Can Solar Power My Whole House?
Most people know that installing solar panels can, at the very least, help ease the burden of your energy use and lower the cost of your electricity bills. What some people are often less clear on is whether or not solar power can in fact power an entire house.
Well, the answer to that question is a very definitive "yes." Solar power absolutely can generate enough energy to power an entire household. Even in winter months in which daylight hours are reduced, there are plenty of ways to keep your home running solely with solar power.
However, making sure solar power can completely power your particular household will require figuring out a few specifics. Such as how much energy you require and how many panels you'll need to generate that amount.
Calculate your Home's Energy Requirements
The first step in determining how solar power can power your home is to figure out how much energy you'll need every month. There are a few different ways you can go about this. One way is to use one of the many online power consumption calculators out there. These calculators will allow you to input various points of data such as the year your home was made, the appliances you use and how frequently, and even what your home is made of to give you an approximate answer.
You can also purchase an electricity usage monitor. These tools plug into your outlets and appliances to give you an accurate reading of just how energy each appliance is using. Take measurements from all your electronics and you'll be able to formulate a rough estimate from there as to how much energy they use together in one month.
Everyone's answer for how much energy their home uses in a month will be different. If you're looking for a general overview, though, the U.S. Energy and Information Administration found that in 2020 the average U.S. utility customer used 893 kWh per month.
Speak with a Solar Panel Installation Company
Once you have determined how much energy your home requires, you'll be better equipped to speak with a solar power consultant. They can use this information to recommend the type and amount of solar panels your home will need, seeing as how there are varying types. For instance, some panels generate roughly 250 watts a day whereas others can generate 400 watts a day. These consultants will also be able to give you advice on other important matters such as daily sun exposure, roof angle, and interfering shade from trees that all need to be taken into account when installing solar panels. This will be crucial information to figure out to ensure your home can run solely on solar power.