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Is Solar Power the Right Choice for Your Home? Here's What to Consider

Updated: Jan 16

When it comes to solar power, no doubt heating your pool is the first use that comes to mind. Lately however, technological advancements in harnessing the power of the sun have been far upgraded from the early days of the original gigantic black panels. Solar power can be easily incorporated into your new home construction or remodel; most often homeowners can also take advantage of tax credits for doing so while also adding an approximate $15,000 value to your home. Given the daily abundance of sun here in southwest Florida, taking advantage of solar power could be both a wise and elegant investment in the value of your home, never mind future generations of Floridians.

POWERWALL Aside from the completely solar-powered town of Babcock Ranch, which gleans it power from over 400 acres’ worth of solar panels, homeowners can utilize something like Go Solar Power’s Powerwall system to harness the sun’s rays. Manufactured by Tesla (yes, Elon Musk’s car company) the Powerwall maximizes the energy your panels generate to give you over seven days of power should the grid go down.

Tesla powerwall installed in a garage, solar power

Their Powerwall home battery also detects grid outages and automatically becomes your home’s main solar power energy source should there be the inevitable cloudy day. If you have invested in a Smart Home upgrade, the Powerwall is also mobile app-enabled to give you full control of your home’s energy needs.

There are also semi-transparent panel options available to incorporate solar power into your home for a true green design on balconies, lanais and other outdoor areas. Although the energy collection level is lower, they are aesthetically pleasing and will do well in places where looks matter more than energy efficiency. (You can save that for the rest of the house!) As reported by Lushome, these panels are embedded in a laminated glass structure and an air slot provides a thermal barrier, allowing them to be used as windows, curtain walls and eaves.

Ventilating fans are an important part of any home, especially for pulling hot air from attic spaces and other areas. You can utilize solar power technology has advanced to install self-powered solar roof vent fans that utilize a small panel of photo-electric cells to run the fan motor with no need for an electrical current. Free-standing solar-powered fans can also be placed anywhere necessary for a quick cool down.

PHOTO-ELECTRIC PANELS Regardless of all these great solar power options, many are still wary about the effectiveness of their hot water heating systems. Typically, they require an electric pump to circulate the water from the solar collector to the holding tank. However, homeowners now have the option to run those pumps on solar power through the use of photo-electric panels, which will generate the solar power to run DC motors on the circulating pumps. While there is obviously some investment in getting such a system set up, you will reduce the operating costs of your hot water system to almost nothing afterward. Like any photo-electric system, the energy that the batteries get from the sun can be stored so the pumps can run at night or at cloudy times.

Solar panels themselves have come a long way over the years. One of the newest styles is an all-black panel, including frame and backing. The grid look is gone due to the uniform color, giving them a sleek, discreet style. Companies like SunPower Maxeon have also eliminated the wiring so the panel has a smooth black look. Additionally, they can be mounted closer to the roof, further hiding their existence.

Tesla solar power roof tiles

THE SOLAR ROOF Solar power roof tiles also continue to be a developing technology for those looking to eliminate panels altogether for their solar home new construction or remodel. With all these solar options for your Florida home, you’ve got many choices should you decide to utilize this clean energy.

Give J. Sweet Construction a call at 239-325-5150 to discuss your solar power options. With more than 25 years of experience, we can offer a trusted opinion on which solar system is best for your needs.

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