Everybody has the responsibility and the ability to reduce their carbon footprint. This footprint refers to amount of green house gases produced to support human activity whether directly or indirectly. Solar energy is the technology used to control the sun’s energy and make it usable. The use of this energy is increasing rapidly in the United States as “going green” is becoming a lifestyle.

There are various ways to contribute to saving the planet, but it is first important to understand what exactly solar energy is, and how solar energy works:

What Is Solar Energy?

The sun is a strong source of energy and is used to heat, to cool and to light both homes, businesses and life in general. Solar is the latin word for sun, thus solar energy describes a variety of technologies that convert the light from the sun, sunlight, into usable energy. Solar energy is the cleanest and richest renewable energy source available, and the US is wealthy in terms of it. This energy is not a pollutant, is a flexible technology and is used to improve efficiency, save money and increase quality of life.

Solar energy
Solar panels are an alternative way to store energy.

How Does Solar Energy Work?

There are 3 main ways that solar energy is harnessed:

1. Photovoltaics (Solar Electric)

Using a material called semiconductors, electricity is generated via an electronic process directly from sunlight. The solar energy frees electrons and these electrons are convinced to travel through an electrical circuit in order to power electronics as small as a hand calculator and as big as a commercial business. With the solar industry speeding up, manufacturers have improved their materials as well as the actual process itself, resulting in the cost of Photovoltaics and its installation decreasing as well.

2. Concentrating Solar Power

This process uses mirrors to concentrate the sun’s energy on engines which then create electricity. This type of energy has the ability to be stored and used at a later time when it is needed.

3. Solar Heating And Cooling

This is the most commonly used solar technology and is affordable to families in the United States. In fact, its reputation is increasing in homes as more families are making the decision to improve their standard of living, save money and decrease their reliance on imported fuels. This solar energy technology is the process of collecting thermal energy from the sun and using the heat to provide hot water, space heating and cooling as well as pool heating. This technology is becoming more popular because it replaces the need to use electricity or natural gas.

The weight of this information is being shared in order to demonstrate that contrary to what many think, solar energy is becoming a way of life with it’s simple actions and measurable results.

What Can Be Done?

Converting to solar energy decreases the alarming rate that non-renewable sources are moving at. Every home and business makes a difference. Solar installation is the next step! Here 10 interesting facts about how solar energy works and the ease of the installation process:

  1. Solar is not too expensive, the price has quickly decreased due to popularity and effectiveness.
  2. Solar energy produces no pollution and does not cause harmful environmental effects.
  3. Once the solar is installed, they are immune from black outs.
  4. Solar is maintenance free – no moving parts need to be maintained and dirt will be washed by the rain.
  5. Solar works on cloudy and overcast days.
  6. Energy is free and will guarantee a return on investment after 3 – 5 years.
  7. The panels do not damage the roof because they are not installed directly on to it.
  8. Solar is able to withstand any season or climate, no matter how harsh.
  9. In many states, solar installation is actually property-tax exempt.
  10. Solar panels raise a home’s resale value

Do It Today!

There has never been a better time to make an impact. Solar energy is good for oneself and one’s family, it is a long-term investment and not only will it save money, but the return on investment will even make money. Taking care of the environment today, secures a green and happy future for the generations tomorrow.

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