Magnetic Refrigerators
Magnetic Refrigerators
Oak Ridge National Laboratory and General Electric have teamed up to create a revolutionary new type of refrigerator that uses magnets to create cold, also known as the magnetocaloric effect (lowering or raising the temperature of the material by changing the magnetic field).
Ultra-Efficient Heat Pumps
Ultra-Efficient Heat Pumps
The Building Technologies Office is ushering in the next generation of heat pump systems, which warm and cool your home by moving heat from one space to another. A fuel-fired, multi-function residential heat pump that can reduce primary energy consumption by 30 percent.
Clothes Dryers
Clothes Dryers
The same concept behind heat pump technologies that keep your home comfortable can also be used for another important application: drying your clothes. Oak Ridge National Laboratory and General Electric are developing a new type of clothes dryer that uses a heat pump cycle to generate hot air needed for drying.
Smarter, More Connected Homes
Smarter, More Connected Homes
We live in an increasingly connected world -- the same is true for our homes. New electronic devices and appliances can now be linked to the Internet to provide real-time data that makes it easier to understand and lower energy use.
Next-Gen Insulation
Next-Gen Insulation
Insulation is one of the most important ways to reduce your home heating and cooling costs. The Industrial Science & Technology Network is developing new foam insulation made with environmentally friendly and advanced composite materials that ensure heat doesn’t escape from the attic, walls and other areas of the home during cold winter months.
Advanced Window Controls
Advanced Window Controls
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Pella Windows are working on new highly insulated windows that use sensors and microprocessors to automatically adjust shading based on the amount of available sunlight and the time of day to ensure proper lighting and comfort, saving consumers energy and money.
Reflective Roofing Materials
Reflective Roofing Materials
Cool roofs coated with materials containing specialized pigments reflect sunlight and absorb less heat than standard roofs. Expect these types of roof systems to get even “cooler” due to new fluorescent pigments developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and PPG Industries that can reflect nearly four times the amount of sunlight of standard pigments.

Energy-Saving Solutions

From heating and cooling to electronics and appliances, it takes a lot of energy to power our daily lives. Our homes use 37 percent more energy today than they did in 1980. But without energy efficiency -- through technology innovation and federal energy conservation standards -- this number would be a lot higher. In fact, even though our total energy use has grown, our energy use per household is down about 10 percent, despite that our homes are larger and contain more devices.

Save Energy Systems

21 March 2019

What to Know When Buying a Home with Solar Panels

Solar panels have become increasingly popular over the last several years. In fact, the millionth solar panel system in the U.S. was installed in 2016, and experts believe that another million systems will be installed within the next two years....

The post What to Know When Buying a Home with Solar Panels appeared first on HomeSelfe.


Solar panels have become increasingly popular over the last several years. In fact, the millionth solar panel system in the U.S. was installed in 2016, and experts believe that another million systems will be installed within the next two years....

The post What to Know When Buying a Home with Solar Panels appeared first on HomeSelfe.

Solar panels have become increasingly popular over the last several years. In fact, the millionth solar panel system in the U.S. was installed in 2016, and experts believe that another million systems will be installed within the next two years. As a result, the real estate market is flooded with homes that have solar panels, so buyers may end up moving into a home that is powered by solar energy. But make sure you ask these questions prior to buying a home with solar panels:

Is the Solar Panel System Leased?

It’s important to find out whether the solar panel system is owned or leased. If the sellers purchased the system, they will transfer ownership of it to the buyers as part of the real estate transaction. In this scenario, the buyers will not have to pay any additional money in order to take ownership of the system. However, if the panels are leased, the buyers will need to continue making payments on the lease once they own the home. Solar panel lease payments are usually pricey, so it’s crucial that you obtain a copy of this contract before making an offer on the house.

Can I Have the System Inspected?

Most home inspectors are not trained to analyze the condition and functionality of solar panels. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to hire an inspector who is specially trained to inspect solar panels prior to closing on the home. The inspector will take an in-depth look at the various parts of the system to determine if there are any issues that affects its ability to power your home. Repairing solar panels can be costly, so identifying these issues now can help you avoid incurring unexpected expenses once you move into the home.

What Size is the System?

You should also ask your real estate agent to find out the size of the system. Why? The amount of energy that the system produces depends partly on its size. Therefore, if the system is small, it may not produce enough energy to have a significant impact on your monthly utility bills. However, if it’s a larger system, you should expect to save money on a monthly basis. Knowing this upfront can help prospective homebuyers accurately estimate their monthly expenses so they know whether or not they can truly afford to live in the home.

Home with Solar Panels

Who Made and Installed the System?

It’s wise to find out who manufactured and installed the system as well. Research both companies to determine if they provide warranties on their products and installation services. Many companies provide 10 to 20 year warranties on solar panel systems, which means you are covered in the event that an issue arises after you move in.

You should also read the online reviews of each company to get a better idea of the quality of their products and services. If there are a lot of negative reviews, this is a red flag that indicates you could experience problems with the solar panel system in the future.

After asking these questions, you’re ready to move forward with buying a home with solar panels! Having a solar panel system can reduce your utility bills and your carbon footprint, so it won’t be long before it becomes obvious why millions of Americans have decided to switch to solar energy!

The post What to Know When Buying a Home with Solar Panels appeared first on HomeSelfe.


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