonday, 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.
3 Common Solar Repair IssuesWednesday, 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.
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.
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.
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 HeatingThursday, 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 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.
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!
Does Solar Power Makes Sense in a Place Like Washington State?Thursday, July 31st, 2014
A large number of myths surround the use of solar power, and unfortunately many of them scare off homeowners who might have otherwise benefited from installing a solar power system. One of the most pervasive myths about solar power is that it will not work effectively in locations that are often cloudy or overcast. This is a concern that crops up often in a state like Washington, which is known for its heavy rain and cloud cover.
However, solar power can and does work in Washington State, and in many places that see even less direct sun. If you have resisted even touching the idea of providing your home in Puyallup, WA with solar energy, we hope this post will change your mind. Solar power is clean, renewable, and best of all, free. Contact our solar experts at Sound Heating today, and we can show you how practical a solar installation for your home can be.
Yes! Solar Power Makes Sense in Cloudy Weather
Here are a few facts to consider: the country with the largest output of solar energy is Germany. This nation produces five times the amount of solar energy as the U.S. And yet, Germany receives less sunshine per year than any of the 48 contiguous states! (Only Alaska receives less sun.) Within the U.S., Maryland, New Jersey, and Massachusetts produce as much solar power as sunny California and Arizona. This should put to rest your fears about solar power systems working in Washington State.
To get more specific, the modern technology of solar cells (photovoltaic cells) is advanced enough that ambient light is sufficient for them to convert photons into electricity. (This is known as the “photovoltaic effect”) The solar panels only need UV light—any UV light, not just direct sunlight—to function. Snow can even help solar panels, since the reflectivity of the white surface will send more photons into the PV cells, and cold weather helps increase electricity conductivity from the panels.
You also do not need to worry about rain damage to solar panels during a rainy Washington fall and winter. These panels are built sturdily to resist most extreme weather conditions. Solar panels in Vermont have done well against very harsh winters. The frequent rain in Washington also means you won’t have to wash off your solar panels yourself.
We think you should give solar power for your home serious consideration. Our team at Sound Heating has done many solar installations in the Puget Sound Area, and we’ve seen firsthand how well it can work. Let us help you with solar installations in Puyallup, WA that will lower your bills and help you contribute to a cleaner energy future for the Earth.
3 Common Myths about Solar PowerThursday, July 24th, 2014
Although humans have found ways to use the Sun’s power since the dawn of civilization, only in the last few decades has solar power become a burgeoning energy resource. With the installation of photovoltaic (PV) panels to capture the Sun’s power, you can run much of your home with an energy source that is free and reusable.
If this sounds too good to be true, that’s because a number of prevalent myths have made it seem that way. We want to dispel three of the bigger solar energy misconceptions that often prevent homeowners from exploring their options to go solar in Puyallup, WA.
At Sound Heating, we specialize in solar power solutions for homes. We have full solar installations of many sizes all across King, Pierce, and Thurston Counties. Let us help you find out the truth about what solar power can do for you.
Myth #1: Solar Power Won’t Work In Cloudy Climates
This is the biggest misunderstanding when it comes to solar power in the Pacific Northwest, where there are numerous overcast days. However, modern solar panels are efficient enough that they will gather energy from ambient light, and the difference in power output is minimal compared to direct sun. In fact, the leading country in the world today for solar power is Germany, which has climate equivalent to that of Washington State and gets even less sun exposure, yet produces 5 times the amount of solar energy as the U.S.
Myth #2: Solar Power Costs Are Too High To Ever Recoup
Solar panels provide essentially free energy from the sun, but people still hesitate about converting to solar power because they believe that the upfront costs are so high that they will never be able to recover the money through energy savings. But the truth is that solar installation will pay for itself in 7 to 14 years, and the panels will last far longer than that. Tax incentives can reduce the payback period to 2 to 4 years in some cases.
Myth #3: Solar Panels Require Too Much Maintenance
Actually, there are few power systems available that require less maintenance than solar power. The size of the panels and the roof space they take up give people the illusion that the panels must receive constant cleaning to work. However, you only need to hose off the panels once a year—and rain will do most of that work in a place like Washington. You’ll need professional assistance with repairs should one of the panels suffer damage, but otherwise your solar power system should require little attention to keep doing its best job.
There are many more misunderstandings about solar power we could deal with (they won’t cause your roof to collapse, they don’t require a tracking system for the sun, and they can look quite attractive), but the bottom line is that solar power is probably much more effective, and affordable, for your home than you ever imagined it was.
Call Sound Heating today and find out more about our extensive services for solar in Puyallup, WA. We will find the best way to get you started with solar power that will fit your budget.
3 Advantages to a Solar Panel ArrayThursday, June 26th, 2014
Here in Puyallup, solar panel technology used to be the stuff of pipe dreams. Cloud cover and our generally gloomy weather meant that solar arrays couldn’t get enough sunlight to do the job, leaving them practical only in sunnier parts of the country to the south. Those days are long gone. Today, advancing technology makes solar panels a great option even here in the rainy Pacific Northwest. If you’re looking for a new way to power your home, you would do well to consider installing a solar system.
Here are 3 advantages to a solar panel array that might help you make up your mind
- Energy savings. The first and most obvious benefit to solar power is the huge amount of money you can save on your monthly electrical bills. For all practical purposes, solar power is renewable and endless, costing you almost nothing and providing enough power to run every appliance in your home. Over time, the money saved might offset the cost of installation, and your monthly savings can free up space in your budget for other things.
- Environmentally friendly. Going hand in hand with that energy efficiency is a source of power about as green as you can get. It uses no fossil fuels and it doesn’t produce any toxic side effects, helping you lower your carbon footprint and give the planet a much-needed break.
- Money back to you. In some cases, your solar array will generate more power than you need, which means you can sell the excess back to the grid. Similarly, solar panel arrays improve the resale value of your house, and can help further recoup the cost of investment when the time comes to sell.
The advantages to a solar panel array are considerable, but every home is unique and only you can make the final decision. For reliable advice and installation services, give the experts at Sound Heating a call. We have the skills and experience you need to address the issue properly; solar companies don’t come more qualified. Pick up the phone today to set up solar service in Puyallup. You’ll be glad you did!
What Are My Home’s Requirements for Installing a Solar System?Thursday, June 12th, 2014
Solar systems have come a long way in a very short time, and here in Olympia, solar installation services no longer need to worry about the excessive cloud cover of the Pacific Northwest. When properly installed, such a system can save you a great deal of money over the years, as well as increasing your home’s self-sufficiency and reducing your carbon footprint. But before you sign up for an installation session, you need to make sure your home is right for solar installation. “What are my home’s requirements for installing a solar system?” you ask. Read on for the answers.
- Square footage. Most solar panels are installed on rooftops, though they can also be installed on the ground if you have the space. Regardless, you need a certain amount of square footage so that solar panels will produce enough power. Your installer can perform the calculations, which involve the amount of energy you use at peak periods throughout the year and the amount of power a given solar panel collects. With the square footage in mind, you can then plan for the ideal area, taking into account such aspects as rooftop tiles and chimney position.
- Shading. Solar panels these days can overcome cloud cover, but they still need an unobstructed view of the sky in order to function as they should. You need to keep the amount of trees and similar types of shading in mind, and then determine how many hours of unobstructed sunlight your panels will receive.
- Tilting. Here in Washington, solar panels should ideally face due south (receiving the most amount of sunlight) and have a tilt of about 30 degrees. If your roof can’t provide this, your installation technician can discuss other options and ensure that the tilt of the panels remains the best it can be for the circumstances.
For more on your home’s requirements for installing a solar system, or to plan for an Olympia solar installation, the experts at Sound Heating are standing by. We’ll answer all your questions before performing an installation with courtesy and care, so give us a call today!
3 Factors Necessary for Solar Panels in Your HomeThursday, June 5th, 2014
Solar panel technology has advanced in leaps and bounds in the past few years, and here in Kent, WA, solar installation has become an increasingly popular option for powering your home. You may be considering a solar panel array for your own home, but before you pull the trigger, you need to know the sorts of issues your home and property may present. That will help you make an informed decision and ensure that your solar panels do their job as they should.
Here are 3 factors necessary for solar panels in your home
- Square footage. Solar panels need a fair bit of space to function, the exact amount of which depends on the power you wish to generate. In most cases, you can fit them on your roof. Otherwise, you’ll need to place them in your yard or some other outdoor location. In either case, you need a technician to determine just how many square feet of solar panels is required. Otherwise, your home won’t receive enough power from the system and the whole point of installing solar panels will be lost.
- Sunlight exposure. Modern solar panels don’t need to worry about cloudy days (a good thing here in overcast Washington). They do still require an unobstructed view of the sky, however, with an eye on maximum exposure during the day. If you have tall trees or similar obstructions, talk to an installation technician about your options, and whether some new landscaping is in order.
- Maintenance factors. Solar panels don’t have moving parts, so maintaining them isn’t difficult. They do require cleaning from time to time, however, and occasionally repairs must be conducted. If you have a sloped roof or intend to place your panels in some other tricky locale, make sure you can access them safely.
As you may suspect, the advice of a trained professional can help when pondering the factors necessary for solar panels in your home. In Kent, WA, solar installation can be performed by the experts at Sound Heating. Pick up the phone and call us today to make an appointment!
Measuring Space for Your New Solar PanelsFriday, May 23rd, 2014
You may be surprised to learn how viable solar panels have become in our neck of the woods. Recent advances make it possible to generate copious amounts of solar energy no matter how cloudy the day itself is. In towns like Auburn, WA solar energy has exploded in the last few years, and homeowners have eagerly embraced the technology as a means of producing clean, efficient energy for a very low cost. Besides the initial cost of investment and solar panel installation, all you need is sufficient space on your property to hold the panels. In some cases, this means setting it up in your yard, but most people want the panels on their roof, where they can get the most sunlight exposure as well as staying out of the way. Here’s a few tips for measuring space for your new solar panels.
First you need to determine how large the panels need to be in order to power your home. A trained professional can provide precise calculations, but generally speaking, you need to:
- Determine the average kilowatt hours you use every year. (You can check your electric bills over the course of a year to get an exact figure.)
- Determine the number of hours your home gets sunlight exposure. Cloud cover rarely matters, but you do need to know how many hours the sun is in the sky each day, and factor in the changes in season as well. (You’ll probably see a lot more sunshine each day in June that you will in January.)
- Divide the kilowatt hours you receive each year by 365 (the number of days in a year). Then divide that number by the average number of hours your home receives sunlight, and divide that number by .75 (to include an efficiency constant, and ensure that the system doesn’t get overloaded).
The result is the number of kilowatts your array will need. As a general rule, you’ll need about 80 square feet for every kilowatt required by your system. From there, you can measure the amount of space required in your roof or yard. The experts at Sound Heating can help you with measuring space for your new solar panels.
If you live in Auburn, WA, solar panel installation experts don’t come with better qualifications. Give us a call today and let us show you what we can do!