A solar power system can be a great investment for your home. By having solar panels on your roof or in your yard, you can greatly reduce your monthly electricity bills and help to protect the environment by lowering your carbon footprint. If your home does have a solar power system, here are some simple tips to help ensure it’s working as effectively as possible and you’re getting the most out of it.

Take Advantage of the Sunshine

Unless you live off the grid or have a battery installed onto your system, any power that is generated by your solar panels and not immediately used will flow back out into the electrical grid. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as most electricity providers have net metering programs that will credit you for any power that flows out of your home and into the grid. Nonetheless, you’re still always best to use as much of the power generated by your solar system as you can.

In the northern hemisphere, solar panels are typically installed so that they face due south whenever possible to ensure that they receive the most sunlight. If the panels face south, they will generate the most energy in the middle of the day between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Panels that face east will generate the most power during the morning, while west-facing panels will generate the most power in the afternoon and early evening.

The best and most effective way to use your solar power system is to use all of your high-power appliances as much as you can during the hours when your system is generating the most energy. This means running your dishwasher and doing laundry during the middle of the day whenever possible or in the mid-morning or mid-afternoon depending on which direction your panels face. You should also try to always charge your phones, tablets, and computers whenever your solar system is producing the most power instead of at night when you’ll be charging them off of the power from the grid instead.

Install a Battery to Store All of Your Excess Power

The other option you have is to have a battery installed onto your solar system so that you typically won’t need to worry about any excess energy flowing back out into the grid. A battery can be a fantastic investment that will really pay off by ensuring that you can use all of the power that your solar panels generate. However, it is essential that you have a professional calculate exactly what size of battery bank you need based on how much power your system typically generates. GVEC is a certified installer of Tesla Powerwall battery storage systems.

An oversized battery bank will simply cost you more than it needs to. An undersized battery bank is a much bigger issue as the batteries will get full too quickly leading to power again flowing back into the grid. Still, the bigger problem with an undersized battery bank is that it can lead to overcharging, which can harm the batteries and reduce how much power they can store and shorten their lifespan.

Clean Your Solar Panels Regularly

Solar panels always need to be cleaned regularly to ensure they function effectively. Any dust, dirt, mold, and bird droppings on the panel will reduce how much sunlight they receive and thus how much energy they generate. While you don’t need to be climbing on your roof every week to clean off your panels, you should have them professionally cleaned at least once every six to 12 months. If not, the effectiveness of your solar system will quickly start to decrease and your electricity bills will again start to rise. GVEC can take on this task for you with our Solar Spec Check panel maintenance program!

Keep Your Trees Trimmed

If you have any trees in your yard, it is also important that you have them trimmed regularly so that they don’t create shade and block sunlight from reaching your solar panels. If even a small portion of your solar panels are shaded during the day, the power-generating capacity of your system will be reduced.

Don’t Use Too Many Appliances at Once

While we said you should always use as much power as you can when your system is generating the most electricity, it is still important that you never use too much power at one time. Your solar system can only generate so much power at one time. If you use too many appliances at one time and your system doesn’t have a battery, you will still end up using some power from the grid instead of just relying on your solar panels.

Depending on how much power your system can generate at one time and how much sunlight there currently is, your solar panels may not produce enough electricity for you to run two large appliances like your dishwasher and washing machine at the same time. There are a variety of apps that can be extremely helpful in this regard by allowing you to monitor how much power you’re currently using and how much power your solar panels are currently generating.

At GVEC Solar Services, we are your number one choice for solar power in south-central Texas. We specialize in solar panel and battery installation as well as maintenance and repairs, and we serve customers throughout the Gonzalez, Schertz, Seguin, La Vernia and Cuero areas. For more information or to schedule any solar power service, contact our expert team today.

company icon