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How to get the most out of your solar panels

So, you've made the leap and installed a solar energy system. Great choice! Solar energy is a great investment that helps you reduce your carbon footprint and utility bill spending. Now, it's time to make sure you're using your solar panels to their full potential.

Here are some simple tips for getting the most out of your solar energy system:

Try to use more energy while the sun is shining

Solar panels only produce energy during the day. While that energy can be stored, you will get maximum output from your panels on electricity you use immediately. So, whenever possible, take advantage of the daylight.

  • Charge your laptop, smartphone or tablet during the day and unplug them at night
  • Use your vacuum, washing machine, dishwasher and dryer during the day

Watch where your power goes

Make sure you're not using electricity unnecessarily! Better energy management will help you save on either your power bill or your solar energy supply.

  • Switch lights off during the day and make the most of natural light.
  • Only heat and turn lights on in rooms you're actually using.
  • Switch off appliances at the wall instead of using standby power (which can account for 10-15% of a power bill).
  • Disconnect any second or third refrigerators or freezers when they're not in use.
  • Ensure your house is properly insulated – heating and cooling can account for more than 20% of a household's energy usage.
  • Try to use and buy appliances that have high EECA energy ratings.
  • Upgrade to LED, energy-efficient lightbulbs.

Bonus tip: Use technology to monitor your usage.

There are several apps that will give you all of the data in the palm of your hand so you can track how your panels are performing, and where your energy usage spikes are. You can take this even further by connecting your system to a smart home app to remotely turn off lights and appliances when you are out of the house.

Keep your panels well maintained

For maximum electricity output and to extend the life of your solar panels for as long as possible, follow these solar panel maintenance tips:

  • Keep your panels clear of debris, dust, dirt and pollen with a regular hosing down.
  • Get a professional maintenance check every few years.
  • Get your panels installed by a reputable provider in the first place, so you can rest assured that they will fix any (unlikely) issues that do come up.
  • Ensure your panels are not placed beneath any branches or heavy objects that could fall in stormy weather.
  • Regularly check that your panels do not have birds or rodents nesting underneath, as this can damage the wiring and roof attachments.

Consider battery storage

Battery storage (like a Telsa Powerwall) is possibly the best way to get the most out of your solar energy system. With a solar battery, you have the freedom to use the power from your panels anytime. This gives you complete energy security with 24/7 electricity - even in a power outage – and means the power your panels generate isn't wasted if you're not home to use it immediately.

Our solar energy system experts are happy to answer any questions you may have about maximising the potential of your solar panels. The Harrisons Solar team will visit your property to give you an accurate quote and discuss your solar energy needs in person!

Contact us to book a free at-home consultation.

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