Solar generators are devices that are designed to provide users with a source of backup power for various requirements. They can be used both outdoors and indoors depending on the needs of the individual.

Compared to other power generators, a solar-powered unit is portable and lightweight. This means that people can use it to charge a variety of devices through the energy provided by the sun.

Furthermore, solar generators are seen by many as an eco-friendly alternative to conventional generators that require you to use non-renewable resources.

It appears that these sun-powered units have all the benefits going for them. But how do they work exactly? And what are their limitations?

Let’s take a closer look by answering some of the most common questions today concerning solar generators.

How Do Solar Generators Work?

How Solar Generators Work

A solar generator operates just like a home solar panel system in that it gathers energy from the sun using its panels. It then stores this captured energy within its built-in solar battery.

Through an inverter, the solar generator can convert this energy into useable alternating current (AC) so that it can be used to power appliances.

Solar generators are meant as an environmentally-friendly solution when it comes to power generation. In most cases, it can be a highly effective choice compared to other types of fuel generators.

How Solar Generators Don’t Work

The main purpose of a solar generator is to provide people with a portable power solution to power small appliances.

Since these units usually don’t have a large battery, they aren’t designed to work with large energy consumers, nor are they designed to power the entire house. Think of solar generators as more of a backup power source.

Pros and Cons of Solar Generators

Here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons of solar generators:

Pros

  • You get to generate and consume clean, renewable energy for your needs
  • No fuel is necessary to get a solar generator to produce power
  • Solar generators are typically quiet and require minimal maintenance

Cons

  • The initial upfront cost of purchasing a solar generator can be high
  • It has a significantly lower power supply compared to a home solar panel system
  • A solar generator can take a while to fully recharge especially during cloudy conditions

How Much Power Can a Solar Generator Produce?

How Much Power Can a Solar Generator Produce?

Small solar generators can produce as little as 10 up to 250 watts of power. Once activated, these compact units can provide power for smartphones, laptops, and TVs alike.

The medium-sized solar generators are capable of generating between 250 to 1,000 watts of power. This type of generator is ideal if you’re looking for a unit that’s more versatile, as it can provide electricity for a wider range of items.

As for the large solar generators, you can expect these units to reach as high as 10,000 watts of power. These are great for powering large appliances and can operate for an extended period.

Can a Solar-Powered Generator Power a House?

Can a Solar-Powered Generator Power a House

The majority of solar generators today aren’t powerful enough to provide electricity for an entire house. However, units with high wattage are capable of powering as much as 85% of the appliances in the home.

One solar generator isn’t sufficient for the house but it’s possible to link several generators together to do achieve the same goal, However, there are a few areas to consider before doing so.

These include:

  • Knowing your energy usage: The average home consumes about 877 kWh every month, which is equivalent to about 29 kWh daily. It’s important to know if your solar generators can generate the same amount of electricity to cover your entire home.
  • Size of solar panels: Since solar generators have their own solar panels, these devices should be big enough to compensate for recharging their batteries. Additionally, it can take several hours for batteries to fully recharge. This also depends on the amount of sunlight during the day.
  • Sunlight availability: Homeowners who live in less sunny climates can’t expect to get a lot from their solar generators. That’s why these units are often purchased in places where it’s constantly sunny during the day to make the most of sunlight availability.

What Can You Run on a Solar Generator?

What Can You Run on a Solar Generator

A solar generator can power almost all standard appliances in the home, including things such as microwaves, laptops, mobile devices, lights, ceiling fans, and more.

Solar generators work as ideal alternatives in case of power outages or when solar energy from the grid is currently unavailable.

There are portable solar generators that are great for camping especially since they are easy to bring around whenever needed. These units can provide people with some of the comforts from their home even when they are outdoors.

You can also find solar generators that can provide power higher than their indicated watt capacity. Such a feat is possible by leveraging next-generation charge controllers.

These devices are designed to let you push a unit to reach an output higher than 1,000 watts, allowing you to use it for emergency purposes. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this will quickly consume the charge of the generator used.

Can You Use a Solar Generator Every Day?

Can You Use a Solar Generator Every Day

You can use a solar generator any time. Since the energy provided by your unit comes from the sun, you don’t need to worry about buying fuel to keep it charged.

The only caveat is that you need to put it out in the sun ever so often to recharge it. If you don’t recharge a solar generator, then you won’t be able to use it the next day. Careful consideration of when you charge it and when you use it is necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions

With the main questions regarding solar generators answered, let’s take a look at the other inquiries people often ask about these products.

Do Solar Generators Work on Cloudy Days?

Do Solar Generators Work on Cloudy Days?

Solar panels allow you to take advantage of the clean and renewable energy provided by the sun.

But do these solar generators work even on cloudy days? The short answer is yes, they do.

The photovoltaic (PV) cells in their solar panels are capable of using direct and indirect sunlight in order to generate power. This allows them to continue charging even with minimal sunlight.

Keep in mind that solar panels will continue to remain functional even if clouds are obstructing sunlight but they will produce energy at a diminished rate. You can expect the panels of your units to generate anywhere from 10 to 25% of their regular power output during cloudy days.

Do Solar Generators Work at Night?

Do Solar Generators Work at Night?

Solar generators obtain their energy from the sun and provide people with sustainable solutions for their electrical needs. If you’re wondering whether or not these units can still be used to power devices at night, then yes, they still do.

The charged batteries of your solar generators will let you operate them to provide you with electricity. How long your power will last from your units is highly dependent on their overall capacity, and how much you charged it during the day.

If you want to know if your solar generators will continue producing energy even at night time, then the answer is no, they don’t. The PV cells present in your unit’s solar panels need the light from the sun to generate electricity. It’s not like a phone where you can charge it overnight and have it ready to go the next day – you need to charge it during the day.

Do Solar Generators Work in Winter?

Do Solar Generators Work in Winter

Yes, solar generators can continue working in winter so long as there is sunlight available. In fact, some experts say that cold weather conditions can improve the performance of these units.

This is probably because the photovoltaic technology within the solar panels is able to convert sunlight to electricity more efficiently when cold. There’s also a good chance that snow reflects extra sunlight to the panels of solar generators, thereby improving their ability to draw in energy.

However, one thing to keep in mind is that solar generators won’t work when their panels are covered in snow. You’ll need to wipe away the snow every now and then to ensure that your units can continue acquiring energy from the sun. You’ll also want to make sure your unit is sufficiently waterproofed before leaving it outside. Typically the panels are waterproof, but the battery is likely not.

Do Solar Generators Produce Carbon Monoxide?

The batteries of solar generators operate by consuming clean and renewable power. Compared to standard fuel generators, they don’t emit harmful fumes such as carbon monoxide.

Do Solar Generators Make Noise?

A solar generator doesn’t produce noise during operation. They aren’t the same as conventional fuel-powered units that have multiple moving parts that can cause them to emit disturbing noises.

Perhaps the only noise you can expect to hear from the generator comes from its inverter. Even if there’s noise, though, it’s going to be extremely minimal and can be easily ignored by most people.

Can I Use a Solar Generator Even While It’s Charging?

The ability to use a solar generator even as it recharges will highly depend on its charge controller. Powerful controllers can let people use various devices and appliances at the same time generators are charging.

However, you should note that doing so will slow down its charging process. This means that you won’t be able to fully top up your batteries at the time you expect them.

Although there’s no danger to using a charging solar generator, you simply can’t keep it running for a long time. This is especially true when the devices and appliances you have connected consume a high rate of electricity.

How Long Will a Solar Generator’s Batteries Last?

The type of batteries of your solar generator plays a huge factor in how long they will last. Typically, you can expect standard lead-acid batteries to last about 3 to 5 years.

Conclusion

Solar generators can work in various conditions thanks to the modern technology we have nowadays. It’s possible to get them to charge even during cloudy days or winter conditions.

However, the panels of your units will draw energy the most when it’s sunny outside. High-quality solar generators are capable of operating a wide range of devices and can last for a long time.

It’s important to consider what size and type of solar generator you need before deciding to purchase.

As someone seeking ways to enhance my home with smart devices while remaining budget-conscious, I’ve been drawn to the Honeywell Lyric T5 smart thermostat. If you’re in a similar situation, let me share my experience using the device with you; hopefully, this review can help you make a well-informed decision.

Honeywell Lyric T5 Review

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Main Selling Points

The Lyric T5 boasts many attractive features, not the least of which is its affordable price point compared to other similar models on the market. Its flexible scheduling options and user-friendly mobile app streamline the user experience, while its compatibility with popular home ecosystems like Apple HomeKit and Amazon Alexa adds to its allure. However, its advanced geofencing feature truly sets it apart, which optimizes your home’s temperature and conserves energy when you’re away.

Geofencing

This feature relies on your mobile device’s GPS location to determine your proximity to your home. The idea is simple – the Lyric T5 reduces energy consumption when you’re not at home and preconditions your house to your desired temperature upon your return.

Setting up geofencing is a breeze. You only need to connect the Lyric T5 to the Honeywell Lyric mobile app. If your household has multiple users, everyone can create a Lyric app account and add it to their smartphone. Thus, the thermostat switches to the away setting when the last person leaves and reverts to the comfort setting when the first person arrives home.

Scheduling

The Lyric T5 provides several ways to control your home’s climate:

  1. Location-based: Using the location of your mobile device, it transitions to energy-saving mode when you’re out and switches on the cooling or heating system when you’re on your way home.
  2. Time-based: You can set a climate schedule for the entire week, with the flexibility to choose from different timing options.
  3. Smart: This method is a mix of location-based and time-based scheduling. The thermostat adheres to your schedule, but if it senses you’re still at home when the program is set to away, it maintains the home’s comfort level.
  4. Manual: If you prefer total control, you can manually adjust the climate using the smartphone app or thermostat.

Display and Ease of Use

Unlike its predecessor, the Lyric T3, the T5 sports a big, bright, touch-enabled, and motion-activated display. The display furnishes key data such as the time, set temperature point, current indoor temperature, primary menu options, and mode and fan options. While you can manage most features directly from the thermostat’s interface, some, like geofencing and schedules, are easier to configure via the Lyric mobile app.

Smart Features

A standout smart feature in the Lyric T5 is the Smart Response, which ensures the temperature is at your desired level at a specific scheduled time. This thermostat also sends smart alerts, reminding you when to maintain your HVAC system and notifying you of unusual conditions, such as an unusually high indoor temperature.

Compatibility with Smart Home Ecosystems

The Lyric T5 is versatile and integrates seamlessly with popular smart home ecosystems like Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, and Google Home. Furthermore, it works well with IFTTT (If This Then That), allowing a more intricate communication network between your smart devices.

Limitations

Despite its numerous advantages, the Lyric T5 does have some limitations. Its design is rather conservative and may not appeal to users who prefer a modern, stylish look. Moreover, it lacks energy consumption reports and motion or humidity sensors. Also, it needs a C-Wire, which can be an added expense if your home doesn’t already have one.

Installation

Installation is relatively simple, thanks to Honeywell’s experience and clear instructions. However, the requirement of a C-Wire for power can be a hurdle if your house isn’t already equipped with one.

Compatibility

The Lyric T5 works with most 24-volt air conditioning, heating, and heat pump systems. However, it does require a C-Wire (24 VAC power), and there aren’t any alternatives if your home lacks this. Also, it’s not compatible with 120-240V electric baseboard heating units or multi-volt cooling and heating systems.

Personal Experience and User Testimonials

I can vouch for its convenience and efficiency after using the Lyric T5 for over a year. The geofencing feature ensures that I return to a home that’s just the right temperature. The scheduling options are flexible and intuitive, allowing me to program the thermostat according to my daily routine.

User feedback from online forums and direct conversations generally mirrors my experience—most praise the device’s affordability, energy-saving capabilities, and easy-to-use interface.

Comparative Assessment

When compared to competitors like Nest or Ecobee, the Lyric T5 holds its own quite well, especially when you consider its lower price point. While it might not have some of the high-end features like motion or humidity sensors found in other models, the features it does offer, such as the geofencing, deliver impressive value for its cost. For a detailed comparison with other models like the Nest, you can check out our Nest Alternatives post.

Expert Opinions and Performance Data

HVAC professionals that I consulted also endorse the Lyric T5. They appreciate its easy installation process, broad compatibility with different HVAC systems, and considerable energy savings for customers.

Regarding performance data, the Lyric T5 has helped me save about 15% on my energy bills, thanks to the smart scheduling and geofencing feature. This aligns with the experience of other users who reported similar savings.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for an affordable smart Wi-Fi thermostat that does not skimp on the features, the Honeywell Lyric T5 might be an excellent choice. It balances smart capabilities and price points, making it a viable option for those looking to upgrade from a conventional thermostat.

Just bear in mind the C-Wire requirement before purchasing – if your home isn’t equipped with one, you might need to hire an electrician to install it, adding to your overall cost.

Contemporary air conditioners are designed to operate quietly. These high-efficiency units utilize two-stage variable heat compressor technology and sound reduction measures to keep noise levels under 55 decibels. If you own such a unit, you likely seldom consider its noise levels. That is until the unit begins to sound louder than usual. If this starts occurring, chances are that you will notice and might wonder if something is going wrong with your unit.

If you begin hearing odd, uncharacteristic noises from a normally quiet unit, it’s best not to ignore them. The problem could be something that a very basic tune-up can address, or it might require major repairs. Sometimes, the cost of the repairs could exceed that of replacing the unit altogether. In either case, ignoring unusual noises is unlikely to produce anything positive for your air conditioner. The longer you let the loud noises continue without addressing them, the higher your risk of costly repairs becomes. To that end, it’s best to address these AC issues without wasting time.

The sounds you might hear from your air conditioner unit may vary. Here are some common noises your air conditioner may make and their probable causes.

Air Conditioner Making [Fill in the Blank] Noise

Banging

If you begin to hear banging from inside your unit, it is most likely due to a broken or detached part. It might be a piston pin, a crankshaft, a connecting rod, or any other internal components that make up the internal compressor that has snapped or disconnected or a poorly balanced internal blower in play. If a component of a compressor has broken, it is almost certain that the compressor will need to be replaced.

Buzzing

One of the toughest noises to diagnose is when the AC unit begins to buzz. This could be due to a relatively minor and simple repair, including changing an air filter to something much more serious. Sometimes buzzing is caused by loose parts inside the unit or the copper lines that run from the outside to the inside of the unit touching something and vibrating off that surface. It could also mean a debris blockage on the outside or inside of the unit, or the condenser coil requires maintenance or cleaning.

More seriously, it could mean that the internal fan blades are not balanced correctly, the unit has loose parts, the blower is imbalanced or failing, or a refrigerant leak. The latter is especially evident if the unit seems to be working but not blowing cold air. If the refrigerant has leaked out, it will need to be refilled, and the source of the leak needs to be patched.

Clanking

If you hear clanking in your AC unit, chances are there is a part that is not balanced or is loose. This sometimes happens because a particular internal component of the compressor breaks, usually causing the necessity for repair and replacement. If parts are loose, such as the internal fans, it could mean that the out-of-place parts are hitting other internal units. The longer this is permitted to persist, the worse the problems get. Not only will the loose part incur more damage, but it will also likely send the parts it’s hitting into disrepair.

Clicking

When the unit starts up or stops, it is normal to hear clicking sounds, but it is atypical to hear them throughout the unit’s standard operation. If the clicking is frequent or perpetual once the unit is turned on, it could be a sign of a failing thermostat or a defective control. Electrical issues typically cause these. These can lead to far more costly, and even dangerous problems, so it is important to stay on top of addressing clicking noises if they persist.

Humming

Normal humming is not indicative of a serious issue in AC units. The humming noise could result from vibrations due to loose refrigerant piping or other parts, which, if not attended to, can exacerbate greater problems. Humming is also sometimes due to electrical issues like loose wiring or a malfunctioning compressor.

Pulsating

Another noise that does not always indicate a problem is when the unit pulsates. Most units have some minor pulsation emanating from them, which is normal. However, this pulsing should be barely audible unless you are listening for it. If an outdoor unit begins to make noises that you can hear inside, some parts are likely to be loose, and others inside the unit may need to be repaired or replaced. These parts can range from something as benign as a panel on the unit coming loose, to loose motor or fan blades, which is a significantly more serious problem.

Rattling

Rattling inside your unit can sometimes be caused by outdoor debris like leaves and branches getting caught in your system, leading to a clogging issue. However, it can also indicate issues with the electrical contractor or loosening parts inside the compressor. Loose fans also tend to rattle more as they become increasingly detached and imbalanced. If you begin to hear chattering or rattling noises in your unit, your first troubleshooting actions should include checking to ensure that all the bolts and screws in the unit are tight and secure. You should also consider changing your air filter and cleaning your condenser coil.

Squealing

When indoor blower motors and outdoor fan motors begin to degrade in terms of efficiency, they exhibit the telltale sign of squealing as the noises travel through the duct systems. Squealing can also be indicative of malfunctioning or damaged housing or blower wheels. Because certain units may inherently squeal to some degree, it’s important to pay attention to the nature of these squeals to distinguish between those that are normal and those that are irregular.

Screaming

One noise that calls for an immediate cessation of your AC unit’s use is if you begin to hear a “screaming” or high-pitched whistling noise. At this point, a professional needs to come and inspect the unit, and it should not be used until the problem is addressed. One of the most common reasons for this problem is a refrigerant leak, which, aside from being highly detrimental to your AC unit, can also harm the health of the residents in your home. Another dangerous reason for the screaming sound is the over-pressurization of the internal compressor. In some situations involving this type of problem, the AC unit is equipped with a sensor that will shut the unit off. If this happens, don’t worry. This is a failsafe mechanism included for your safety.

Whirring

A whirring sound, reminiscent of the type of noise expected when a helicopter flies overhead, is an indication of several potential problems with the outdoor unit or the indoor blower. Usually, a whirring sound is indicative of bad bearings in the indoor blower, or a faulty fan in either the external or internal AC unit. While it could also be caused by a torn or ripped belt, the usual cause of whirring noises are displaced or loosened fan blades. The helicopter-like noise occurs when the blades are spinning at an angle, out of place, or striking something they shouldn’t be. However, faulty parts are not always to blame. Sometimes, the whirring noise can be due to a piece of debris being stuck in the outdoor fan or the indoor blower. As it gets caught up in the blades, it creates a helicopter-like sound as well.

What To Do About a Loud Air Conditioner

What To Do About a Loud Air Conditioner

You don’t always need to worry about calling a professional for AC unit repairs. When there’s a new noise that you’re not accustomed to hearing, you should investigate the unit yourself as many problems have DIY solutions. Often, the solution is quite simple. Various debris, including tree branches, twigs, leaves, and seed pods, are well known to clog up air conditioning coils, resulting in buzzing or pulsing sounds.

In most cases, you can remove the top of your air conditioning unit with just a screwdriver and closely inspect the fans. Loose parts, especially when in motion, are usually easy to spot. You can also change the filter on your unit, as well as clean an outdoor unit from all the nature debris on it with a spray from a hose.

If the noises start to be concerning, before inspecting a unit with the cover off, it’s always advisable to power it down. You should do this regardless of whether a professional is coming over to take a look at it or you are checking it out yourself. This is a very basic precautionary measure. If the air conditioner unit is broken, keeping it running could only expedite the damage and prove to be more costly than if you had just stopped it after the initial problem was noticed. To stay on top of potential looming issues, it’s always a good idea to schedule an annual tune-up where professionals will check the status of all the important parts involved and hopefully give your AC a clean bill of health.

Make Air Conditioner Quieter

Make Air Conditioner Quieter

If there is nothing wrong with your unit, but you still feel that it is far too loud, there are a couple of options to make it quieter. One option is a sound blanket. Since most of the noise from an AC unit originates from its compressor, a sound blanket can be installed over it in order to muffle the compressor’s sounds.

A sound-dampening fence around the unit is another common option for homeowners. Not only does it hide the often unattractive unit from sight, but it also helps to quiet the noise from the unit as it is obstructed by the fence. This type of fence is best installed using fencing with overlapping boards, though it’s important to maintain a space of at least three feet between the fence and the unit to allow the AC to maintain proper airflow.

Another method that homeowners employ to sound-dampen their AC units is to plant shrubs around the air conditioner. Of course, these will need to be at a certain distance and will need consistent pruning to prevent them from growing into or obstructing the optimal operation of the unit.

Additionally, many homeowners place plants against the windows inside the home, specifically those near the AC unit. Larger houseplants against the wall adjacent to the AC typically help to block the noise more effectively. Moreover, if the AC unit is outside of a bedroom, it’s a good idea to install noise-absorbing curtains in order to keep the noise level down for sensitive sleepers.

When Is It Time To Replace A Noisy Air Conditioner?

When Is It Time To Replace A Noisy Air Conditioner

Older units that begin to become noisy are usually best discarded and replaced. While repairs are still possible, some problems are just too expensive to address. For instance, older units used R22 refrigerant, which has since been replaced by R410-A in newer units. However, the two are not interchangeable, so older units require their type of refrigerant. The problem is, since it’s far less common these days, it becomes more challenging to find services that still stock and carry R22, and its acquisition ends up being more costly.

As the main functional component of an air conditioning unit, when the compressor becomes deficient, it will likely cost more to replace it than to just invest in a new unit. The newer unit will carry the benefits of being quieter, as well as more energy efficient. You might find that your electric bill drops substantially with a new unit, meaning that over its lifetime, the savings will essentially have the unit pay for itself.

If your air conditioner needs replacement, look into a company that can provide a strong warranty. This could save you substantial money on the costs of the unit and its installation. This will also help you rest assured that you are operating a newer, quieter, and more reliable AC unit.

Getting a clear answer to “How long do windows last?” can be a challenge for homeowners.

In the guide below, we’ll dive into the average window lifespan, the factors that impact how long windows last, and signs you need to replace your windows.

How many years do windows last?

Like many other features in your home, the parts of a window will ultimately diminish over time, and you’ll need to replace them. On average, most residential windows last between 15 to 30 years. There is some variance in lifespan based on a number of factors, including window type.

How long should wood windows last?

On average, wood windows last between 15 to 20 years. There are exceptions where wood windows can last a really long time. This depends on the type of wood used in the frame. Maintenance and care are also variables that affect the lifespan of wood windows. Overall, wood windows are beautiful, but they can have a somewhat short lifespan because they are prone to termites, insects, and rot.

How long do vinyl windows last?

On average, vinyl windows last between 20 to 40 years. Vinyl windows are popular among homeowners due to their longevity. They also are relatively low maintenance, cheaper than wood windows, and easy to install. Because they are built with non-corrosive compounds, they are less susceptible to damage and warping from weather variations.

How long do aluminum windows last?

On average, aluminum windows last between 20 to 25 years. Aluminum, or metal windows, are very lightweight and are one of the most economical options for replacement windows. However, they are more likely to show wear and tear, such as dents, cracks, scratches, and rust.

How long do fiberglass windows last?

Fiberglass windows have some of the longest lifespans and can last up to 50 years. While more expensive than other options, these windows provide a number of benefits, including better insulation and noise control. They are a great option for consumers who want to upgrade the windows in their forever home.

Window Lifespan Variables

Window Lifespan Variables

While the above numbers are good baselines, homeowners should take note of the following factors that can both prolong and decrease window lifespan.

Window Quality and Manufacturer

Not all windows are created equally. When looking at replacing your windows, evaluate the manufacturer closely. What type of products do they use? What does their manufacturing process look like? Are they based locally? To get a good gauge on window quality, ask your window sales consultant about warranties. Product warranties are a great indicator of how confident that manufacturer is in their product, and how long most of their products will last.

Frequency of Use

Normal operation of windows over the years can lead to wear and tear. Depending on how often you open and close certain windows, you may need to repair or replace certain parts more frequently.

A lot of the typical usage functions of a window such as the sash or crank, can often me easily replaced or repaired. Some of these items may be also covered under a window warranty (if present).

Overall, keep in mind that windows are designed to open and close for cleaning and ventilation. Just be careful when operating to not force open or close the windows as this may cause more damage and lead to costly replacements.

Climate and Weather

Where you live, weather, and seasonal variations also play a role in how long your windows will last.

While most modern windows are built for durability, certain severe climates can cause them to break down faster. The windows in your home will sometimes need to battle elements like extreme hot and cold temperatures, sunlight, and moisture.

These climate and weather variances can cause warping, wear, and discoloration over long periods of time.

Installation

How your windows are installed also plays a direct role in window lifespan. Make sure to work with a reputable window installation company when replacing the windows in your home. Professional installation will make sure that your windows are sized and fit properly. This is critical for energy efficiency, but also important to ensure a long lifespan. When windows are improperly installed, water and outside elements can seep in around the window and cause damage.

How do I know if my windows need replacing?

How do I know if my windows need replacing

If you’re wondering how long windows last on average, you may have noticed something wrong with your windows that indicates they need replacing. Age is a good indicator of whether or not you should replace your windows, but there are other tell-tale signs that your windows are nearing the end of their life.

Some signs that your windows need replacing include:

Uncomfortable Living Spaces

If you have difficulty keeping your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter, old windows may be the culprit. Pay attention to uncomfortable drafts near your windows. This could be an indicator of poor installation or potentially broken seals.

High Utility Bills

If you’re starting to notice hot and cold spots near windows, you’ll likely see a high utility bill follow. Choosing ENERGY STAR Windows can help improve energy efficiency and reduce utility costs. Old, leaky, inefficient windows results in your heating and cooling systems having to work overtime, which will come at a premium.

Damaged Window Frames

Inspect the frames around your windows. Signs of deep cracks, rot, and other unsightly blemishes to the window frame can indicate a bigger problem. Damaged frames are likely going to result in unwanted heat transfer, flooding, and window failure.

Usability

If you find yourself having issues opening or closing your windows, you may need to look at replacing your windows. Older single and double-hung windows become more difficult to operate over time. This usually happens because of settling and frequent use where systems fail.

Condensation

Condensation between window panes is a common problem, especially with double-pane windows. If you notice condensation that just won’t go away, this is typically an indicator of a broken seal. Replacing the window at this stage should be prioritized because efficiency and visibility are depleted.

How do you extend the life of a window?

How do you extend the life of a window

Taking good care of your windows and implementing a routine window maintenance schedule will help you extend their lifespan. For more detailed maintenance tips, check out This Old House – How to Maintain Your Windows or Family Handyman – How to Maintain Home Windows.

The best way to extend the life of your windows is to regularly inspect them. Set a quarterly calendar reminder to check up on all the windows in your home. Pay attention to the window frame and sash. Look for signs of rot and water damage. Catching these symptoms early will allow you to diagnose the culprit and rectify the problem before it’s beyond repair.

Another way to simply stay on top of your windows, while providing years to their lifespan, is to clean them regularly. When cleaning your windows, make sure to deep clean all parts including the glass, casing, frame, and surrounding walls. This will help reduce dirt and grime that builds up around the windows that can result in malfunction.

Additionally, consider these tips to extend the life of your windows:

  • Regularly check for and repair any damage to the sealing or weatherstripping.
  • Ensure proper drainage around the window to prevent water damage.
  • Apply appropriate treatments to wood windows to protect against pests and rot.
  • Lubricate moving parts, such as hinges and tracks, to ensure smooth operation.
  • Inspect and repair any damaged or worn hardware, such as locks and latches.
  • Install window film or shades to protect against harmful UV rays that can cause discoloration and warping.

By taking the time to maintain your windows and address any issues early on, you can help extend their lifespan and ensure they continue to function efficiently and effectively for years to come.

We all like to save a little money here and there. What if we told you that you could do so and save the planet simultaneously as a New Jersey resident?

Below, you can learn about the New Jersey Clean Energy Program, available incentives, and how to redeem them.

What Is the New Jersey Clean Energy Program?

What is the New Jersey Clean Energy Program

The New Jersey Clean Energy Program is a statewide plan. Its goal is to help New Jersey residents, local governments, and business owners preserve energy. In the process, these beneficiaries save the environment and put some money back into their pockets.

The program’s efforts will contribute to the Energy Master Plan’s goals. This plan is part of the state’s long-term objective to get New Jersey to operate on 100% clean energy by 2050.

Who Runs the New Jersey Clean Energy Program?

Who Runs the New Jersey Clean Energy Program?

The Office of Clean Energy runs the NJ Clean Energy Program. The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) established this office in 2003.

This office was there to run the New Jersey program in its early years and continues to do so today.

However, the New Jersey Clean Energy Program doesn’t operate privately. Instead, it consists of representatives from multiple industries.

Some parties representing the program include government and industry professionals, public interest groups, energy experts, and academicians.

These parties worked to set up stakeholder groups. This way, they can have a say in the New Jersey Clean Energy Program’s operations.
Stakeholder groups facilitate the development of the New Jersey Clean Energy Program and provide advice regarding its goals, objectives, administration, design, budget, and evaluation.

With its stakeholders, this plan is where it is today.

Anyone, including non-stakeholders, can participate in stakeholder meetings to further facilitate the New Jersey Clean Energy Program’s impact on the state.

What Rebates Are Available for the New Jersey Clean Energy Program?

New Jersey Clean Energy Program Rebates

While the New Jersey Clean Energy Program is about protecting the environment, you’ll also have the chance to put some money in your pockets.

For Residents

Check out some rebates available for New Jersey residents:

Home Performance with ENERGY STAR

The Home Performance program with ENERGY STAR is a whole-house solution. When you enroll, you can add anywhere from 5 to 30% of your energy bill back into your wallet.

You can receive a rebate of up to $4,000 and a 0% interest loan. You’ll also get to work with qualified technicians who’ll assess your home’s condition and perform an energy audit to maximize your savings.

Electric Vehicles

The transportation sector emits tons of greenhouse gases, and New Jersey wants to cut these down.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is attempting to register more than 300,000 EVs by 2025. You can receive up to $5,000 from the New Jersey Clean Energy Program when you lease or buy a new, eligible electric vehicle.

Gas/Oil Furnaces & Boilers

You can qualify for a rebate on gas/oil furnaces or boilers depending on your unit’s type and AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency). The higher the efficiency level, the greater your reward will be.

Water Heaters

Homeowners often replace water heaters hastily because of emergencies. They’ll select whichever is the appropriate storage tank size for their building.

However, it would help if you considered several factors when picking the best water heater for your home:

  • Energy efficiency: measures how efficiently your unit burns gas
  • First-hour rating: measures how much water your unit will deliver during a heavy-use hour
  • Equipment capacity: measures how large your unit is (one that’s too big will result in wasted energy)

The rebate from the New Jersey Clean Energy Program will vary depending on which water heater you invest in, but homeowners can receive up to $800 (and even more in some cases)

Heat Pumps

The New Jersey Clean Energy Program calculates rebates for heat pumps based on three rating factors: the HSPF, EER, and SEER. To qualify for the refund, your heat pump must meet the minimum level for all three rating factors.

Mini-Split A/C Systems

Mini-split A/C systems let you adjust the temperatures in individual spaces. They can be efficient with good SEER and EER ratings, but older models can harm the environment and your wallet.

The NJCEP offers residents up to $500 to install heat pumps that meet predetermined minimum efficiency levels.

Central Air Conditioners

For its central air conditioner rebates, the NJCEP considers the SEER and EER of the unit and the air handler, coil, and compressor (if applicable). Homeowners may receive anywhere from $300-$500 for an eligible central air conditioner.

Refrigerators

More than 60 million U.S. refrigerators are over ten years old. The NJCEP is doing its part by attempting to weed these products out of homes. It offers anywhere from $25 to $75 for homeowners to install more efficient models.

Clothes Washers

Did you know the average U.S. household washes nearly 300 laundry loads yearly?

As an N.J. homeowner, you can buy an ENERGY STAR-qualified clothes washer and lower your energy and water costs over the long term. Plus, the NJCEP will give you between $50 and $75 to install a new machine in your house.

Clothes Dryers

Modern clothes dryers certified by ENERGY STAR can use up to 20% less energy than older models. A Baseline ENERGY STAR rebate is $100, but a model with the ENERGY STAR Most Efficient label will make you $300 richer.

Appliance Recycling

If you’re planning on putting a new home appliance in, you have to get rid of your old one somehow. Don’t just throw it out — consider recycling it through the New Jersey Clean Energy Program.

You’ll receive a $50 reward for every working refrigerator or freezer you recycle. You can also contact the NJCEP to recycle an A.C. unit for $25, but you must have it ready for pickup during the same appointment as your freezer or refrigerator.

Dehumidifiers, Air Purifiers, and Room ACs

You can qualify for a $50, $25, and $15 rebate when installing a new air purifier, dehumidifier, and room AC unit.

New Home Construction

Are you planning to build a new home? You can explore one of the four tiers that the NJCEP recognizes and benefit from:

  • Less overall energy use
  • Increased savings
  • High-performance cooling and heating
  • Tighter construction and wall-to-wall comfort
  • Advanced inspections to ensure builders follow strict requirements

For Businesses & Governments

Individual homeowners are just some of the ones who can apply for a rebate. NJ businesses and local governments can also seek a New Jersey Clean Energy Program refund.

Benchmarking Services

The NJCEP offers commercial, industrial, institutional, and higher-education building benchmarking services.

Qualified professionals assess a facility’s energy performance through these services and compare it to other buildings. They’ll then provide an informative report that details new technologies to implement and accompanying financial incentives to reduce the cost of the new projects.

Pay for Performance

Another way the New Jersey Clean Energy Program helps businesses and governments is through its Pay for Performance program. This program offers incentives for whole-building energy advancements.

Larger buildings most often take advantage of this program. As you look into this program, the NJCEP will help you find an approved partner so you can seek services directly under a reputable contractor.

Combined Heat and Power

One of the more specific programs available for businesses and governments deals with Combined Heat & Power (CHP) and fuel cells. The NJCEP offers generous rebates on these products, as they reduce heat waste for intensive industrial and commercial processes.

How Attic Insulation and Air Sealing Can Help You Save Energy and Money with New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program

Attic insulation and air sealing are two measures that reduce heat loss or gain through your attic. Heat loss or gain occurs when warm air escapes or enters your home through gaps or cracks in your attic floor or roof. This makes your heating or cooling system work harder and use more energy to maintain a comfortable temperature inside your home.

Adding insulation and sealing air leaks in your attic can create a barrier that prevents heat transfer between your home and the outside. This means you can keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter with less energy. According to ENERGY STAR, you can save up to 15% on heating and cooling costs by properly insulating and sealing your attic.

To participate in the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program, you must contact a certified contractor who will perform a comprehensive home energy assessment for $250 (a $500 value). The contractor will evaluate your home’s current energy use and recommend improvements to make it more efficient. The contractor will also provide you with an estimate of how much you can save on energy bills by implementing these improvements.

Depending on the scope of work and the estimated savings, you may qualify for rebates up to $4,000 or financing options up to $10,000 at 0% interest for seven years through NJCEP2. You may also be eligible for additional incentives from your local utility company.

By upgrading your attic insulation and air sealing with NJCEP’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program, you can save money on your energy bills and contribute to New Jersey’s clean energy goals. You can also enjoy a more comfortable, healthy, and durable home for years to come.

To learn more about this program or find a certified contractor near you, visit NJCEP or call 866-NJSMART (866-657-6278).

How to Submit a Rebate for the New Jersey Clean Energy Program

How to Submit a Rebate for NJ Clean Energy Program

If you’ve made improvements to your home and want to take advantage of the rebates, you have two options:

Applying Online through the NJ Clean Energy Program Portal

We recommend applying for a rebate online, as this method will be the fastest way to earn your reward. Alternatively, you can fill out a printed paper form and mail it in, but it’ll take much longer to receive compensation.

If possible, fill out your application online. Navigate to the rebate you’re interested in and click on either the Customer or Contractor Portal (whichever one applies to you). Then, select the “Start a Rebate Application” button.

You must verify your eligibility, assemble your account numbers, and gather the appropriate documents. You can see all the documents you need before you start the application.

Applying through Your Utility Company

You must apply for a rebate through the New Jersey Clean Energy Program website. However, you’ll soon be able to apply directly through your utility company.

This convenience will simplify enrolling in the program, saving money, and improving the environment’s health even simpler.

How Long Does It Take to Receive NJ Clean Energy Rebate?

On average, receiving your rebate can take 90-120 days.

What Resources Does the New Jersey Clean Energy Program Offer?

NJ Clean Energy Program Resources

You can visit the New Jersey Clean Energy Program website for a comprehensive list of resources. These resources include downloadable applications and informative program presentations.

You can also visit a separate website called the New Jersey Clean Energy Learning Center. This site is the main program’s educational portal. It contains multiple video presentations and guides to help you better understand the program.

Conclusion — Understanding the New Jersey Clean Energy Program

The New Jersey Clean Energy Program is an excellent way to encourage residents, businesses, and local governments to implement eco-friendly energy initiatives.

The program has run successfully for nearly twenty years and shows no signs of stopping. Visit the official website to learn more. Start applying for rebates and earn money for your eco-friendly efforts!