Solar energy can be used to power anything in your home that runs on electricity, from your air conditioner to your smartphone. But is it possible to run your whole house on solar power alone?
This is one of the most common questions we get from California homeowners who are thinking about going solar. The answer is yes; a house can run only on solar power, but there are a few factors to consider if you want to meet all of your home’s power needs with solar energy.
How to Run Your Whole House Using Solar Power
Whether you install an off-grid solar system or remain tied to the electric grid, you can run your whole house using only solar power. Here’s how:
Produce at Least as Much Electricity as You Consume
Solar panels work by capturing sunlight and converting it into electricity. To power your entire house with solar energy, your solar system needs to be able to produce at least as much energy as you consume. It’s typically possible to meet all of your power needs with solar panels in CA, but there are some limiting factors for whole-home solar, including:
- Your climate region and the amount of sunlight it receives
- The amount of roof or ground-mounting space you have available
- Obstructions around your home that create shade and block sunlight
The best way to overcome limitations and produce enough solar energy to power your home is to have your system custom-designed by an experienced solar provider near you that understands the local climate.
Six Rivers Solar is a local solar company in Eureka, CA that installs custom solar energy systems based on your specific energy needs. We can evaluate your past energy bills and determine how many solar panels are needed to run your house entirely on solar power. We’ll also position your panels so that they receive optimal sunlight and can produce as much electricity as possible throughout the day and year.
Install Solar Battery Storage
Solar panels need sunlight to produce electricity, which means they don’t work at night and on extremely cloudy days. To power your home with solar energy when there isn’t enough sunlight available, you need solar battery storage. Solar batteries store the excess electricity your solar panels produce during the day so you can use stored solar energy at night.
A lot of residential solar systems include one or two batteries, but if you want to run your whole house on solar power alone, you will need more storage than that. If you maintain a grid connection, you’ll be able to use grid power as a backup option should you run out of stored energy. If you go off-grid with solar, you’ll need to make sure you have plenty of battery storage.
Installing a battery bank will increase your solar panel costs, but battery storage qualifies for the 30% federal solar tax credit, making it more affordable to switch to a fully solar-powered home.
Six Rivers Solar specializes in solar battery design. We can make sure your battery system is sized correctly so your whole house can run on solar even when there isn’t any sunlight available.
Electrify Your Gas Appliances
Solar can’t power appliances that don’t run on electricity. If you want a fully solar-powered home, you will need to replace gas and oil appliances with all-electric appliances like heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, and induction cooktops. With solar plus all-electric appliances, you can maximize your savings by running your entire home with free, renewable solar energy.