Going green is more than just a cool, new trend that has been adopted lately by Hollywood celebrities. Sustainable living has gone mainstream. New homes that were built after 1 January 2020 are required to have rooftop residential solar power systems according to the California Energy Commission’s California solar mandate. Also, the state has grants to make sure that homeowners who live in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods have the opportunity to create a green home with solar at a discounted rate.
To make the most out of your green home in Monterey, Santa Cruz, or Salinas, check out these seven renovation ideas using residential solar power to renovate for a greener home.
#1 Solar Water Heater
Heating up water for showers, laundry, and your dishwasher uses a significant amount of energy. Take control of your monthly electric bill by installing a solar water heater when your conventional water heater reaches its end of life. Flat Plate Collector and Evacuated Tube Collector are the two types of solar water heaters on the market, and they reliably supply your home with hot water using the sun’s free energy.
Worried about getting stuck with a cold shower on a cloudy day? Don’t be. Most residential solar power water heaters are designed with an electric backup system that kicks in when the weather is gloomy. Solar water heaters have an expected life of 15 years when properly installed and maintained.
#2 Outdoor Solar Lights
You work hard to make your home’s exterior reflect your personal tastes and your family’s lifestyle. While you get plenty of compliments for your home’s daytime look, the show is practically over when the sun goes down. The right type of properly positioned outdoor lights can bring instant curb appeal to your home after dark.
Great lighting does more than just make evening backyard parties look cozy and inviting. Outdoor lighting also makes your yard safer. With them, guests who are unfamiliar with your landscape can navigate between the pool and the fire pit without stumbling over potted flowers or visible tree roots. These lights also deter intruders.
You probably thought about accenting your yard with upscale outdoor lighting but put it off due to the costs. While you’ll still need to invest in quality hardware, you don’t need to pay a small fortune each month to power the lights. A residential solar power system can save you plenty of money if you decide to upgrade your home with luxury outdoor lighting.
#3 Heated Pool
California is blessed with some of the best climates in the country, and a day on the coast is always a treat. However, the ocean waves are much too cold to dive into on all but the hottest days. That’s why many Salinas households have pools.
Avid swimmers and those who simply like to frequently frolic in the water love that they can extend the swim season to 365 days a year when they attach a heating system to their pool setup. When they choose a residential solar power heater, they can conserve energy and save money while getting the most out of their pool.
A solar pool heater is the ultimate in green home luxury. The appliance is relatively easy to install and works with your pool’s current pump, filter, and valve to provide continuous heat to your pool. When the pool water gets too warm, a sensor triggers a switch that redirects the pool water to bypass the heater until the heater is needed again.
#4 Green Home Device Charging Station
Technology is an integral part of life for Americans. If you’re like most people, you have multiple electronic devices that you now consider to be essential to your personal and work life. As more companies roll out work-from-home policies, you’ll likely find that having a device charging station in your home is a most convenient green home renovation idea. Connect a solar panel to the centralized device charging station, and you’ll have an organized and energy-efficient way to make sure that your devices stay charged and ready for action.
#5 Solar-Powered Outdoor Kitchen
Today’s homeowners want to utilize every square inch of their property, which especially includes yard space. The laid-back, coastal California vibe aligns perfectly with the ongoing outdoor kitchen trend. Depending on your preferences, you could outfit your outdoor kitchen with a stovetop and a small refrigerator for cold drinks, or you could go all out and mirror all of the major appliances that are in your standard kitchen.
Powering this additional space shouldn’t break the bank, and it won’t if you use a solar generator. Portable solar generators come with solar arrays that collect the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity for your outdoor kitchen. By getting a portable solar generator, you’re able to follow the sunlight to capture all of the energy that you need to run your appliances. When the sun goes down, rely on the generator’s batteries to keep the appliances running until the next sunny day arrives.
#6 Solar-Powered Greenhouse
Gone plant-based? You’re not alone. California is arguably the birthplace of the vegan lifestyle. Why not take your dietary lifestyle and green home design to the next level with a solar-powered greenhouse? A portable generator, solar panels, and battery setup can help to ensure that you have your favorite fresh vegetables whenever you want them. The solar power system can be set up to control heating and cooling in the greenhouse as well as to power certain irrigation functions.
#7 Off-the-Grid Solar Power
Blackouts have impacted many people in recent years, and the increase in frequency and duration of these events have prompted a few people to get a residential solar power system that allows them to go completely off the grid.
The type of solar power system that you need to power your home when the grid goes down includes one that has solar panels, a generator, and heavy-duty batteries to store enough power for continuous use. The practice of using collected energy without being connected to the power grid is called “islanding.” Contact a solar company in Salinas for more information about the best solar power system for your islanding needs.
Are You Ready To Renovate For A Greener Home?
People are still testing the boundaries when it comes to green home design. Ultimately, the green home features that you choose are highly personal whether you want a practical solar water heater or something a little more extravagant such as a heated pool.