Consider Residential Solar Panels to be Energy Efficient  

by Pool Builders on 07-06-2007 in Articles

Residential solar panels really are an awesome investment in the environment. The latest trend is to be eco-friendly and using the sun's heat for home energy is becoming extremely popular. Solar panels themselves are not a new concept. My family had them on our house 25 years ago and even though today's models are aesthetically better looking the basic concepts are still the same.

You don't have to use solar panels to provide energy to your entire home if you aren't quite ready for that step. Instead, consider smaller ways you can use residential solar panels around your home and yard. For instance, they are very useful in gardens for lighting and water features. They are also great for heating swimming pools to provide a little more comfort in those chilly fall and winter months.

Some people are surprised to discover the upfront cost for solar panels can run into the thousands of dollars. You can save money in a couple of ways. One way is to buy used panels. The general consensus is that older panels generally only lose about 10% of their efficiency even over 20 years. You can also inquire with industrial locations to see if they're willing to offload their older panels for free or very low cost. Industries that use solar energy need to run at maximum efficiency so they can sometimes be getting rid of their older panels which still have lots of residential use left in them.

If you do find some good used panels be sure the ones you're buying don't have cracked glass or condensation under the glass as these can cause the panels to not work at all. Repairs can be costly so choose wisely when purchasing used.

Check with your local accountant about any tax benefits to installing solar panels. The government has been offering incredible tax discounts to those who install solar energy products, but sometimes they require that the purchase be brand new to get those breaks. Compare the cost of used or refurbished units with the cost of new ones that also get discounts. If you the find the difference is very small it makes more sense to get a new unit as you will often have a warranty against defects and have the more efficient item right away.

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