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- Why Solar?
IT’S A CHOICE WITH MANY BENEFITS
Homeowners across the globe are seeing the solar light. The reasons vary for each person, though they mainly come down to the following
Solar-energy systems allow you to capture free sunlight and convert it into usable power in your home.
Solar energy can be used to heat and cool your home, but it has almost no impact on the global climate. By comparison, electricity generated by power plants produces carbon dioxide emissions that scientists say pose serious threats to the environment.
IT’S INFINITELY RENEWABLE
While nonrenewable energy sources like oil, gas and coal are becoming increasingly scarce, the sun’s energy is limitless. Wherever sunlight shines, electricity can be generated.
IT CAN REDUCE YOUR UTILITY COSTS
Having a system that creates solar energy means you use less electricity from your utility company, and that can contribute to lower heating and cooling costs. This is significant, especially when you consider 48% of energy use in a typical U.S. home comes from heating and cooling*. To find out how much you can save by harnessing energy from the sun, use our solar calculator.
IT COMES WITH INCENTIVES
The U.S. federal government and some states provide tax credits for renewable-energy systems. Depending on where you live, you may also be eligible for incentives through your utility company. To find out what incentives are available in your area, visit dsireusa.org.
IT INCREASES YOUR ENERGY SELF-RELIANCE
The more sunlight harnessed by the system, the less electricity you need from your utility supplier.
IT CAN ALSO INCREASE YOUR HOME’S VALUE
An investment in a solar-energy system may improve the value of your home. Surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have shown that, for every $1000 saved per year, $20,000 may be added to a home’s value.
IT’S EXTREMELY RELIABLE
The sun has been around for billions of years and is likely to burn on for billions more to come. And when you consider how a trusted name like Lennox is putting it to economical use in the home, it’s easy to see solar energy’s future is bright.
*U.S. Department of Energy statistics
- How Solar Works
LEARN HOW TO PUT THE SUN’S POWER TO WORK IN YOUR HOME.
Solar-energy is an infinitely renewable resource that uses the sun’s rays to generate electricity for use in your home. By going solar, you can reduce your energy costs and also lower your dependence on fossil fuels, thereby making your own contribution to a cleaner environment.
A residential solar-energy system uses solar modules, made up of photovoltaic (PV) cells, to harvest the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity that can be used to power your lights, appliances and other electrical devices in the home.
TYPES OF SOLAR SYSTEMS
Grid-tied PV systems
A grid-tied system is the most common and least expensive of all residential solar systems. It allows you to use your own solar-generated electricity to save energy and reduce costs. At times when the PV system isn’t producing electricity, such as at night, electricity is provided by the utility company’s grid, or network of power stations.
One of the benefits of a grid-tied system is that any excess electricity produced by your solar system can be fed back to the grid through a process known as net-metering. With net-metering, which is available in most areas, when you use electricity from the grid your meter spins forward. The less electricity you use from off the grid, the slower your meter spins. Even better, when you are feeding electricity back to the grid, your meter spins backwards!
It’s important to note that the government and utility company rebate incentives that can make installing a solar system so much more affordable usually aren’t available unless your system is grid-tied.
Stand-alone PV systems
Stand-alone PV systems, also called off-the-grid or off-grid, operate independently from the utility grid, providing all of the electricity needed in the home. Stand-alone systems are much more expensive than grid-tied systems. However, for homes located in remote areas without utility service, or where installing power lines would be extremely costly, a stand-alone system is a good option.
ADVANTAGES OF THE SUNSOURCE® HOME ENERGY SYSTEM
The SunSource Home Energy System is a grid-tied PV system that uses as its platform a high-efficiency air conditioner or heat pump from the Dave Lennox Signature® Collection. These units come solar-ready, which means you can add solar modules to create a solar energy system, if and when you want one.
Upgrading to a high-efficiency air conditioner or heat pump from Lennox will allow you to reduce the energy demand of your home before adding solar.
You can start small, with one or two modules, and add more (up to 16 total, per outdoor unit) when your needs change or budget permits.
How SunSource works to reduce your utility costs
- The solar modules harness the sun’s energy to power the SunSource® Solar-Ready heat pump or air conditioner.
- When the heat pump or air conditioner isn’t running, the solar power can also operate other electrical devices in your home.
- With net-metering, any surplus power goes back to the grid possibly entitling homeowners like you to a credit.
- A communication module, which send performance information for each solar module to a monitoring website, allows you to see the system status, energy production, and also shows the environmental benefits of using renewable energy for your home.
- Steps to Solar
A SIMPLE GUIDE FOR GETTING STARTED WITH SOLAR.
Are you ready to get started on the path to real energy savings? The following steps will help you prepare for installation of a SunSource® Home Energy System.
STEP 1 – CALL YOUR LOCAL LENNOX DEALER FOR A CONSULTATION.
Your Dealer has a detailed planning checklist to help determine whether your home meets all the requirements for installation of a SunSource Home Energy System.
STEP 2 – SEE IF YOUR ROOF GETS ENOUGH SUN.
A southern exposure is best, and your roof should be relatively free of shade from trees or structures such as chimneys. Your Lennox Dealer will perform tests to estimate the site’s monthly and annual solar energy generation potential.
STEP 3 – DETERMINE WHETHER YOUR ROOF IS BIG ENOUGH.
Each solar module requires about 15 square feet of rooftop surface area. The number of modules you want installed determines how much space you need. Your Lennox Dealer will help you with the calculations.
STEP 4 – INVESTIGATE POSSIBLE BUILDING RESTRICTIONS IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD.
If you belong to a Homeowners’ Association (HOA), you might be required to submit your solar installation plans for approval ahead of time.
STEP 5 – UPGRADE YOUR INTERNET SERVICE IF NECESSARY.
An always-on Internet connection with broadband router is required to take advantage of the SunSource system’s web-based performance monitoring service.
STEP 6 – CHECK FOR PROPER UTILITY SERVICE AND ELECTRICAL WIRING.
Your Lennox Dealer will check the grid power supplied by your local utility company and also inspect your home’s distribution panel to make sure all required specifications are in order. Your dealer will also need to identify all local electrical code requirements to ensure compliance.
STEP 7 – ASK YOUR LOCAL UTILITY COMPANY IF SOLAR-FRIENDLY PROGRAMS AND POLICIES ARE IN PLACE.
Ask whether your utility company has a net-metering program that will allow you to receive credit for at least a portion of the electricity your SunSource system generates. You will also want to learn whether you must meet power-generating thresholds to qualify for valuable rebate and incentive programs.
STEP 8 – WATCH YOUR UTILITY BILLS SHRINK, RIGHT ALONG WITH YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT.
Once your SunSource Home Energy System is installed, the money-saving and environmental benefits begin! See the savings by using our Solar Calculator.
- SunSource® Home Energy System Savings Calculator
DISCOVER THE DIFFERENCE SOLAR POWER CAN MAKE
The SunSource Home Energy System converts the sun’s energy into electricity that can help reduce the cost of your utility bills. This calculator will estimate how much you can save each year on the heating and cooling portion of your bill, which typically accounts for 48% of your total home energy costs*. It will also calculate the potential environmental benefit.
Click here to see how much you can save!
- Solar House
Learn how the SunSource® Home Energy System works to cut your utility costs.
The SunSource® Home Energy System uses free, abundant solar energy to generate electricity for heating and cooling your home. It can even provide enough electricity to power your lights and appliances and more. The SunSource system is expandable, affordable and remarkably uncomplicated.
Condensing Unit – Select air conditioners and heat pumps from the Dave Lennox Signature® Collection can be modified with a simple upgrade to serve as the platform for the SunSource Home Energy System.
ENERGY STAR® qualified – SunSource® condensing units meet or exceed EPA guidelines for energy efficiency. When combined with solar modules in a complete Home Energy System, they can reduce your heating and cooling bills by up to half.
Solar Modules – As few as one or as many as 16 solar modules can be added at the time of installation or in the future. These modules convert solar energy into usable electrical power for your home.
Communication Module – Uses your broadband Internet connection to send performance information for each solar module to a third-party website where you can see how your SunSource System is working.
Performance-Monitoring Website – Gives you 24/7 access to real-time data showing system status, energy production, and environmental benefits, including carbon offsets. Monitoring service is provided free for the life of the system.
See How the SunSource System Works
General Solar FAQs
- What Are Some of the Advantages of Solar Power?
Solar power has a number of substantial advantages, from economical to environmental:
Readily available. Electricity generated from sunlight is free and limitless.
Significant energy savings. A SunSource® Home Energy System with as few as one solar module can save you money on your monthly utility bills. The U.S. federal government and some states provide tax credit for renewable-energy systems. Depending on where you live, you may also be eligible for incentives through your utility company. To find out what incentives are available in your area, visit dsireusa.org
Virtually no environmental impact. Solar is a fast-developing renewable energy source because it produces no air pollution or hazardous waste. By comparison, electricity generated by power plants produces carbon dioxide emissions that are believed to contribute to climate change and pollution.
Can be expanded over time. The SunSource system gives you the flexibility to start small and add more roof modules at a later date for greater energy savings.
- Does Solar Work If You Don’t Live in the West?
No matter where you live – even if it’s not in Arizona or some other sunny location – you can take advantage of the money-saving benefits of the SunSource® Home Energy System.
- Does Solar Add Value to Your Home?
Significant incentives make solar power a wise home investment that may increase your home’s value. Surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have shown that, for every $1,000 saved per year, $20,000 may be added to a home’s value.
- Will I need to Carry Any Special Insurance?
If your electric utility offers “net metering” or any other incentives for installing a renewable-energy system, they will likely require that you enter into an interconnection agreement. A standard homeowners’ insurance policy is usually adequate to meet the utility’s requirements. See your local utility company for details.
- Will I Need a Building Permit?
Yes. You’ll need to obtain building permits to install a SunSource® Home Energy System. Building, electrical and plumbing codes may also apply. Most jurisdictions have building codes that fully accommodate solar energy technology. We will include the price for permits into your cost estimate.
- Do I Need Approval From My Homeowner’s Association?
A Homeowner’s Association’s ability to restrict or prohibit installation of residential solar devices varies. To see if your state has such laws in place visit www.dsireusa.org. If you belong to a homeowner’s association, review your convenants for details.
- What Do Terms Like “On-Grid” and “Grid-Tied” Mean?
On-grid solar systems, also called “grid-tied” systems, are connected to the utility electrical network in your area. SunSource is an on-grid system designed to help you lower your utility operating costs and take advantage of incentives from utility companies. “Off-grid” refers to typically more expensive systems that are not connected to the utility electrical grid.
- How Do I know if a SunSource® Home Energy System Will Work For My Home?
SunSource systems are suitable for almost any location in North America and are adaptable to almost any roof type.
- How Long Does It Take to Install a SunSource® System?
A qualified Lennox Home Energy Consultant can install the system in one day once the plans are approved. The system can be running in as little as a few hours, depending on the amount of solar modules installed.
- Can I Install the System Myself?
In order to be eligible for government incentives, SunSource® Home Energy Systems must be installed by a qualified solar technician, like us!
Lennox Energy Incentives
- Who Provides Energy Incentives?
In the U.S., financial incentives are available at the federal and local level to support the use of renewable energy:
Federal tax credits. The SunSource® Home Energy System meets the requirements for federal tax credits listed under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, covering 30% of the cost of the solar modules, including installation. You can also receive up to a $500 credit for the solar-ready heat pump or air conditioner that’s at the heart of the system. Get more information on our Energy-Efficient Tax Credit page.
State tax credits. According to www.dsireusa.org, there are about 47 states and 600 electric utilities across the U.S. that provide incentives for renewable-energy systems.
Utility net metering. If your utility company offers net-metering agreements, you may be able to receive a credit for any surplus power generated that’s not used in your home and is fed back to your utility company. To find out if you can get rebates and credits for your excess power generation, check with your local utility company or visit dsireusa.org
Lennox System Performance
- How Does The System Work?
The SunSource® Home Energy System reduces the amount of electricity needed from your utility provider to put you in control of your utility bills. This energy-saving system harnesses solar-energy and uses it first—before using electricity from the utility company—to power your air conditioner or heat pump. The solar power that’s collected can also operate other appliances and electronics when the heating and cooling system is not in use. What’s more, if the SunSource system generates more solar power than is needed, that power will be sent back to the utility company, possibly entitling homeowners to a credit.
For more details on how the different system components work together to lower your utility bills, contact us.
- Will The System Work at Night And on Cloudy Days?
Your system will not work at night because the solar modules need sunlight to produce power. Solar modules will still produce power on cloudy or overcast days, but at a reduced level.
- How Long Will The System Last?
We stand behind the Lennox name and the quality that has made us a global leader in home comfort. Because the SunSource® Home Energy System is backed by Lennox, you can take comfort knowing it’s built to exacting standards. Our warranties are designed to give you added peace of mind:
Solar-ready heat pumps and air conditioners from the Dave Lennox Signature® Collection include a 10-year limited warranty on the compressor and covered components.
Solar modules include a 5-year limited warranty against defects from faulty workmanship or damage to the surface. The modules have a 12-year limited performance guarantee that covers a power output of less than 90%; a 25-year limited performance guarantee applies to a power output of less than 80%.
Microinverters include a 15-year limited warranty against defects in workmanship and materials.
Some restrictions apply. Contact us for full warranty details.
- How Do I Know My System is Performing to Its Full Potential?
The SunSource® Home Energy System comes with a communication module that sends performance data for each module to a website, where you can view systems status, energy production and environmental benefits online, including carbon offsets, in real time.
- Do I Need an Internet Connection to use the Communication Module?
Yes, an Internet connection is required to receive the full benefits of the online monitoring system, and to view energy production, and environmental benefit information. The monitoring service is provided free for five years.*
*Performance-monitoring website provided by an independent third party, Enphase Energy Inc.
- Will Going Solar Compromise My Comfort In Any Way?
At the heart of the SunSource® Home Energy System is a solar-ready heat pump or air conditioner designed to deliver the same optimal comfort and high-efficiency performance offered by other systems from the Dave Lennox Signature® Collection, Lennox’ finest offering of heating and cooling systems.
- What Happens If The Power Goes Out?
In the event of a power outage caused by a storm or some other problem, the SunSource system will shut off. Once power is restored by your utility company, the system should turn back on automatically along with lighting, appliances and other household electronics.
Lennox Solar Modules
- Are the Solar Modules Easily Damaged?
The modules are made of tempered glass and are laminated to a resilient substrate. They are rugged, durable, and weather-and-impact-resistant.
- Will The Modules Look Awkward Or Obtrusive On My Home?
The hardware that mounts the modules to your roof allows them to integrate nearly flush with the surface for a discreet appearance that does not detract from the overall appeal of your house.
- How Many Modules Do I Need to Produce Enough Electricity to Run My House?
The number of modules you need depends on several factors, including the size of your home, angle of your roof and so on. We have a tool that can help you determine the amount that’s best suited to your requirements.
- Will I Need a New Roof Before the Modules Are Installed?
The ideal situation for installing solar is to have a roof that’s in good condition. That way, you won’t have to bear the cost of re-installing the solar modules if your roof needs to be replaced or repaired within a few years.
- Do The Modules Need to Face South?
Yes, South-facing modules are best to maximize sun exposure. The closer to south the system faces, the greater the electrical output from the solar modules.
- What Happens If The Solar Modules Are Shaded?
Ideally, the solar modules should be installed in areas where they are free from obstructions that can cause shading, like trees and buildings. But, the unique design of the modules could provide energy savings, despite varying climate and lighting conditions. Unlike typical solar-panel systems, which have one inverter for the complete array, each SunSource module has its own microinverter that converts solar energy into usable electrical power. So any issue that might affect one module, such as cloud cover, doesn’t impact the other modules.
- What Happens If The Solar Modules Are Covered By Snow?
If it snows, our solar modules are installed at the angle of the roof, which may allow the snow to slide down and melt within a short period of time under normal circumstances. In the event of an extreme accumulation, you may need to brush off the snow to get solar power.
- Do I Need to Clean the Solar Modules?
In most regions, rain cleans them off automatically. However, if you live in a dusty industrial area, you may see a performance improvement from periodically spraying the modules with water. Please note that detergents and high-pressure hoses should never be used for cleaning.
- Do The Solar Modules Need to be Mounted On My Roof?
Modules are typically mounted on the roof, but can also have a pole foundation. Ground installations are best if your house is heavily shaded, or if buildings or other obstructions limit available space on your home’s roof.
Lennox Buying a System
- How Can I Get Started With Solar Energy?
Contact us, and we will stop by your home to help you decide which Dave Lennox Signature® Collection system best suits your needs, and how many solar modules to add now or over time.