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Planning On Retrofitting Your Home For Solar? Here’s How To Start

You’ve done the research. You know that solar energy is a smart energy alternative, especially in the semi-arid area of greater Fresno. It’s clean, green and highly effective when it comes to fighting high heating and cooling costs. If you’re considering retrofitting your home for solar, work with a professional to find answers to the following questions and more.

What is my home’s current energy usage?
The block load, or amount of energy each of your appliances uses throughout the day and over the span of a year, can be analyzed by calculating the equipment’s wattage by the number of hours it runs. For heating and cooling appliances, seasonal changes are factored into the equation. Once you determine your current usage, you can look at ways to improve your energy efficiency. By lowering or rearranging energy consumption at heavy load times, a smaller, less expensive solar energy system might be sufficient.

Are there code requirements or restrictions?
Each state has specific guidelines for the installation of small renewable energy systems. Your community might also have covenants or ordinances that affect how you proceed as well. There are electrical and plumbing considerations and safety and structural regulations to follow. You may need to seek an easement if future development on an adjoining property could block the sun from reaching your system effectively.

Do I want to connect to the grid, and if so, how?
In an established development, it generally makes sense to connect to the local power company grid because it not only provides a supplemental source of energy if needed, but it’s possible for you to sell excess solar power you generate. Homeowners in a more rural area or where access to a power provider is limited or costly would benefit from a stand-alone system. In addition, unless you have battery backup, a grid-tied solar system will lose power if the grid has a blackout.

For more information on retrofitting your home for solar energy and other alternative energy options, please contact the professionals at Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning. We have been serving our neighbors in the San Joaquin Valley for more than 40 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Fresno, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about Retrofitting Your Home For Solar and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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