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Texas Energy Experts Blog

Planning a Home Solar Energy System

There are several factors you should take into consideration when planning a home solar energy system. Do you have enough clear access to sunlight for extended periods of time, both during the day and throughout the year? You also want to determine the size of your future system, and whether you have the surface area to sustain it. The natural questions then follow: “Is the investment worth it? Will the system generate enough energy to offset the costs in a timely manner?” Finally, you have to take into account the legal situation regarding solar panels in your area. This means

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Rebates and Incentives for a Solar Power System

Taxpayers can claim a 30% federal tax credit on qualified expenditures for a solar power system. The credit has been extended until December 31st, 2021, but will be reduced to 26% in 2020, and 22% in 2021. Whether it is a solar panel system or a solar water heating system, qualified expenditures include equipment and labor costs. Equipment expenditures are calculated after the installation is complete. A credit for labor costs is only available if the system is installed by a professional. Solar Panel Systems The home with the installed solar power system doesn’t have to be the taxpayer’s principal

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The Basics of Solar Energy

Did you know that more solar energy reaches the earth in one hour than is used by the entire world in one year? Harnessing this energy has been a focus of research for many years. Today we can find the benefits of this research in many systems, ranging from photovoltaic solar systems to solar water heaters. In fact, we’re seeing solar power being utilized now more than ever. This popularity is due to the constantly improving technology, decreasing costs, and government incentives. As a result, solar power is being used everywhere. Homeowners use solar power to help cover a big part, if

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What is a Photovoltaic System?

Photovoltaic (PV) systems use solar modules, also known as panels, to turn the sun’s energy into electricity. A single PV cell typically produces 1 or 2 watts of power by itself. PV cells are connected together in chains to boost their power output. These chains of cells are called modules or panels. When several modules are linked together they are called an array. A complete photovoltaic system consists of one or more arrays connected together as well as several other elements which facilitate the transformation and transmission of electricity. Mounting Structures A photovoltaic system requires a durable, stable structure that supports

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What Type of Insulation is Best for Your Attic?

Adding insulation to your home can be a great way to save hundreds of dollars a year on your utility bill. However, there are several types of insulation, and many things to take into consideration. Some are more effective than others, some can easily be DIY projects, while others require hiring a professional. What type of insulation is right for you? Let’s take a look at the different types, their costs, effectiveness, and accessibility as a DIY project. Batts and Blankets The most common type of insulation, batts and blankets, are great for DIY projects. They usually come packaged in

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How Much Do Solar Panels Cost?

One of the first considerations when thinking about going solar is the cost. This leads to many other issues such as monthly savings and your return on investment. It all depends on the type of system you need for your home. Residential solar systems can range in output from 3kW to 8kW and the price tag on such a system can range from $15,000 to $40,000. With that being said, the cost per watt, which includes labor, parts, overhead, and permitting fees, has decreased considerably, and nowadays you can expect it to be $6-8/W. In most cases, the bigger the

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Everything you Need to Know About Attic Insulation

Insulating your attic can significantly reduce your utility bill. Without insulation, you can lose up to 45% of your air conditioner’s energy through the roof during the summer. Imagine what that does to your electric bill! Keeping your home at a comfortable temperature is not the only benefit to come out of having good attic insulation. Moisture and condensation can be a nuisance at best and downright unhealthy at worst. When there’s too much moisture and condensation in your home, dampness and mold are soon to follow. Insulation protects from outside noise as well. That’s just a little added bonus.

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How Does a Radiant Barrier Work?

During the summer, the roof heats up by the sun’s radiant energy. Heat then travels through the roofing material through conduction to the attic side of the roof. The hot roof materials radiate this heat to the cooler attic surfaces, such as the floor or air ducts, which can heat up your living space.  This puts undue pressure on the air conditioning system, raising the costs of keeping your home cool. Using a radiant barrier can disrupt radiant heat transfer from occurring through your roof, and as such, it can reduce your energy bills by 5-10%. So how does a

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The Benefits of Installing a Radiant Barrier

Many homeowners, particularly in the Southern states, are saving money on their utility bill by installing a radiant barrier in their attic. A radiant barrier is a thin layer of highly reflective material which is placed in an air space between a heat radiating surface and a heat absorbing surface.  For example, the barrier is usually placed between the roof and the attic insulation thus blocking the transfer of heat between the two surfaces. Because aluminum reflects heat well and does not radiate a lot of heat, it is usually the material used. The Benefits The simple concept of a

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DIY Window Insulation – 4 Ways to Cheaply Insulate Your Windows

Upgrading to energy efficient windows is the best way to reduce heat gain and heat loss through your windows. However, sometimes investing in good energy efficient windows isn’t an option. Or maybe you have energy efficient windows but want to increase your window efficiency even more. How can you achieve that? When you raise the R-value rating of your windows through insulation methods you can reduce heat gain in the summer and heat loss in the winter.  These DIY window insulation options can help you find the right balance between insulating your windows and managing your costs.  Caulking and Weatherstripping

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