Creating a Solar Power Home

Building a Green Home or Transitioning
Your Existing Home?

Are you considering making a move toward a solar power home? There are two options from which to choose if you're thinking you'd like to take active steps to help the environment and to lower your energy costs.

The first option is to build a brand new green, solar efficient home. The other option is to take your existing home design and transform it into a more solar efficient structure.

Both options have benefits and drawbacks to consider, not the least of which is budget. However, there are several other factors that go into this decision.

solar power home

Benefits of Building a New Solar Power Home

One of the most wonderful benefits of building a new solar power home from the foundation to the roof is that you can choose every aspect of the house. You can determine whether you’re going to build a passive solar home, active solar home, or a combination of both.

You can choose everything from the type of materials you use for construction, the style of home, the size, number of rooms, roof design, overhangs, solar features, thermal mass structures and floors, solar appliances, and much more.

It’s easy to incorporate passive solar heating into a new home by adding south-facing windows that hopefully receive full sunlight for most of the daylight hours. Sunlight makes a home feel open and spacious, which is another benefit of building a green home with solar energy.

You can add as many windows as you like, not only for the solar advantages, but for aesthetic value as well. In addition to lowering your heating costs, passive solar style homes are also comfortably cool in the summer.

Solar style homes are often open floor plans, so even if you build a smaller square footage home, it will feel and appear larger because of the design plan.

The addition of passive solar heating to a brand new home is only about $6,000 more on top of construction costs, so it's well worth the additional money considering what you’ll save in heating costs over the coming years.

Drawbacks to Building a New Solar Home

The cost of building a completely solar home can be a drawback for some homeowners or those who are looking to build a home for the first time, especially if land or location becomes an issue for proper orientation.

Benefits of Transitioning an Existing
Home to Solar Energy

Obviously, the cost of transitioning an existing home solar energy system is much more affordable than building one brand new.

Another advantage is that it's more affordable to add solar features to your home over time, as the budget permits, so you can begin slowly and work your way toward being as energy efficient as you can when the disposable income is available.

Solar appliances and solar lighting can easily be added to an existing home to save you more money each month.

Drawbacks of Transitioning and Existing
Home to Solar

If your home doesn't have windows that face the south or you live in a climate that receives little sun, passive heating and cooling of your home will prove to be an obstacle. Also, depending on the structure of your existing home, installation of enough solar panels to truly make a difference could be a challenge.

Regardless of whether you opt for building a brand new solar home or adding solar features to your existing home, the benefits most often outweigh the drawbacks and will be well worth the investment.

Transitioning an existing home energy system over to solar may be complicated or time consuming, depending on the details of your current home's design and how well a new solar energy system may be able to fit into the existing structures.

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