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 eco-friendliness. The drawbacks are a high initial expense, low output in low winds, and noisy operation.
Now let’s weigh each of 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:
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 U.S. 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 tip – If 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.
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. That’s another advantage over their larger counterparts, which often need to be installed in open fields or on hillsides.
Tax Breaks for Installation
In addition to being more affordable, small home wind turbines can also save you money in the form of tax breaks. Many governments offer 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 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.
But because 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.
Another great thing about small home wind turbines is that they’re environmentally friendly. That’s because they generate electricity without emitting greenhouse gasses.
In contrast, traditional power plants rely on fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas to generate electricity. When these fuels burn, they release harmful pollutants into the atmosphere, including carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide.
But because small wind turbines don’t 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 can provide supplemental power. That means they can supplement the electricity you get 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. But in general, they can 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.
If you want to install more than one turbine, the price can quickly increase. 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’re not going to be effective all the time.
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.
Although you can supplement the electricity your turbines generate with other renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, it’s still important to keep this potential downside in mind.
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 where the wind is strong and consistent.
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.
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’re looking 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 Tip – If 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 that 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, which will provide 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 panels – solar 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 source of power, you may want to consider another option.
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 for you.
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 remote locations. It can generate up to 600W and comes with everything you need for complete installation.
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 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.
- EnergySage News: Home Wind Turbines: Are They Right for You?
- Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy: Wind Testing and Certification
- GOV.UK: Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
- Energy Star: Federal Tax Credits: Small Wind Turbines (Residential)
- The European Wind Energy Association: Wind Energy’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy: SunShot 2030
- U.S. Energy Information Administration: Today in Energy