There is no such thing as the perfect house; even the best built and maintained houses will always find issues making its condition less perfect. Homeowners will always have something to worry about, be it plumbing, electrical and other common problems.
However, these are not the only problem a homeowner will have to encounter, there are the utility bills, the rising cost of living and everything else follows. Electricity is one of those bills that eat up a big chunk of the budget. So, to help you save energy and see a decrease in your electricity bill, we have one brilliant idea that might just help you out.
Let’s go solar! Yes, it may be a daunting idea and may seem hard to execute and probably think that it is just complicated and you don’t have the patience to learn all about it. But mind you, it’s not that overwhelming and scary to install. If you are not that sold out to the idea, start with something small, like your garage door opener. These doors may seem to use only a little energy since they only operate a few minutes per day but truth is, it consumes three to five times more energy during the time that is not in use than the few minutes it is on.
Like all the other appliances in the home that comes with a remote control, the control panel is always on even when it is not operating. It is always on since it waits for the radio signal prompting it to open or close. Notice that even if you do not open or close your garage door, the control panel is always warm and has that humming sound; this is called the “phantom load.” Your electricity meter will still run and the only way for you to turn it off is to pull the plug, but of course it will be an inconvenience when you get home and you need to plug it in for you to be able to park your car inside.
In converting your garage door opener to solar power, you will not only benefit for a very long time by having lower electricity bill but you are also lessening your carbon footprint that could help save the environment.
Solar powered garage door openers are also perfect for garages that are not connected to the main house and don’t have a power connection. It can give you the same comfort and convenience as the regular garage door openers that are connected to the mains electric connection. It is easy to install, and can be charged in a matter of hours or overnight, good enough for you to use when you leave the house in the morning.
The battery could also hold enough energy for night time operation and could even serve as back-up power for up to three days. The only modification requirement is to remove the opener’s existing mains transformer. It also has full weather seal components and allows integration of infrared beams and other safety features of your garage door openers.
Installing solar panels for your garage door opener is not that complicated and it is one of the most popular DIYs nowadays. Since there are a lot of sources that could help you with all the information needed that is easy to understand and follow, some are even free and could help you set it up quite effectively.
You don’t need to be technically savvy since it does not need much electrical output to operate, usually would only need a 12 volt battery for storing the energy and solar panels which would depend on the homeowners need if there other things they wish to power.
But most people would call in an expert to get the optimal potential of the solar panels because the pros would really know the correct positioning of panels to get maximum sun exposure. They will also know the correct wires, accessories and properly install all the electrical connections.
If you are going to do it yourself, you will have to buy a solar storage kit which costs around $200; this is enough to consistently power a single garage door. While in constructing a solar panel, kits and instructions are usually sold between $30 to $50 or one could get free instructions online.
Commercial-grade solar panel construction kits for garage door openers and gates are also available but it is costly, ranging from $700 to $1000 depending on the size and specifications. The power of these kits are enough for one garage door but if you need to power more than just that, the price could reach up to $1000. It may be pricey but if you are thinking of long-term investment, then it will eventually save you a lot of money.
For homeowners who are determined to construct solar panels by themselves, an extensive research would help and would make him get more value out of this alternative energy source. Choosing a reputable brand of solar energy kit guarantees a quality product and with a reliable after service. They also have professionals to help you out in case you can’t finish the construction on your own.
Also, choose solar panels that require less maintenance. But please don’t forget to take care of your solar panels because without proper maintenance it can reduce the amount of energy being generated. Cleaning the panels is a must for maximum absorption of energy from the sun.
Though there are commercially available solar panel cleaners but a simple wiping of the panels using a soft clean cloth, with water and liquid soap like the one you use to clean your cars is enough. You can do a gentle rubbing motion over the panels but never too rigorous to avoid scratching them. Never let dirt and other environmental elements sit too long on your solar panels.
In hooking up your garage door opener to solar power is very easy, convenient and gives you long term benefits, but the decision is up to the homeowners to go green with renewable energy or if to continue with the status quo.