any ideas on how to go about setting up my home a/c for solar power?

Filed under: Self Reliance |

solar power home
Image by Bush Philosopher – Dave Clarke
Mandurah has more solar power homes than any other post code area in WA. The big flash houses on the ‘canals’ curiously seem to have less solar power than the more modest homes of Mandurah, but here are three in a row that do have solar.

Question by guiilermo p: any ideas on how to go about setting up my home a/c for solar power?
I am hoping to lower our electric bill by converting our a/c to run by solar energy

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7 Responses to any ideas on how to go about setting up my home a/c for solar power?

  1. you can not do it

    March 29, 2014 at 8:29 am

  2. The solar panels needed to run an a/c unit would cost more than the savings. Plus you would need a huge bank of batteries and a monster size power inverter.

    Rusty Nail
    March 29, 2014 at 9:24 am

  3. You will have to start by either robbing a couple of banks or have a rich aunt die and leave you a bunch of money.

    Enough solar to run a AC will cost a small fortune. Much more than you will ever save in electric bills.

    oil field trash
    March 29, 2014 at 10:14 am

  4. Unless you do all the work and know what your doing, are young enough to regain the cost in years to come. Forget it. I saw one house like this, all Solar power, it run into the thousands, like the five digits.

    You could go to wind power and get a better return.

    March 29, 2014 at 10:46 am

  5. It may or may not help, depending on where you live. In some areas, your electric bill is based on rate tiers, such as the first 300 kWh in a month cost 10 cents each, the next 300 cost 17 cents, and so forth. The top tier may be something like 40 cents a kWh. If you A/C is pushing you into this region, and solar panels can cut your net usage down to the 17-cent tier, the solar could definitely be worth it.

    However, it will not pay back fast, unless you sell your house. It will take years, but a dollar is a dollar.

    For immediate savings, you can put aluminum paint on your roof, and maybe even put a reflective heat barrier membrane under it, if you’re redoing the roof. Insulate your attic even more. Plant shade trees by your sunny windows, or install awnings. Double-pane windows. You know, all that conservation stuff.

    March 29, 2014 at 11:30 am

  6. I agree with the others. It would be really expensive to install a solar system that would be able to run your a/c. If cost savings is your primary motivation, then money is probably tight and you want to go at this from a different angle.

    Like roderick_young said, energy conservation should probably be your first tactic. After you’re made all of the practical improvements you can make, then you may want to experiment with solar power for your home.

    You can start small by taking one item in your house off the grid. You could start with your radio. There are a number of solar powered radios available from Once you’ve gone through the exercise of running something … anything from an alternative energy source, everything surrounding energy conservation and renewable energy will be much less theoretical.

    If your initial experiment with solar power is successful, you could take the step by purchasing or buying some small solar panels and using them to power something larger. There are a number of resources available to help you out with this sort or thing, but one called Efficient Planet is probably the best one for you. It covers a lot about home energy conservation as well DIY solar power.

    Good luck!

    March 29, 2014 at 11:58 am

  7. You would have to build some sort of solar panel array that feeds into a battery bank. From there you could use the power to offset all of your electric needs or just your AC. Air conditioners are big energy hogs though and use many amp hours of energy so your battery bank might need to be substantial. You could also integrate a wind turbine or small scale hydro into the system. I know that I read a story a couple of years back of a couple that had a place up in the hills that they ran off of a small hydro plant and they kept the lights on all the time to use up some of the surplus electricity since they were completely off grid! Your best bet would be to start small and work your way up….one solar panel or wind turbine and then add onto your system.

    Eli P
    March 29, 2014 at 12:35 pm

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