Solar power for homes can be done on either a small or large scale. A small scale, typically, would be using it to heat household water or to heat your home.
Large scale, in addition to the above, could be if you converted all your electricity or gas power to solar energy.
Here are some common ways homes are powered with solar energy:
HEATING YOUR HOME WITH HOT SOLAR WATER
Water baseboards, traditionally heated by either gas or electricity, can be heated by means of solar tubes instead and then pumped up by a solar powered pump.(link)
PUMP HEAT THROUGH YOUR HOME
How about replacing the gas or oil used for heating with solar power? A solar powered heat pump will spread warm air through the house.
Fans cool the air efficiently on a hot day. While they don’t have the frigidity of air conditioners, they go a long way to giving comfortable conditions in humid climates.
So how about powering ceiling fans throughout your home with solar energy? You’ll save money by not having to run the air conditioner so frequently.
Build yourself a greenhouse – for humans.
A room with 2 or 3 glass walls and solar panels will remove any need for heaters. Ornamental stones and even plants can also trap heat in the room.
ELECTRICITY FOR YOUR WHOLE HOUSE
Solar panels contain solar cells or photovoltaic cell (PV cells) as they’re also known. These, although rather pricey, convert the sun’s radiation into electrical current whereby you can power up all the electrical appliances and gadgets you have.
CHARGING YOUR CELLPHONE, LAPTOP AND TABLET FOR FREE
Buy solar devices that charge DC batteries. These can power all your gadgets. While it’s not as quick as electricity it’s FREE!
These are great security additions for the perimeter of your home. They’re powered by the sun during the day and give security lighting by night – all without costing you a cent in electricity.
ENERGY EFFICIENT WINDOWS
You could try replacing your current windows with energy efficient ones that allow plenty of sunlight in, reducing the need for electrical lighting during the day. They also stop either heat or cool air escaping.
Along the same lines, skylights give light and heat from the sun.
REMODELLING YOUR HOUSE? INSTALL A COOL ROOF
This is a great option for hot climates. Special reflective materials reduce the amount of heat soaked up thereby cutting your cooling overheads.
Insulate your home, especially areas such as the attic or basement. You might think about your walls too. This will greatly enhance the effectiveness of your heating or cooling. A professional energy auditor could help you decide what options are best for your particular home.
Even making small changes away from fossil fuels can benefit the planet. These changes will translate into monetary savings too. Once the system is installed there is no longer any cost involved as the raw materials, sun and wind, are free. Prices for some of these changes vary from quite cheap to expensive but once installed will save money and energy forever!