Powering Your Own Home Using Green, Renewable Energy
Choosing renewable sources of energy to power your home is a big topic at the minute. From solar energy to wind energy, there’s so many ways that you can move away from external sources of energy and create your own. Here, we take a look at how to make your home energy efficient and different ways in which you can create your own energy. Ready to save money and become more sustainable? Take a look below!
Start Small By Insulating Your Whole House
Before taking a deep dive into creating your own energy, it’s a good idea to look at what kind of insulation you have throughout your home. Insulation is a crucial part of all homes to ensure warmth and comfort, whilst saving energy. So, having proper insulation installed will decrease your reliance on energy sources and ensure your heating and air conditioning isn’t working overtime. Plus, it’s very cost effective in the long run.
Insulation needs to be installed in all areas of your home, this includes:
- Attic and roof insulation
We all know that heat rises, and research shows that a quarter of all heat is lost through the roof of your property. Depending on the climate you live in, you will need to pick a suitable R-value to prevent heat loss. Attic insulation also has a range of other benefits, like: preventing damp through moisture, and decreasing the amount of noise you hear from external sources. This can be particularly helpful if you live on a busy main road with lots of traffic.
- Wall and floor insulation
Wall and floor insulation prevent heat from escaping through the wall and the floor. Floor insulation is great if you have floorboards and need to seal the gaps between them to reduce underfloor draughts.
- Garage insulation
Whether you use your garage space or not, proper insulation is crucial for many reasons. Often, your garage is attached to your house, therefore if it isn’t properly insulated you will lose heat this way. Garage insulation is also important to prevent moisture from building up in your space, which can lead to dampness. And, if you have belongings stored, they will likely get damaged.
Make sure gaps and cracks are filled to prevent draught
Another small, and often overlooked, step that can have big effects is the process of draught-proofing. This involves filling in any gaps and cracks around your home. Areas like around the door frame and window ledges are prone to having small gaps that will result in heat escaping. You can prevent this by using caulk and sealants to fill the gaps. Don’t worry, the process is very easy and can be done by anyone - irrespective of experience.
Best Ways To Create Energy at Home
The way to create energy at home is to use renewable energy sources, otherwise referred to as ‘green energy’. Effectively, this means that power is generated from natural sources like the wind and the sun. Using renewable energy sources will reduce your carbon footprint, ensure your home is more sustainable, and decrease your energy costs. The options for powering your own home today are quite widely available for different homeowners to use. Let’s take a look at different energy sources, and how you can use them to create energy for your home.
Use solar energy to power your home
A great way to create energy is through solar energy. This method uses the sun to create heat and electricity for your home. It works through adding solar panels to your roof, the sun is then captured throughout daylight hours and it is then converted into electricity.
Installing solar panels can be quite costly at first. There is an initial cost of approximately $7000 to buy and install them, however, the long term savings are worth it. The further south you live, the better it is to install solar panels. Plus, they’re relatively low maintenance too, so once they’re installed you won’t need to worry about expensive repairs. One thing to keep in mind is that you’ll likely need to replace the inverter every 25 years, this cost around $1000.
You shouldn’t need planning permission to install solar panels, however, it is advised to get approval from the county - especially if your property is listed.
Install a small wind turbine in your garden
We have all seen wind turbines used in vast green spaces to power our homes. However, they can also be used in other areas and contexts. You can get smaller wind turbines that are suitable for properties, either as a free-standing turbine or which can be installed on the property directly. Power is generated from wind blowing on the blades, so it’s great if you live in areas with high wind speeds.
The cost of a domestic wind turbine can vary depending on the size and the type. On average, a small mounted wind turbine costs about $3500 but they don’t generate enough energy to power a home. A better option is a free-standing 5kW wind turbine which will cost around $30,000. However, you’ll also have to consider other costs such as preparing the site, installing it, and connecting to the electricity grid. This will bring the total to around $37,000-$40,700. It’s also important to note that you might need to get planning permission for a domestic wind turbine.
Hydroelectric power systems
This renewable energy source uses water to generate electricity. This is a wonderful method of creating energy if you live close to a lake or water source. There are many bigger scale hydroelectric power systems supplying power to homes but you can also get ones for your own home. Obviously, this will only work if you are close to a water source.
Even if you have a water source nearby, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have enough power to generate electricity. If you think you have a suitable water source, it’s important to contact a professional installer, who will assess whether your land is suitable for a system. To generate enough electricity, a water source needs to have enough flowing water per second and it also needs to have a drop in a reasonably short distance to generate power.
Hydroelectric power systems are reliable in the long-term, with little maintenance needed. The one thing you’ll need to keep on top of is making sure the parts of the system are free of debris and obstructions from the running water. Depending on the power you choose, they cost from $20,700 to 3 million dollars to install.
Benefits of Creating Your Own Power at Home
With the expense of energy bills on the rise and renewable energy sources growing at a fantastic rate, the main benefit of creating your own energy and power is you’ll save a massive amount on energy bills. However, there are other benefits that are just as attractive, these include:
- Having a reliable source of energy if you live in a rural area
Rural areas often have a big advantage when it comes to implementing renewable energy sources. This is because they have better access to sun, wind, and water which as we know, can be generated into power and energy for the home.
- Generating less environmental pollution
Being as ‘green’ as possible is really important for our environment. This means making conscious decisions across our daily lives, and one of these areas is the way we power our homes. Switching to renewable energy sources protects the environment because we aren’t using harmful gasses and pollutants like with fossil fuels. Plus, it’s good for our health too!
- Renewable energy will not run out
The clue is in the name, renewable energy won’t run out unlike the use of fossil fuels. To add to this, because the energy won’t run out, we won’t need to rely on energy sources from different countries, and in this sense, we will be independent.