There are many benefits in installing residential solar power in the home. Most of them are related to lower energy costs. Environmental concerns and less reliance on natural resources are additional benefits of such systems.
Electricity often relies on the use of coal plants for generation of power. Burning coal puts carbon emissions into the environment. The use of gas, oil, or kerosene for heating also uses limited natural resources that produce carbon emissions. Having a passive solar system for heating water and for heating or cooling the home reduces the amount of carbon emissions going into the environment.
A residential solar system is less costly than it was a few years ago and keeps coming down in price. The panels themselves are being made more efficient with better materials and lower production costs. While not everyone can afford an entire system to generate power for the whole house many can add a few panels and see a big difference in lower energy bills.
Passive solar energy is a concept in building a home to use less energy naturally. The angle of a roof ledge or the placement of windows can help keep more sun out in the Summer and let more sun in during the colder months. A homeowner who wants to be efficient can take these details into consideration when remodeling or when building a new house. This form of passive solar energy does not require an additional installation cost in many cases. It simply relies on how the roof line, windows, and doors are configured.
There are several different types residential solar systems for heating water. A basic system simply heats the water as it passes through the collector. This is usually adequate for warmer climates. Colder climates with frequent freezing temperature may need more elaborate systems, like thermosyphon systems, which allow warmer water to rise and cooler water to drop in the tank.
Every homeowner who installs a residential solar system will have different needs and different configurations. Regardless of which configuration is used or the type of system installed, a homeowner should experience significant savings in energy costs of a period of a few years. Significant savings can also be achieved by considering passive solar principles that naturally make the home more efficient.