As we become more aware of how our everyday habits affect the planet, we realize that making small changes in our day-to-day lives can achieve big results. One of those helpful changes is switching from regular incandescent light bulbs to energy efficient bulbs that not only help the planet, but also cost less to use.
There are two types of energy efficient light bulbs readily available. The first is compact fluorescent lights, or CFLs. These are the “curly” light bulbs that screw into regular lightbulb sockets. They are essentially miniaturized versions of the long fluorescent tubes that have been around for years. CFLs give a similar lighting effect to normal bulbs and come in a range of shapes and sizes.
LEDs (light-emitting diodes), the other option, are miniature solid-state devices. LEDs tend to last longer because there is no filament to burn out and are less bulky than both traditional and CFL bulbs.
For about two hundred years, the United States has obtained most of its power from fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, and oil. While these allowed us to build the world’s largest economy, they now have numerous, serious drawbacks. As non-renewable energy sources, they cannot be replenished. They are increasingly more difficult and damaging to our environment to retrieve, and their use pollutes the air and generates the greenhouse gasses that contribute to climate change. Fortunately, there are alternatives to fossil fuels that are being used more and more and will be able to provide the clean, renewable energy we need for the future. Here is a look at the most promising.
Solar energy can be used directly for heating and light and with photovoltaic technology can be converted to electricity. With more sunlight hitting earth in a single day than can be used in a full year, solar is an inexhaustible source of energy that creates no pollution and has virtually no downside. Advances in photovoltaic technology are making solar panels increasingly economical and efficient. They can be connected to the electric grid or to batteries to store energy or share it between interconnected homes or businesses. Continue reading
The long days of summer are already waning and homeowners who have installed photovoltaic solar panels may wonder what the cooler seasons will mean for their systems. Fortunately, the effects of winter on solar power are not as dramatic as many people believe. Here is what winter means in terms of solar power.
Shorter Days, Longer Nights
While it’s true that solar panels can only generate electricity during daylight hours, that doesn’t mean you’ll be left in the dark, because newer systems have options to share or store energy for later use. Continue reading
Though we are still in the days of air conditioning and tank tops, the colder days are ahead and it makes sense to plan for them now. Preparing your home for colder temperatures is a great way to save money and to ensure that your home will be a cozy and welcoming retreat this winter. Here are some energy-efficiency tips that will help you keep the utility bills low and the comfort high this winter.
Repair or Replace Leaky Windows and Doors
If have old windows or doors that leak air, your furnace will have to run more to keep up. You’ll also experience drafts and cold spots in the house that will affect your family’s comfort. You can improve the performance of older windows and doors with weather stripping and/or caulking to reduce leaks, and by adding storm windows and doors for improved insulation. In many cases, however, it makes more sense to replace them with new, more energy-efficient units. Continue reading
At TerraSol Energies, it’s our goal to not only provide you with the highest quality home and commercial solar power, but to help you maximize it. You want the best possible solar solutions, but you also want the ability to take full advantage of them.
Like any good solar power company, we’re here to help. Here are a few areas you can look at to maximize the life and usage of you solar power.
Solar panels need to be placed in a location where they receive maximum sun exposure, something our technicians will help you with during installation. They should be tipped at an angle toward the sun. Continue reading
Most of us know that solar is the cleanest and greenest source of energy. We also know that it’s becoming more widely available as the technology improves to decrease costs and make it more user-friendly. But here are five more facts about solar energy you may not be aware of.
1. We Can Depend On It for About Another Six Billion Years
Though considered a renewable energy source due to the fact that sunlight does not deplete no matter how much we use it, solar energy will not be around forever. The sun is approximately 4.57 billion years old and will probably be there for another 6-7 billion years before it burns out and becomes what is known as a white dwarf. We obviously won’t be around in 6 billion years to see the sun burn out, which is a good thing because the event will likely consume the Earth as well. Continue reading
Whether you’re coming to TerraSol Energies for residential or commercial solar power services, you’ll be getting high-level products using the same technology. This area is known as solar photovoltaic technology, or a PA solar panel system.
You probably know that this system can save you money, and can save valuable energy for the environment. Do you know exactly how it works from a scientific standpoint, though? It’s actually probably simpler than you think. Let’s look at the roots of photovoltaic technology, plus how it’s advanced to the modern age.
The PV Effect
The entire point of solar power is to convert sunlight directly into electricity that can be used for a variety of applications. Solar cells are also called photovoltaic cells – this is a name that comes from the process of converting light (photons) to electricity (voltage), hence the initials. As such, this conversion process is called the PV effect. Continue reading
Do you know what your carbon footprint is? As the debate over climate change rages on, the phrase “carbon footprint” is more prevalent than ever before.
Put simply, a carbon footprint is a way of quantifying the amount of carbon dioxide and other types of greenhouse gases released when burning fossil fuels. Every time you drive your car, you’re burning gasoline and releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, adding to your carbon footprint and contributing to the warming of the planet through the greenhouse effect.
You can ascribe a carbon footprint to all activities that involves the burning of fossil fuels. For instance, the carbon footprint of a cup of coffee can be calculated by examining the process of growing, harvesting, processing and transporting coffee beans, as well as how much electricity is used when brewing the coffee. Even the way you take your coffee can drastically change its carbon footprint; a cup of black coffee has a footprint that’s just 6 percent of the carbon footprint of a large latte. Continue reading