Having solar appliances in your home can save you a great deal of money on your energy bills. There are a variety of appliances that can use solar energy to run, from solar water heaters to solar power ovens, to refrigerators and even air conditioners!
Every day new technologies are being developed to help us to live more affordably AND in a way that sustains the environment rather than depletes it. I encourage you to look around and consider how your home can become more energy efficient using renewable energy and the natural power of the sun!
Depending on the climate where you live, and the availability of solar contractors or handy household members to help you install solar panels, you can now find all manner of devices powered by solar energy. Here are just a few!
- The solar oven is a tremendous invention that is used in many developing countries around the world. It is a small and relatively portable device with some limitations, so it isn't yet practical for many households, however can be quite useful in a power outage, while camping, or in areas where electricity is not readily available.
- Solar refrigerators are smaller than traditional refrigerators and are available in different styles to match their purpose. For example, some types are very small and sturdy, which are used to transport vaccines to areas of the world that do not have electricity. Larger models can be used for off grid living, and some forward thinking businesses use solar powered refrigeration to save on their energy costs.
- Solar water heaters are one of the most affordable ways to get started using solar energy. For just a few thousand dollars you can start saving on your water heating bills without a lot of major renovation in your home. The passive solar heating systems are less expensive, they have fewer moving parts, and they are built to last longer than a traditional water heater. Active solar water heating systems on the other hand, do have several moving parts, and are similar to traditional water heaters, but they are also more efficient than passive water heaters.
- Solar air conditioning is tremendously useful in today's increasingly warm climate. Many solar air conditioners work similarly to their traditional counterparts, except that they are powered with solar panels. There are also new innovative air conditioning solutions that use solar energy and salt to dry the air, thus making your home cooler and more comfortable.
- Solar fans have a number of benefits as they are quiet, maintenance free, and cost nothing to operate. Their initial cost is higher than electric fans, and you may need more than one fan to cool a room, but over the long term you will save quite a bit! There are also special solar fans designed specifically for hot attic spaces, known as solar attic fans. These are a bit more expensive than an average attic fan, but these little gadgets provide a simple and energy efficient way to keep your home cool.
- Solar chest freezer - ideal for anyone who wants to live off grid, lives in a remote third world country, or has a recreational vehicle such as a RV, camper, or boat and wants to have the ability to freeze food. Another great use for a solar chest freezer is for food vendors who may need additional freezer space but don't have access to electricity. There are so many ways to use this solar appliance!
- Solar composting toilet - it's not a port-a-pot even though it does require delivery by truck to your location. It uses the sun and organic materials to compost and process human waste, which can then be used in flowerbeds, gardens, and landscaping. A structure around the toilet provides complete privacy and from all appearances, it looks like an old-fashioned outhouse from the outside.
Advantages of Solar Appliances
- Cost effective
- Appliances that run on solar energy utilize the sun, a free and clean energy source
- You're not limited by lack of electricity or geographic location
- Independence and freedom from the utility companies
- Environmentally friendly devices
These are just some of the many solar powered appliances available today. More are being developed all the time and I look forward to adding more to these pages as new technologies and solar inventions are created.
Do you know of new solar appliances that we haven't covered here? Please share your thoughts!
What Solar Appliances Do You Use?
What solar appliances do you use in your home? Please share!
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