Where You Can Install Solar Energy In Your House

Additions and Remodels
Solar Energy
Outdoor Additions
By Contractors.com Team June 08, 2021

The solar energy market continues to grow as more and more households strive to live an eco-friendly lifestyle and reduce their carbon footprint. Solar energy currently shares the biggest portion of renewable energy production with wind energy. But while wind energy is still widely used for large-scale production, residential solar panel installers have become one of the most in-demand trades on Contractors.com.

You often hear about how amazing solar power is and how renewable energy is our future. But what we rarely hear about when it comes to solar power is how it can actually be utilized in the average home. You have most likely seen solar panels on some neighbors’ roofs or when you drive through a suburban area, but unless you’ve got a few yourself, you rarely get to see them put to use. 

However, there are many ways and places you can implement solar power at home, save money, and do your part in protecting the environment. 

1. Fully Solar Powered Home

What It Takes to Power An Entire House with the Sun

What It Takes to Power An Entire House with the Sun

The notion of having your home entirely off the grid and not left to rely on other sources of energy thanks to solar energy, has recently been of high interest to most. Many still wonder if using solar energy to power your entire house is even possible and the answer to that is: yes, it certainly is. But, only given the right circumstances.

Everyone’s home is different, whether in size, layout, the number of power outlets there are, or the number of people living in them. But the most important distinction in homes is their location. This is the key to an entirely solar home. Given that the house is in a location that gets plenty of sunlight and that the solar panel installer places them in the right positions, you can power the entire house with solar energy. With enough solar panels, an inverter, and a few other devices that help regulate electricity, you can find yourself living in a completely green home. 

2. Solar Powered Home Heaters

Different Ways You Can Use Solar Energy In Your Home

Different Ways You Can Use Solar Energy In Your Home

When you think about it: heating your home with the power of the sun is a no-brainer. The sun is, after all, a huge ball of plasma that is essentially an everlasting explosion that expels titanic amounts of energy every second. So naturally, it would make a great source of heating for your home.

There are two primary ways of using solar energy to heat a home: active and passive. When a contractor or architect is planning out the layout of a home, as well as what materials are going to be used in the construction, they are also considering passive solar heating — how much sunlight is getting in through the windows or skylights, how the materials warms up, and how much heat they retain. Then there is active heating, which uses the energy collected from the sunlight to power conventional heating appliances, like space heaters. The water heated by the solar panel can also be used to warm the interior of the house, without having to rely on direct exposure to sunlight.  

3. Solar Powered Water Heaters

Solar Powered Water Heaters

Solar Powered Water Heaters

Solar water heating is by no means a new concept. The very first solar water heater was invented back in 200 BCE, while the first commercially sold solar water heater was released in 1892. But while back then water heating with sunlight could only be done for small amounts of water, today, solar energy can be used to heat water in much larger quantities.

There are two types of solar water heaters: active and passive. Much like the home heaters, active water heaters capture sunlight with solar panels, turn it into energy, which is then used to warm the water. Passive water heating uses the sunlight to directly heat the water or its container, which is a cheaper alternative but not as reliable. Both of these options, however, are great ways to save money on the electricity you would have otherwise spent on water heating, and make your home environmentally friendly.

4. Solar Swimming Pool Utilities

Going Green In the Backyard

Going Green In the Backyard

One of the biggest challenges of owning a swimming pool is keeping it warm enough for parties or swim sessions, and keeping the pumps and filters operational. All of this can be immensely energy-consuming.

By integrating your pool into the solar energy system of your home, you can transform the entire pool and its utilities from huge energy wasters, to one of the most energy-efficient parts of your home. Since the pool is always exposed to sunlight, you can use a special solar-powered pool heater to warm it up before taking a dip. Alternatively, you can hook up the heating, filtration, and pumps to the solar panels and not have to worry about wasting energy on pool utilities ever again.

5. Swimming Pool Lighting

Solar Powered Pool Decor

Solar Powered Pool Decor

On the topic of pools, another very important feature of any modern pool is lighting. This is not only a safety feature for evening or night swims but a staple design element that sets the pool in a gorgeous atmosphere.

These adorable floating solar power lanterns are an example of how you can light up the pool with renewable energy, without having to hire an electrician to install permanent fixtures. 

6. Landscape Lighting

Solar Powered Softscaping Ideas

Solar Powered Softscaping Ideas

Stake lights are a great way to brighten up the landscape and decorate your garden at the same time. Ask any landscape designer or contractor and they will attest to the significant role that lighting plays in bringing your garden to life. However, having to regularly replace batteries or tear up the landscape just to install wiring for each and every stake light is a needlessly burdensome endeavor when you can simply use solar power lighting options. 

Solar-powered stake lights are just one of them and are the perfect addition to any home garden or landscape. You can move them around any time you want, organize them into any pattern, and you never need to charge them, as their small solar panels collect plenty of energy throughout the day. Once evening sets in, they automatically turn on, using the captured solar energy to light up the landscape. If you enjoy spending the evenings under an open sky, these are the perfect lights to set the mood.

7. Garden Additions and Decor

Green Energy Garden Decor

Green Energy Garden Decor

One of the best parts about gardening is all the opportunities for personalization. There are so many options when it comes to solar-powered additions you can make to your garden that you’ll never be left wanting for choice. 

From a solar-powered garden fountain to solar-powered grow lights for your plants and even a solar-powered birdbath fountain. There are a lot of choices for homeowners to opt for more environmentally friendly options. It’s a great time to be a gardener when you have so many choices at your disposal. There is a large variety of solar-powered garden decor that will help light up your garden and give it more color, so take your pick and go green.

8. Solar Battery Chargers

Solar Energy On the Go

Solar Energy On the Go

Charging your phone, devices, or electronic appliances may not seem like it uses up much power. To be fair, most modern electronic devices and appliances are made with energy efficiency in mind so they don’t in fact drain a terrible amount of electricity. But when you combine all these devices, the number of people charging in your house, and how frequently you charge them, the number can really add up.

Portable solar power banks are a great way to keep your devices charged everywhere and at any time, even outside of the home. Much like any other power bank, they can hold plenty of energy but they collect it from the sun and store it to be used whenever you need it. While you will mostly find them advertised for camping, these portable battery chargers are a great way to start adopting a holistically green lifestyle.

9. Solar Powered Spare Generators

Ease of Mind With Having a Solar Powered Backup Generator

Ease of Mind With Having a Solar Powered Backup Generator

If the power goes out during a cookout, it’s nice to have a backup in the form of an auxiliary generator. But where common generators need gas or diesel to generate power, a solar-powered generator for the house will give you that extra power without having to rely on the public, and toxic, power grid.

This particular generator is made for camping, with a portable solar panel that is used to charge the generator. Your permanent generator can be hooked up to solar panels to ensure that it is always juiced up and ready to be activated in case the power goes out. With a solar power generator, the power never goes out.

10. Solar Cookers

Had You Ever Considered a Solar Powered Barbecue

Had You Ever Considered a Solar Powered Barbecue

Humanity has been using sunlight to dry food for ages. But have you ever considered cooking your food using sunlight? Every time you want to have a barbeque on a hot day, you don’t need to pull out that messy charcoal. Use a solar-powered grill instead.

Admittedly, it does cook far slower than your conventional grills, but this does have its advantages. One problem with grilling or barbecuing is how it is initially really fun but then turns into a chore once you realize you will be spending most of your relaxation time standing in front of a smoking grill, making sure nothing burns. The slower cooking time of a solar grill means you can relax without worrying about anything burning. 

11. Home EV Charger

Solar Gadgets that Can Give You Big Savings on Energy

Solar Gadgets that Can Give You Big Savings on Energy

Driving an electric car means you are already doing your part in lowering your carbon footprint and cutting down on emissions. Less gas burned means less air pollution. However, there is still the question of charging up your electric car, which still requires electricity that is traditionally generated by plants and stations that emit their own share of pollution.

Why not commit all the way by using renewable energy for your electric vehicle’s charging station? Talk about the perfect pairing; this is a very logical next step in your progress to achieving as green a lifestyle as possible.

12. Gate System

Solar Upgrades You Can Make Around the House

Solar Upgrades You Can Make Around the House

After a long day at work, even the simple task of having to open a gate, then close it after you enter the driveway can seem like a tiring chore. That is why automatic gates are so popular with many households, with millions of electric gates in operation across the country.

A solar-powered gate opener is an additional improvement on the already useful automatic gate. Speak with a professional solar gate installer to get the perfect gate fitted into your driveway. 

13. Home Security

Even Your Home Security System Can be Solar Powered

Even Your Home Security System Can be Solar Powered

Keeping the home safe and secure is always a top priority. The last thing you want is external cameras, lights, or intercom systems deactivated due to faulty wiring or a power outage. 

When your home’s security grid joins the solar energy system, you can rest a little easier knowing that your home’s security is operational even if the light goes out. Even with all other electrical systems offline, you can count on solar energy to keep you and your family safe with all home security features active and functioning as they should be. 

Keep in mind that these are only a few ways you can integrate solar energy into your home and life. Make sure to ask a solar specialist how much in Watts your panels would need to accommodate depending on the solar addition you are planning to make. For example, a solar-powered EV charging station at home would have to take into account how many miles you drive in a month on average. The average EV vehicle consumes about 26 kilowatts per 100 miles. The calculations would follow accordingly and help determine your budget, which for solar EV charging stations averages to around $13,000.

Not all additions are this costly and all solar additions are worth it. Talk to a solar panel specialist or installer to learn more about the advantages of retrofitting your home to solar power, even if it’s with baby steps.

Written by
Contractors.com Team

Written by Contractors.com Team