Is Wind Energy Right for Your Home..?

Owning a small residential wind turbine gives homeowners the opportunity to have free, environmentally-friendly electricity for their homes. But make sure your home is energy efficient before buying a home wind turbine. Generating wind power in an efficient home will maximize the amount of money you can make selling your excess energy.

Purchasing a home wind energy system is an investment that takes an average of 6 to 15 years to pay off using utility bill savings. After that, your wind turbine will generate power to your home for free and even provide you with some income if your system generates more energy than you use. So how can you make the most money from your wind turbine? Use the least amount of energy in your home!

By making your home as energy efficient as possible, which may include adding insulation, duct sealing or upgrading an outdated refrigerator, you will reduce the amount of energy a wind system needs to fully power your home. This will cut back the time it takes to get a full return on your investment. As with home solar panels, it’s recommended that you consult with an energy auditor or energy retrofit contractor contractor to find the most cost-effective ways to minimize your use of electricity.

If you and your home are ready for wind, keep in mind that most home wind turbines are designed to provide 50% – 90% of a home’s electrical needs, depending on the wind speed and energy usage of the house. Individual wind turbines for homes are entirely different from the big turbines that you see in wind farms today. However, most home wind turbines are more appropriate for rural houses — the towers can be too high for urban and suburban use, they can sometimes be noisy for close-by neighbors, and there’s often more reliable wind in rural areas without lots of buildings or other houses around to block the wind. To get a general idea of the wind speeds in your area, visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s site to see a U.S. Average Wind Speed Map.

Wind turbines typically start moving in wind speeds of 7 to 10 mph, so when the wind isn’t blowing, you will be using energy from your utility provider. But if the wind is blowing and you’re not using all of the energy created by your system, that energy (as long as your turbine is connected to the power grid) can be sold to your electrical utility. Your utility provider will then pay you for that excess energy, which will ultimately help you balance out your utility bills and in some cases provide a small income.

While owning your own wind energy system isn’t cheap, energy prices have been continually rising, which may mean an even faster return on your investment. And in terms of energy efficiency, if your home is decked out with energy-efficient appliances and insulation, renewable energy is considered the next step to a zero-energy home.

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