Expenses typically increase as your electricity consumption increases. With the increasing dependence on devices, there will come a time when something will give way. But, you can save money from electricity expenses. This also allows you to help in protecting the environment. All you need is to use solar energy and transform it into electricity you can use. There are a number of methods to harvest the power of the sun. These methods have been use for a long time already. There are also some methods that require using technology. But, you can also harvest solar energy and make money from selling this energy to other users.
1. Solar Panels
Houses with solar panels installed on the roof were strange sights in the past. These days, solar panels have become widely used in many neighborhoods. You may consider installing solar panels in your home if your roof faces the west or south. This allows you to generate electricity you can use at home. Solar panel prices have gone down in recent years. The price may even go down further as major companies, like Tesla, will start to manufacture their own solar panels. Some states allow residents to sell extra energy from the solar panels to utility companies. This allows you to make money using a net metering program.
- Cost: Initial cost will reach thousands of dollars. This depends on the total area where the solar panels are installed.
- Possible savings: You can save around one thousand dollars each year. This depends on where you are located.
- Do-It-Yourself? Professionals are normally needed to install solar panels
2. Passive solar heating
Passive solar heating is an old method of harvesting solar energy. It also does not need special technology. Some houses have solariums with windows facing the south. This allows sunlight to enter during the winter. The walls of the solarium also take in the heat and bring it into the back of the house. Windows facing the south can be used to allow you to heat your home during winter. You can simply open the curtains of these windows during the day. This allows light and heat to come from it. You can close the curtains at night in winter. But, you can do this when the sun is out during summer.
- Cost: No cost if your windows face the south
- Possible savings: You can save hundreds of dollars each year
- Do-It-Yourself? You can simply look for windows facing the south when you build o buy a house.
3. Solar water heater
Since you need a lot of energy to heat water, you can use solar energy to do the job. This allows you to save on your gas or electricity expenses. Water circulates inside the insulated collector of a solar water heater. The tank on the system is colored black to increase heat collection efforts. You can use the hot water directly. It can also be sent into a conventional water heater to reduce costs.
- Cost: It will cost a hundred dollars or so. It depends if you will install it or a professional will do it for you.
- Possible savings: You can save hundreds of dollars every year
- Do-It-Yourself? While you can use scrap materials to make the solar heater, a plumber is necessary to install it.
You can use the energy of the sun to dry your clothes when you have a clothesline in the yard. This allows you to save on costs of using a dryer. It also reduces cooling costs since you do not need to use a fan or air conditioner to cool down the area where the dryer is used. This reduces your energy bills for the summer. You can also install the clothesline inside close to the window if you do not have any space available in the yard.
- Cost: Less than $100
- Possible savings: You can save around a hundred dollars each year
- Do-It-Yourself? You can install the clothesline yourself.
5. Solar food dehydrator
You can use the energy of the sun to dehydrate vegetables, fruits and meat. It will not be necessary to buy a new appliance to do this at home. The heat collection box of solar food dehydrators gathers energy from the sun. Food is placed inside the dehydrator box where they are dried.
- Cost: Less than $100
- Possible savings: You can save a few dollars each year.
- Do-It-Yourself? You can build a solar food dehydrator yourself.
6. Solar oven
Solar ovens allow you to cook food without using electricity or gas. But, you make ask if solar ovens can become hot enough to allow you to cook food. The temperatures of solar ovens can go up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Food preparation can be done safely when you lower the temperature and cook them for a longer period of time. Solar ovens do not require fuel or electricity to cook food.
- Cost: Less than $100
- Possible Savings: You can save a few dollars each year.
- Do-It-Yourself? You can easily build a solar oven on your own.
7. Growing plants
Plants need the energy from the sun to produce fruits and vegetables you can eat. You can harvest plants effectively and at a reasonable cost with the help of the power from the sun.
- Cost: Less than $100.
- Possible Savings: You can save hundreds of dollars every year. This depends on how big your garden is.
- Do-It-Yourself? You can make your own garden
8. Using a wind turbine
When the sun heats the atmosphere, it also results in the energy causing wind to blow. You can also use indirect solar energy when you have a place that receives a lot of wind. A wind turbine allows you to generate electricity that you can use. Similar to using solar panels, there are some places offering net metering. This allows you to earn from the excess electricity you will generate using the wind turbine.
- Cost: Initial cost can go up to thousands of dollars. This depends on the size of the turbine
- Possible Savings: You can save hundreds of dollars every year.
- Do-It-Yourself? You can assemble and install smaller turbine units. But, professionals may be required for bigger units.
9. Solar furnace
Solar furnaces allow you to warm up the air inside the house using energy you get from the sun. You can also bring the heat to areas where you want to warm up inside the home. Solar furnaces can be used separately from the main furnace inside the home. It can provide additional heating during the day.
- Cost: Initial cost will be hundreds of dollars.
- Possible savings: You can save hundreds of dollars each year using a solar furnace,
- Do-It-Yourself? You can build a solar furnace by yourself.
10. Using a solar charger
Solar chargers and power banks use the energy you get from the sun to provide power to electronic devices. These solar devices are small and portable. They allow you to charge your phone when you are camping outdoors. The intense rays of the sun provide power to your electronic devices while the sun is out. You can leave the charger under the sun during the day and charge your devices at night while you are sleeping.
- Cost: Under $100
- Possible savings: The number of devices you have will determine the savings you will get
- Do-It-Yourself? While you can make your own charger, it may not give as much savings as one that you purchase.