Are you looking to add sustainable solar energy to your home? Maybe you’re not sure where to start, or perhaps you’ve already adopted some options, but you’re searching for more.
Here are 10 creative ways to use solar energy on your property.
1. Solar Water Heaters
Solar water heaters are a cost-effective way to heat water in your home, and you can use them in any climate. However, most of them require a backup heater for overcast days or increased usage demands. The good news is many solar heaters come pre-equipped with conventional storage options for situations such as this. They are energy-efficient and good for the environment and your pocketbook.
2. Photo-Electric Solar Panels
Panels are likely what most people think when it comes to solar power. However, most might not know just how effective a solar energy source is when collected in deluxe banking panels. It’s powerful enough to fuel your entire home. Other perks include its renewable energy backed by government subsidies.
Installation can be a big undertaking. However, most households pay back the cost of their panels in eight years. At the end of the process, you can become energy independent.
3. Outdoor Solar Lights
If you’re looking for a good option in landscape lighting, look no further than individual outdoor solar lights. Each feature has its own small cell and rechargeable battery. Because of advances in LED technology, these little lights are high-powered, charging throughout the day and staying on throughout the night. You can also find solar security and floodlights, which you can easily attach to your garage or around your property.
4. Solar Cookers
Have you given solar cooking a try? You can harness the power of the sun to prepare a meal. Doing this might seem like a novelty, but cooking with the sun is truly energy-efficient. Either purchase a solar cooker or craft one out of a box with aluminum foil and place your pan inside. All you have to do is heat your dinner to perfection.
5. Recharge Your Devices by Solar
Consider charging your smaller devices, like your phones and tablets, with solar power. This is an excellent option if you’re out hiking and don’t have a place to plug in. Some adapters also include a power bank so you can soak up the sun and easily plug your device in to charge on a cloudy day.
6. Solar Heating for Your Pool
There are many options available for keeping your pool warm. Consider adding a solar blanket to warm the water. It floats on top, passively absorbing the sun’s rays and transferring heat to the pool. Additionally, if you want to use it for a more extended season, you could try adding a solar heating system.
7. Solar Lightbulbs
Another way to get creative with solar power is to utilize solar lightbulbs. They provide a great alternative to conventional lighting, which consumes a lot of electricity. Consider replacing your outdoor bulbs with solar options, and you’ll find a good payoff in your investment. You can also use them inside as long as they have regular access to sunlight.
8. Use the Clothesline
One of the easiest ways to use solar power in your home is to stop using the dryer. Instead, set up a clothesline and let the sun do its magic to air-dry your garments. Your clothes will smell amazing, and you’ll save a ton of electricity.
9. Solar Dehydrators
If you loved the solar cooking tip from above, you’d be a fan of this next one, too. Solar dehydrators collect energy from the sun to dry fruit, vegetables, nuts, and meat. You can easily make your own jerky or trail mix. You can purchase solar dehydrators or create your own if you want to customize them.
10. Passive Solar Heating
This is a simple trick to save energy during the winter and summer months. Windows that face the sun will naturally heat during the winter. Ensure you open your curtains to capture the warmth during the day and close them to keep it from escaping at night.
Do the opposite in the summertime to save a lot of energy.
Be Energy-Efficient and Sustainable
Adopting any of these solar energy tips will put you well on your way to being more environmentally friendly and energy-efficient in your home.
Jane is the Editor-in-Chief of Environment.co and an environmental writer covering green technology, sustainability and environmental news.