Can I Run My Air Conditioner with Solar Panels?

Solar energy is all the rage as of late, and with good reason. With the promise of clean, sustainable energy, homeowners are looking to minimize their carbon footprint while saving on energy bills. But can you operate an AC unit with solar panels

The short answer is yes, you are able to do that! Depending on the size of your solar array and home electricity demands, you very possibly could be able to power your AC exclusively with solar energy. Even if you merely supplement your power supply with solar panels, this investment is certain to supply year-round energy savings.

Using Solar Panels to Power Your AC

Installing solar panels to run your AC entails strategically setting up an inverter, a battery and the solar panels themselves. Because solar panels produce direct current (DC) power, and your air conditioner operates on alternating current (AC) power, you’ll need an inverter to assist in this conversion.

Picking the Best System

There are many options when it comes to powering your air conditioner with solar energy, and choosing the suitable system for your needs is imperative. Here are some options:

Using an On-Grid System

When you stay connected to the grid, your solar panels and an inverter are set up alongside your home’s cooling equipment. Everything is connected to the local power supply, so a battery is not required, helping keep your initial costs down.

However, if you want to use solar-generated power after dark, you can install an optional battery. Just know that grid-tied solar panels don’t work during a power outage, even using a battery. Permitting them to draw power when the grid is down would be risky for your home’s wiring and utility workers alike.

The Off-Grid System

If you’re searching for absolute independence, an off-grid system could be right for you. You’ll definitely want to install solar batteries to enjoy power in the evening and on cloudy days. Due to the fact they’re less reliable than on-grid setups, off-grid installations are typically reserved for recreational vehicles and homes in isolated places.

Solar-Powered AC

Best suited for off-grid use, DC systems are wired right to your solar panels, with optional battery operation also on the market. Conversely, alternating current AC setups make use of an inverter, allowing them to run on grid power if solar generation is low. And then, hybrid units toggle back and forth between the solar array and grid, based on the energy production and your home’s electrical needs.

What to Consider Before Running an AC with Solar Power

Switching to solar-powered air conditioning isn’t just climate-friendly; it’s a practical way to save money. However, it’s vital to consider a number of factors before finalizing your decision.

Primary Investment

Solar panels and solar-powered air conditioners require an initial purchase. Be sure to weigh this against the long-term savings, keeping in mind that a complete solar panel array usually provides quicker ROI than a solar-powered AC unit. Panels are also more adaptable, enabling you to power other appliances with solar energy.

Solar panels may also qualify for the solar energy system federal tax credit, making your up-front investment more economical. The credit is set to wind down starting in 2033, but until then, you can receive a 30% tax credit on new solar panels installed in a residence.

Your Neighborhood’s Location

Hot southern climates call for more air conditioning, but solar panels in these regions have the tendency to generate more power thanks to the long, sunny days. If you reside in a cloudier region, your solar panels will capture less energy, but your cooling requirements may also be lower.

AC Unit Size

Your AC’s tonnage is directly related to its power consumption, impacting how much solar power you need to run it. More sizable homes normally need more air conditioning and consume more power in other ways, perhaps requiring you to install more panels.

How Many Solar Panels Does It Take to Run an Air Conditioner?

Determining the number of solar panels you should buy depends on the factors discussed above, plus area placement, solar panel type and overall efficiency. The standard household air conditioning system is around 3,500 watts, and a regular solar panel generates 250 watts. In this particular example, you would need 14 panels just to operate the air conditioner.

Naturally, installers size solar arrays to offset the energy consumption of the entire house, not just the air conditioner. So, if you also intend to power electrical appliances, devices and lights that run on other circuits, these components also affect the exact number of panels you need.

Be Cool and Use Less Energy with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

Opting to run your air conditioning system with solar power is an exciting and environmentally responsible commitment. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing is a leader in this movement, crafting solutions to match your home’s unique needs. We’re dedicated to excellence and your complete satisfaction, so rely on us to help you maximize the advantages of solar-powered AC. If you’re ready to embrace sustainable home cooling, call 866-397-3787 today to reach the team at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.

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