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BrookeChaplan posted a blog entry in Brooke Chaplan's Green BlogInstalling solar panels and enjoying the benefit of free green energy is a common goal shared by many homeowners. Now that you have decided to finally move forward with this project, you may be eager to get the ball rolling. Some homeowners in your shoes have been dismayed to run into issues when installing solar panels that may have otherwise been prevented with forethought and planning. These are some of the more common solar panel installation problems that may affect your upcoming project. A Weak Roof Solar panels may look relatively light, but their appearance is misleading. The actual weight depends on the type of panels that you select, but many roofs have not been designed to withstand the weight of a full set of typical solar panels. You can avoid learning about this problem in the middle of a solar panel installation project by consulting with a roofing contractor ahead of time. A Roof that Requires Replacement Soon The solar panel installation process takes time, energy and money, so you understandably want to maximize the benefit of this effort. A typical asphalt shingle roof has a lifespan of approximately 25 years, although there is a considerable variation to this based on weather conditions, maintenance, and many other factors. Installing new solar panels on an older roof that requires replacement soon is not wise. If your roof is close to the end of its life, it makes sense to replace it before installing new panels. Not Planning for Water Flow When your roof was constructed, its purpose was to protect the home from exposure to the elements by creating an impermeable barrier. Its design is based on the concept that water will flow downward without hindrance. Solar panels create blockages that your roof was not designed for initially. Consulting with a roofer will help you to determine if any additional steps need to be taken to ensure the integrity of your roof. As beneficial as solar panel installation can be for the environment and for your budget, it is not without challenges. These are a few common problems that you may run into, and you can see that they pertain to the roof. Because solar panels are mounted to the roof, it makes sense to ensure that your roof is in good condition and can tolerate this installation before beginning the project. Now is a great time to contact a licensed roofer for more information about preparatory steps that may be needed.
BrookeChaplan posted a blog entry in Brooke Chaplan's Green BlogIf you are like most people, your annual home energy cost amounts to a small fortune. However, this is seemingly a necessary expense that you have minimal control over. By taking a closer look at how you use energy at home and how this energy is generated, you may dramatically reduce energy costs on a regular basis. In fact, you may even be able to generate a profit from home energy generation rather than continue to pay expensive utility bills. Reduce Energy Consumption Dramatically The first step to take if you want to improve home energy consumption is to alter how it is used. You can make a few behavioral adjustments, such as by turning all lights off when they are not in use and unplugging appliances and electronics when they are not needed. You can also reduce energy consumption at home by upgrading to a new HVAC system and major appliances that have improved energy efficiency ratings. To promote HVAC system efficiency further, schedule energy-efficient door and window installation services, re-seal doors and windows and upgrade insulation throughout the walls and ceiling. These steps require a substantial financial investment, but the net impact on your finances over time may be positive. Produce Your Own Green Energy When you follow these steps to reduce energy consumption, you may still be responsible for regular energy bills. To potentially eliminate energy costs going forward, produce your own green energy. Solar energy panels are among the most common ideas, but there are other ideas. For example, wind and geothermal energy may be well-suited for your home as well. Because you may have already taken steps to reduce energy consumption, the home-produced energy may completely cover all of your needs at home. This can eliminate the need to pay an energy bill regularly. Your home may produce so much energy that you are able to sell energy to the local utility provider. By doing so, you can actually receive a small amount of income regularly rather than pay a monthly bill. You could continue to struggle with high energy costs for years to come, or you can take action to address this problem directly. While it may require a large financial investment to accomplish each goal outlined here, you will notice that each small step that you take has a positive effect on energy consumption and expenses. Now is a great time to take your first steps to improve your home in these thoughtful ways.