Now that you have invested in solar, you are ready to cash in the savings. However, you will need to adapt and adjust to the way you use electricity in your household. Making sure that the use of appliances is mostly via the solar power, will ensure that you make the most of your solar investment. Here are some tips to help you maximize your solar investment.
1. Use as much electricity as possible during the day
Now that you have got the solar system installed, it is important to understand that you should aim to use maximum power during the day. Switch on your pool pumps, washing machines, dishwasher, clothes dryers and other equipment’s during the day. Since Solar system generates electricity only during sunlight hours utilizing the power during the hours of 8am and 5pm will get you the maximum benefit out of your system.
2. Stagger your consumption
Try staggering your usage throughout the day E.g. put the washing machine on at 11 then the dryer on at 12. This prevents you from drawing power from the grid and adding to that pesky bill.
3. Utilize timers on all your appliances on standby power
Appliances like TV which are generally left on stand by mode so that they can be switched on at the touch of a button can consume up to 2.5w of Stand by electricity power / hr which can amount to 2.17kw per annum costing you $6.04 per year. Even though this may seem insignificant but considering all appliances in a household being on standby mode can amount to over $100 per year.
4. Check for shade and debris
Keep an eye out for any potential shading issues, cut back any trees, and remove any debris if Remember that shade does impact the systems performance.
5. Use energy efficient appliances
Swapping over your lights to LED lights and upgrading your old appliances to new ones can help you reduce the power consumption
6. Don’t be too hot or too cold
Set your aircon at an optimum temperature. If your aircon is set that the minimum temperature the unit must work harder thus using more power, same is true for reverse cycle aircons during winters.
7. Minimize the consumption of electricity at night
Well this does not mean that you have use candle in the light. But monitoring the power usage, e.g., switching off unwanted lights and appliances that are not working will help you lower the power bills.
8. Get your panels cleaned annually
Dirt, dust, and bird droppings can get in the way of your savings. Anything that obstructs your solar panels will result in lower production of your system, which then reduces your savings on your electricity bill. Getting on your roof and cleaning your solar panels yourself can be difficult and dangerous and should be best left to professionals.
9. Do a regular energy Audit
Some appliances draw more energy than others, so understanding the way you use electricity can help you identify hotspots and make appropriate adjustments. With a basic solar system, you will be able to determine your daily solar production and the amount of power you export back to the grid will be available on your energy bill. If you have a system fit with an additional metering device such as the Fronius Smart Meter, you can even conduct a detailed audit of individual appliances.
10. Maintain your system annually
Keeping your solar system in good working order is another way of maximizing your solar investment, since solar panels can lose their efficiency if they’re not kept clean. It’s also a good idea to have a professional check your system over every couple of years. It’s not expensive and they can identify problems and fix them before they start costing you money.