People often wonder whether solar is effective for summertime. Can solar systems generate enough energy to cool your home and run your other appliances during the hottest part of summer? That answer depends. What are your energy demands and how much energy can your panels generate on a sunny day? If your energy demands are higher than your solar output, then you will be supplementing your solar with power from the grid.
If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, as well as your electric bill, then you want to use your solar responsibly. For many people, the goal is to only use the energy that they generate, though this might not be attainable depending on the construction of your home and how many solar panels can be installed. Given the widely fluctuating energy demands and seasonal sunshine availability in New Jersey, a system designed for the best year-round benefits may not be enough to meet all of your summer energy needs.
There are a few things you can do to conserve energy and make the most of your solar system. In fact, these conservation tips can help you save money on your energy bill, even if you haven’t switched to solar yet.
Turn off fans when you are not in the room. Ceiling fans, oscillating fans, and standing fans can create a great cooling breeze when the weather is warm. It can tempt you to leave fans running all the time. However, fans work because they increase evaporation from your skin. They do not actually cool rooms. Instead, they create a small amount of heat, actually increasing the air temperature.
Turn up your thermostat. Yes, we know no one likes to hear that advice. You don’t have to be uncomfortably warm in your house to conserve. Instead, consider moving your thermostat up a degree or two if you are home and increasing it significantly when you will be away from home. With today’s smart thermostats, you can set it to begin cooling again before you get home.
Chill out in the shower. Are you taking a hot shower in the middle of the summer heat, then battling the heat and humidity in your bathroom? The hotter the shower, the more you have paid to heat the water. The hotter the water, the more power you have to use to cool the bathroom after you shower and remove humidity from your whole house. Turning your shower from scalding to lukewarm in the summer not only saves money but can be very refreshing.
Keep your AC unit well maintained. The better you maintain your HVAC system or even your window unit air conditioners, the more efficient they will be. Replace your filters regularly. Have the system checked at the start of each season and fix any problems. Consider replacing your system if it is outdated.