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Build A Solar Panel At Home

Suzanne Said:

Build your own solar panel, scam or truth?

We Answered:

Don't waste money finding out how to build one. I would do a lot research first. That guy with the long answer all ready helped you if you are ready to make the investment in PV panels (and the only way to get cheap ones if to contact local road contractors who use them for their signs that sometimes get damaged by drunken drivers and such). You can also find articles in Mother Earth News. It's free to check out.

I would check to see what does best in your area. Not all areas are ideal for any one solution. Wind does good in Texas, but not so good in other places such as Washington State are not so great for solar because they have more cloudy times than sunny times. It nearly rains daily.

You probably should educate yourself on solar. It can be many things. Most think PV, but there are passive systems as well which are really cheap. Sometimes just opening up a south facing windows on a cool sunny day can do a lot. You can also build boxes that do the same thing with a small fan that pushes this heat into your home during ideal hours.

The best thing you can do is look into conservation first. Most assume they are okay, but most are really hurting here. Windows can lose their seals, weathering comes off doors, particulary on the bottom of the door. Drafts can get around light switches in older homes. Somes though the plumbing areas, and attic as well. So many people overlook just adding $250-500 worth of attic insultation can pay for that investment ina couple of years in electric savings (if electric or even gas heat). Then all those appliances that are getting old. Many think spending $800 dollars is too much to spend on a new fridge, but many energy star appliances can cut 30-50% of their energy usage, which can pay for themselves in a few years as well.

Don't overlook all the phantom power users like unused cell chargers, dormant computers, tv's, dvd players or anything that has little LED lights.

If you have any old fashion light bulbs in your home, replace them with CFL's. All of them. That can cost you $50-75, but you can save several hundred dollars there as well if you can get the lowest acceptable wattage shopping by lumens than wattages (sometimes three 20 watt CFL's can be just as good as three 40 watt bulbs in regard to light output). Make sure you replace any regular floruent tub lights like T20's every few years. They get ineffient with time.

Try to keep the door close, and minimize your going in and out the door during extreme weather times.

Then consider wearing jackets in your home during winter allowing you to turn the themostat down a bit to save energy, and the same for summer with less clothes (but only do it to a comfortable level-extremes are like bad diets, they don't last).

There are many other things you can do if you research how to save. Don't over look the government tax credits for conservation and green measures such as adding panels to your house. Some utilities also offer stuff as well.

You might want to make the investment for a kill-a-watt meter that will allow you to check all the plugged in items in your house, except the larger appliances that are hardwired into the 220 wires. It's a $30 device that can be educational.

Check out tax credit for all of this. These are far better than deductions that most expect. This makes your tax bill go down which will put more money in your wallet at tax time while saving money at the same time. Go to the IRS website for details.

Discuss It!