It IS easy to be green, no matter what Kermit the Frog says. You already know turning down the thermostat helps. How about replacing incandescent light bulbs with LEDs and opening the window shades to let the sun lighten things up. Whether you live in your own home or manage property in a Texas community, solar power cuts down on electricity and helps reduce that carbon footprint.
Solar panels are quite popular now and are being installed in new home construction. With tax incentives available in Texas, what was once out of financial reach for many, is now a real possibility — and well worth it. Harnessing the sun’s energy can save thousands of dollars over a 20-year time span.
Solar Smart Home
Smart and solar have come together to manage appliances, locks, video doorbells, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, and irrigation systems. Through a communication system called the Internet of Things, the solar power in your home works with an app on your phone.
Heating water every day can be rather pricey, depending on how many people take a daily bath or shower. And then there’s the washing machine and dishwasher, too. Solar-powered water heaters help you to cut down on the natural gas and electric bills. The average solar water heater will cost $5,000 with the installation. But your water heating bills can go down by as much as 80 percent a month. No, it’s not the most attractive piece of equipment on your property, but a good installer can find an inconspicuous place for it where it can harness the sun’s energy. Be sure to submit a request to your Association’s ACC prior to purchase though!
Technology has given us solar-powered lawn mowers! And they can do the job themselves. Solar-powered robotic lawn mowers usually run for about an hour before needing a battery recharge.
Cell Phone Charger
We all have a cell phone charger lying around somewhere, and chances are, you’ve misplaced it a time or two. Solar-powered cell phone chargers provide battery juice on-the-go. Charge up in your car and at home — some units work next to clear glass windows. Solar cell phone chargers are great for spending long periods of time outdoors.
Solar energy will light up your home’s exterior … from pathways to string lights to floodlights and then some. Solar pathway luminaries brighten dark walkways. Floodlights expose unwanted visitors who may be lurking around the house. Solar-powered string lights create a cozy outdoor space, too. Solar sticks and garden lights are available at your favorite home improvement store.
“Greening” up the items within your home and drawing the sun’s power is an ecologically sound way to update your property. Consult a solar energy expert for specific suggestions.
Tori Fuller is a DIY enthusiast, taking any trash she can get her hands on and turning it into a luxury item to envy. When she doesn’t have her hands in a tin of paint, you can find her perfecting her nature photography techniques.