Solar technology has taken a giant leap forward in the past years, and the introduction of solar powered gate openers has definitely made an impact as homeowners now have another option at their disposal when it comes to the manner in which they access their property, as well as keep it safe from intruders.
The cost of solar panels has considerably decreased as well, which made consumers more interested in all systems that rely on solar technology. However, unbiased reviews bring to light both the benefits and the downsides of the solar-powered gate opening systems, and it is in your best interest to undergo proper research before you reach a decision.
How you benefit from the solar-powered system:
- Lower energy bills
The most obvious perk of them all is that you spend less money when the bills come as the system uses energy from the sun, which is free. Depending on the rate at which you open and close the gate, the cost cut can make quite a difference for you financially-wise.
- Increased installation freedom
As you install a regular gate opener, you are immediately confronted obstacles:
- Tricky location – Regular openers cannot be installed in a location that is either remote or has limited access to power. This can either restrict you considerably, end up being cost-prohibitive, or failure throughout if installation won’t even be possible.
- Complicated preparation – There is quite hefty labor involved with the installation of the opener as the ground needs to be dug to run cables to the gate. The situation isn’t any more pleasant if you hire an electrician for the job as you spare yourself the effort but wind up spending money on the help provided by the specialist.
The case is not the same with solar openers as no cables are involved, so you don’t have any holes to dig, and you have no limitations whatsoever when it comes to location either as long as there is enough sunlight to provide the needed power.
- Enhanced safety
Power outages can occur at any moment of the night or day. When a power outage takes place, you have to get out of the car to open the gate, which leaves you vulnerable and can put you at risk, especially late at night. As the system doesn’t rely on electricity but rather the solar power it harnesses during the daytime, a power outage won’t be an issue for you anymore as you can operate the opener at your discretion regardless of the situation at hand.
- Tax credit
The fact that the system doesn’t add to your bills isn’t the only financial perk as you get a hearty reduction when it comes to the taxes you owe the following year too. The federal solar tax credit implies that when you install a solar system of any kind, 26% of the project costs are deducted. Thus, you basically get a federal discount, which lowers your initial investment even further.
- Low environmental impact
Needless to say at this point, as many efforts as possible must go toward saving the environment to preserve our planet, and the solar alternative for gate openers is a step forward in winning the fight.
- All solar power systems help save Mother Earth as they provide clean, pure energy from the sun.
- When you “go solar”, you help reduce the dependence on fossil fuel as traditional electricity is sourced from fossil fuels like natural gas and coal.
Downsides to take into account:
- Weather conditions
On average, solar operators need about 5 hours of direct sunshine per day to be fully charged, which automatically implies that rainy or cloudy days spell bad news. This is an important aspect to take into consideration when you reach a conclusion as you cannot invest in a solar system if your area doesn’t see enough sunlight for the most part of the year.
- Routine cleaning
The surfaces of solar panels require cleaning at least twice per year, which some might find off-putting as there is maintenance work involved to a degree. But considering it isn’t a chore you need to perform all that often and that it doesn’t take special skill or know-how, you shouldn’t let this small chore get in the way.
- Not suited for high-volume use
High-volume use can be problematic as the solar power opener might not be able to keep up with your demands when it comes to generating power.
Do the pros outweigh the cons? In most cases, the answer is “yes”. It is in your best interest not only financially, but in regards to your safety and the better good of the environment to opt for a solar-powered gate opener. Depending on your pick, costs might be a tad higher upfront, but there are tax deductions to take into account, as well as the fact that you won’t spend a dime to run the system for as long as you use it. Thus, as long as you live in an area where sunlight is sufficient, your best course of action is to go through with this project as there are considerable benefits to reap.