There are many wonderful things that the bright Florida sun does for us each and every day. It is actually possible to harness the sun’s energy and use it in such a way that it can cool your home, as well. If you’re interested in solar air conditioning, there are a few steps that you may need to undertake though not all of the ones here apply to every situation.
1 – Contact Your Service Provider
Your service provider will need to help you assess whether your existing unit can work with solar power or whether you’ll need to upgrade. For the most part, these systems are incredibly energy efficient since they’ll have to rely on battery power or even electricity from an outside source on particularly cloudy or rainy days. Therefore, you will want to make sure that the unit you have – or the one that you are going to purchase – is optimal for the installation.
2 – Check for Sun Exposure
The second step in the process is ensuring that the roof of your home actually gets enough sun to warrant the installation of the panels. While Florida is the Sunshine State, the direction your home faces and whether or not large trees or buildings block out the sun are going to have a lot to do with how much power you can harness. You can find information from various agencies online that will help you determine your home’s overall potential.
3 – Make Sure the Roof is Big Enough
Now, once you’ve determined the size of the unit you’ll need (or even if it’s been determined that your existing unit will work), you’ll need to make sure that your roof is large enough to house all of the solar panels that are necessary for collecting the energy to power your unit. Each one is about 15 square feet and the number that you will need for your installation depends upon how much power your home needs.
4 – See if You Need Permits
In some Florida communities, and especially if you belong to a particular Homeowners’ Association, you might need to submit a proposal to add the panels to your roof prior to the commencement of the project. In some cases, restrictions in your neighborhood may limit the hours that technicians can work to install the panels. In others, it may be that any outside additions to the home are required to be passed by the council.
5 – Check and Confirm Utility Service
Finally, you’ll need to make sure that you have all of the proper wiring in place for making the most of your new solar powered air conditioner. You’ll probably need a licensed technician to review things at some point, too. Another important part of this step involves checking with your utility company to make sure that they have solar-friendly programs that will let you ‘sell’ your unused energy back to them. This will help you cut costs on the cloudy days when you need their electricity to power your home and air conditioner.
Installing a solar powered air conditioner is a pretty sizable project, but the good news is that local government often offers homeowners energy rebates and grants to help them pay for it.