You Can Power Your Home From the Wind, But Should You?

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It seems like everything is more expensive these days, and one of the most worrying bills to hit your bank account is for home energy use. From gas to electricity, the cost of lighting, heating and keeping our lives connected isn’t going down anytime soon, so it’s no wonder people are increasingly turning to renewable energy sources to bridge the budget gap. doing (and, incidentally, making the world a little more sustainable).

The most obvious option for your home is solar power, partly because there are several government programs that offer tax breaks and a growing number of contractors offering installation. But not every roof is ideal for solar power, and not everyone likes the idea of ​​putting large panels on their roof, which makes repairs more complicated and more likely to leak. If that’s you, there’s another option: wind power.

You’ve probably seen images of vast fields of wind turbines standing in the middle of nowhere, peacefully spinning and generating electricity. If you’re not into solar power—or you just want to keep the juices flowing on a rainy day when the sun isn’t out—you could theoretically install a wind power system in your home. Perhaps. Here’s an overview of what to consider.

How to know if wind power could work for you

Before you get too excited about this option for securing that sweet free electricity, consider whether you can actually install a turbine on your property. Some ideas include:

  • place. Wind turbines for home use don’t have to be giant monsters you see out of nowhere, but they do have serious space requirements. Generally speaking, your wind turbine should have at least 30 feet high than any nearby structures (including your home) or geographic features within 300 feet of its location, as those structures will interfere with the wind. You’ll also need to choose a location that’s windy, so you’ll need to survey your property to determine if you have a good location for one—keeping in mind that small turbines on your roof may be ideal for you. can also be installed.
  • Zoning and Permits. The next thing to do is check with your local government and/or your homeowner’s association (HOA) to see if you are allowed to install a wind turbine, or if you need to go through a permit process. Turbines can be noisy, and people often have aesthetic complaints about them, so it pays to check.
  • wind speed. It may seem obvious that air movement in your home is important, but it’s more complicated than you might think. All wind turbines are known as “cut inSpeed—The minimum wind speed that will generate electricity through a turbine. usually this Speed ​​is between 6-9 miles per hour (mph), which isn’t exactly gale force, but if you don’t get at least as consistent wind speed as you normally would, you’re not going to get much return on your turbine investment. turbine is also Evaluation Speed, which is where the turbine produces its maximum power—if your winds are rarely that high, your turbine will work, but you won’t get maximum output. One of the wind turbinescut out“speed to protect them during storms—once the winds exceed their maximum tolerance, the turbines will shut down.
  • electricity needed. To figure out how much upfront investment your wind farm will require, you first need to know how much power you need from it. If your goal is to power your entire home, you need to know how much electricity is needed. on average, American households use about 886 kWh (kWh) of electricity a month., which is 886,000 watts. That’s a lot of watts, considering that many small home wind turbines are rated at 3,000 watts or less, meaning you may need to install several turbines to meet your power needs. Is.
  • Bird. yes, wind turbine kill a lot of birds every year (also, bats). Painting the blades black can help, but if your area has a lot of avian life, be prepared to spend some time picking through dead birds—and consider whether you want to be responsible for the carnage. Huh.

well you’ve done your research and you know can do Install a wind turbine on your property. The other question to answer is: should you?

Is it worth installing a wind turbine?

Whether or not wind turbine installation is a smart move for you depends on what you need to get out of it, and whether or not you can achieve those goals. If you have the ability and space to install a turbine (or several), consider the average cost of a wind turbine setup that meets a home’s electricity needs. is around $12,000 Later government incentivesand the return on investment (ROI) for that setup can be up to 15 years,

Even if you can handle the install, if the winds rarely come above an average cut-in rate of 6-9 mph, you will never generate any power, and if the wind speed doesn’t rise to the rated speed of the turbines, you won’t get the most out of them, either, which will adjust your calculations on ROI and how much power you can count on your turbines to generate. Huh. the US government maintains Countrywide wind speed database This may be helpful, but it is not comprehensive. you can also buy a wind meter And take measurements over a few weeks or months to get an idea of ​​what kind of wind speeds you can expect.


So what’s the bottom line? A wind turbine (or several) might be a good idea if you’re looking Appendix Your home power supply or want a good emergency backup power source, And You can get a return on your investment if you are going to stay at the property for the foreseeable future. Wind turbines are not a great option to rely solely on (unless you own a very wind over your property) and if you are planning to sell your property in future, studies have shown that turbines have absolutely Zero impact on your property values-So you won’t get more money for your house just because you have turbine pumps full of juice. This means the only ROI you’ll get is saving on energy costs over the long haul, and that’s a difficult calculation.

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