You may be hearing a lot about solar energy these days. It’s very popular, but using the sun as a source of energy has been around for hundreds of years. Here are some ways to use the sun to benefit your life in a number of ways. You’ll be surprised to learn how easy it is!

When it comes to solar energy, you must keep the solar panels clean for best results. Dirty solar panels do not allow the solar panels to absorb the maximum amount of energy. Therefore, to ensure your solar panels are running at peak performance, keep a regular maintenance and cleaning schedule.

Leasing a solar system is an option if up-front costs are prohibitive. In the long run, buying a solar energy system is always the better option, however leasing can still result in lower bills overall. Leasing a system will let you take advantage of the energy savings right away, however be aware that you can be stuck with your contract for up to 10 years.

Make sure that any solar panels you put up are actually cost effective. While the installation cost can be dented with government assistance, you need to know how long it will take for energy savings to return your investment. Also factor in that you are not likely to get the same amount of power every single month.

Try to choose solar panels that can have their angles adjusted easily. The angle at which the sun hits the Earth changes throughout the year. This means that the best angle to catch the suns rays can be very different between summer and winter. Ideally you want to at least be able to adjust the angle of your panels twice a year, however if you can find some that allow adjustments four times a year (spring, summer, fall, winter) that is even better.

Consider installing more solar panels than your home will ever need. If you do this you will be doing two good things. First, you will earn money on any energy created that your home does not use. Second, you will be reducing the amount of fossil fuels burned to power the homes of your neighbors.

Do not be discouraged at the cost of starting solar energy. You may find it pricy to get the products you need for setting up a solar energy system. But, you will find a much cheaper electric bill every month, paying off the initial start up cost and then some.

Once your solar panels are installed, you need to keep track of how much power you are producing and using on a daily basis. Invest in a quality monitoring system and look at the data as often as possible. If you notice your panels are not producing as much energy as usual, it might be time to clean them.

Be sure mountings on solar energy panels are engineer certified for your area. For instance, if if you’re in an area that gets frequent cyclones, the mountings need to be cyclone rated. High-quality systems will be wind certified to ensure they don’t blow away in a huge wind storm. Mounting is an important part of the system and not all suppliers regard them that way. Stay alert when buying your system to make sure they have proper certifications.

You need to find an efficient way to finance your solar panels. Most homeowners borrow some money from their financial institution so they can cover the initial costs and then pay this money back in small monthly payments. You can even set the monthly payments so they correspond to your usual energy bills in order to keep a balanced budget.

If you are located in the Northern hemisphere, your solar panels should be facing south. People who live in the Southern hemisphere should install their panels facing north. Putting them in any other way will defeat the entire purpose since the panels will not have a chance to collect a large amount of energy from the sun.

Using solar energy is both easy and cheap. When you make the choice to really use solar energy, you will be delighted to see how easily you can start doing it. Use the tips laid out here, and you’ll soon be able to feel better about saving the environment and using solar energy.