Closeup on the motor and blades of a small wind turbine with an orange-blue gradient sky behind it

If you’re looking for a renewable energy source for your home, solar and wind power are the two options you might be weighing.

Small wind turbines are becoming increasingly popular thanks to their potential to save homeowners money on their energy bills. But is it truly worth it to buy a small wind turbine?

This article will detail the pros and cons of small wind turbines. Read on if you want to know how to determine if a small wind turbine is suitable for your home.

What are the Pros and Cons of a Small Wind Turbine?

Pros of a small wind turbine include cheap energy once operating, easy installation and maintenance, tax incentives and credits, and eco-friendliness. The drawbacks are a high initial expense, low output in low winds, and noisy operation.

Now, let’s weigh these benefits and disadvantages in greater detail.

The Pros of Small Home Wind Turbine

As renewable energy becomes more popular, homeowners are looking for ways to reduce their reliance on the grid. Installing a small wind turbine can be a great way to do that, and there are many benefits to consider.

Here are a few pros of owning a small wind turbine:

Inexpensive Energy

The cost of energy is always a hot topic. Whether it’s the price of gas or your monthly electricity bill, the chances are that you’re always looking for ways to save money.

And when it comes to alternative energy sources, small wind turbines are often cited as an affordable option.

According to the US Energy Information Administration, the average cost of electricity from natural gas is about 13.72 cents per kilowatt-hour.

In contrast, the average cost of electricity from wind is only about six cents per kilowatt-hour. So, over time, investing in a small wind turbine can significantly help you save money on your energy bills.

Pro tipIf you’ve been incurring high electricity charges and need to make your home energy-efficient, follow these steps:

  • Conduct an energy audit of your home to find where you’re using the most energy.
  • Replace old appliances with new, energy-efficient models.
  • Install weatherstripping and caulk around windows and doors to prevent drafts and air leaks, making your home more energy-efficient.
  • Reduce your water heater temperature.

Quick Installation

Another great thing about small home wind turbines is that you can install them relatively quickly and easily. In most cases, you can install them in two months.

That’s a relatively shorter period than more robust turbines, which take up to six months, according to WindEurope (formerly the European Wind Energy Association).

And because they’re typically installed on roofs or backyards, small home turbines don’t require large amounts of land. They also require less wind energy to power up.

That’s another advantage over their larger counterparts, which often need to be installed in open fields or on hillsides.

The Nature Power Small Wind Turbine Generator in front of a lodge in the Alps with mountain peaks in back
Aside from utility savings, you are also entitled to financial incentives when you opt for wind turbines.

Tax Breaks for Installation

In addition to being more affordable, small home wind turbines can save you money through tax breaks. Many governments offer financial incentives for homeowners who install renewable energy equipment.

For example, in the United States, the federal government offers a tax credit of 22% for homeowners who install small home wind turbines by January 1, 2024. If you purchase a $5,000 turbine, you would be eligible for a tax credit of $1,100.

In the United Kingdom, the government offers a similar incentive called the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). Under the RHI, homeowners can receive payments for every kilowatt-hour of renewable energy they generate.

Small Wind Turbines Are Easy To Maintain

Another advantage of small wind turbines is that they’re easy to maintain. That’s because they have very few moving parts, which reduces the chances of something going wrong.

In contrast, large industrial-scale turbines used in wind farms can have up to 8,000 moving parts, according to the US Department of Energy. That means there’s a much higher chance of an issue appearing in a large turbine.

Since small wind turbines are so simple, you can quickly repair and maintain them. In most cases, all you need to do is keep the blades clean and lubricated.

Pro tip – If you want to keep your home wind turbine in the best shape, follow these easy guidelines:

  • Regularly inspect for any damage or wear and tear.
  • Clean the blades routinely to remove any dirt, dust, or debris.
  • Finally, lubricate the moving parts regularly to prevent any friction or wear.

Environmental Friendliness

Another great thing about small home wind turbines is that they’re environmentally friendly. That’s because they generate electricity without greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels. Therefore, they have a low carbon footprint.

In contrast, traditional power plants use fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas, to generate electricity. When these fuels burn, they release harmful pollutants into the atmosphere, including carbon and sulfur dioxide.

Because small wind turbines rely on fossil fuels, they don’t emit these pollutants. That makes them a much cleaner and more sustainable option for generating electricity.

Here’s a video you might be interested in watching for a rundown of the eco-friendly aspects of wind energy:

Small Home Turbines Allow Supplemental Power

Another advantage of small wind turbines is that they provide wind power that supplements the electricity from your utility company.

For example, if your utility company charges $0.10 per kilowatt-hour, and your turbine generates 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month, you would save $100 on your electric bill.

Of course, the amount of money you save will depend on the size of your turbine and the wind conditions in your area. Generally, they do help you save money on your electric bill.

Small wind turbines are perfect if you’re looking for a way to generate electricity without being connected to the grid. Notably, they can generate enough electricity to power your home, even if you’re not connected to the grid.

For example, if you live in a rural area where the nearest power lines are miles away, you can still generate electricity with a small turbine. And if you live in an area where power outages are common, a small turbine can provide you with backup power.

The Cons of Small Home Wind Turbine

Despite all the advantages, small home wind turbines also have some potential downsides.

Knowing these disadvantages is crucial before deciding whether to install these turbines. Better yet, you can use that information to look for ways to address some of the challenges.

Some of the potential disadvantages of small wind turbines include:

High Initial Cost

The biggest downside of small home wind turbines is that the initial cost is high.

For example, a typical turbine can cost anywhere from $800-$5,000. That excludes the cost of installation, which can add another $1,000 to the total.

The price can quickly increase if you want to install more than one turbine. For instance, installing two turbines can easily cost you more than $10,000.

However, the initial cost is just a one-time expense. Once you’ve installed the turbines, you won’t have to pay for them again.

Besides, you’ll save money on your monthly energy bills, meaning the system will pay for itself over time.

Effective Operation Requires a Lot of Wind

Another downside of small home wind turbines is that they only work when there’s a lot of wind. That means they won’t always be effective with low wind power.

For example, if you live in an area where the wind is calm most of the year, your turbines will only generate a small amount of electricity. These turbines work well in wind farms with high wind energy since they rely on rotational energy for operation.

Although you can supplement the electricity your turbines generate with other renewable energy sources, keeping this potential downside in mind is still important.

a house roof with solar panels on it, and a small wind turbine at the top
If you’re a sensitive sleeper, harnessing wind energy may not be a viable option.

Small Turbines Can Be Noisy

Some people don’t like the sound of small home wind turbines. When their blades spin, they can create a whooshing noise that some people find annoying. If you’re sensitive to noise, this could be a problem.

If you’re concerned about noise, you can look for turbines designed to be quiet. You can also install your turbines where the noise won’t be an issue, such as in your backyard.

You Need a Good Place To Install the Turbine

For a small home wind turbine to be effective, you must have an optimal location to install it. That means you need a spot with strong and consistent wind power, as this setup equals a high wind energy.

Finding a suitable location can be challenging in an urban area since many obstacles, like buildings and trees, could block the wind. As a result, your turbine won’t be as effective as it could be.

Two small wind turbines attached to the roof of a small apartment building
Compared to solar panels, there’s a reason why small wind turbines are more rare in urban settings.

The Average Output of a Small Wind Turbine Is Low

It’s crucial to keep in mind that the average output of a small wind turbine is relatively low. That means you won’t be able to generate as much electricity as you would with a more robust turbine.

For example, a typical small turbine can generate anywhere from 200 watts to 10 kilowatts. In comparison, a large commercial turbine can generate upwards of 100 kilowatts.

A small turbine might not be the best option if you want to generate a significant amount of electricity.

You May Need a Backup Power Source

In addition to the previous downsides, it’s important to note that you may need a backup power source if you install a small home wind turbine.

That’s because the turbine will only generate electricity when the wind blows. If the wind isn’t blowing, you won’t have any power.

Pro TipIf you need a backup power source, consider the following options:

  • Installing a backup generator – if you install a backup generator, you’ll have a source of electricity you can rely on when the wind isn’t blowing. However, generators can be expensive, and they require regular maintenance.
  • Connecting to the grid – you can also connect your home to the grid, providing you with a consistent source of electricity. However, this option is not available in all areas. You’ll need to check with your local utility company to see if it’s an option.
  • Installing solar panelssolar panels can supplement the electricity generated by your wind turbine. That way, you’ll still have a source of electricity even when the wind isn’t blowing.
  • Using batteries – you can also use batteries to store the electricity your turbine generates. You can also use the stored energy to run your home during a power outage.

Wind Power Is Inconsistent

Another downside of small home wind turbines is that they’re inconsistent. The amount of electricity they generate can vary greatly depending on the strength and direction of the wind.

As a result, you may not be able to rely on your turbine to generate electricity consistently. If you need a consistent power source, you may want to consider another option.

Screenshot from a video about the pros of a small wind turbine, looking up at the motor and whirring blades from below
There’s a science to finding the correct wind turbine fo your home. Courtesy of EcoMastery Project.

Getting the Right Small Wind Turbine for Your Home

Like anything else on the market, there are different types and sizes of small wind turbines for residential homes. Therefore, getting the right one for your needs can be challenging, especially if it’s your first time.

Unfortunately, some unscrupulous sellers can exploit your lack of knowledge to sell you a product that won’t meet your needs. Luckily, I’m here to inform you.

The first step in buying the right small wind turbine is considering your electricity needs. This boils down to figuring out where you want to use the turbine.

Evaluating your past electricity bills is a rule of thumb for determining your electricity needs. This will give you a rough idea of your power usage. You can use this information to get the right size of small wind turbine for your home.

According to the Department of Energy, it’s common to find small wind turbines on the market with an output of between 400 watts to 20 kilowatts. This is more than enough power for a typical home because most homes use approximately 877 kilowatt-hours monthly.

You can go for a microturbine (between 20 and 500 watts) output for less-intensive activities like charging batteries for recreational cars.

However, if you want a small turbine that generates enough electricity for activities like pumping water and operating your machines and appliances, go for an output between one and ten kilowatts.

Finally, consult your dealer, manufacturer, or installer for the expected annual energy output before investing your hard-earned money in any small wind turbine.

You should also know the maximum wind power and speeds for which the turbine is designed to operate. This way, you’ll be sure of getting an option that meets your needs.

Should You Buy a Small Wind Turbine for Your Home?

You should buy a small wind turbine if you want a cheap power source that’s eco-friendly and easy to maintain. However, if you need more power and don’t mind the extra maintenance costs, go with a bigger turbine.

In a nutshell, when choosing between a small and a large home wind turbine, it comes down to your needs and preferences. Consider your power needs, budget, and the wind conditions in your area to make the best decision.

If you need an eco-friendly solution to your power needs, try the ECO-WORTHY 600W Solar Wind Power Complete System.

It features two 100W monocrystalline solar panels, a 400W wind turbine, and a 1000W off-grid inverter. The system is designed for homes, RVs, boats, cabins, and rural areas. It can generate up to 600W and has everything you need for complete installation.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know the potential benefits and downsides of small home wind turbines, you can decide if one’s the right option. Remember, a small turbine might not be the best option if you’re looking to generate a significant amount of electricity.

However, a small turbine could be a good choice if you’re looking for a sustainable and clean energy source. If you’re still unsure, talk to a renewable energy expert. They can help you assess your needs and find the best solution for you.

We know ow important it is to choose the appropriate wind turbine for your home. For a more in-depth tutorial on computing the amount of power your home needs, you may read, Will A Small Wind Turbine Power Your Home? (How To Calculate).

After you’re done with that, you can also compare Small Wind Turbine Size By Power Rating!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *