Solar Energy Systems: How They Work. If you want a more environmentally responsible home, a natural step is to install a solar energy system. After all, the sun’s energy has been cleanly shining down on us in Chicago for hundreds of years. Jett's Heating & Air Inc. carries the Lennox® SunSource® Energy System to help you create a more efficient home that doesn’t heavily rely on oil and gas. But how does this system work? The system uses solar modules, made up of photovoltaic (PV) cells, to harvest energy from the sun and convert it to electricity. Then, the electricity can power appliances, lights and other electrical devices in your home – from your HVAC systems to your computer. Grid-tied PV systems If you’re located in or around McHenry, you’re likely going to want a grid-tied PV system. These are the least costly solar energy systems, and they’re linked to your utility company’s power grid – hence the name grid-tied. This lets you use solar energy from your system when the PVs are collecting energy and use electricity from the grid at night, or when the system isn’t gathering energy. In addition, grid-tied systems let your system feed extra energy back into the grid, which will make your meter spin backwards. This is the process of net-metering. The backward spin allows you to save on utility expenses that are decided based on how far forward your meter has spun. It’s important to note that most solar rebates and incentives are only available if your system is grid-tied. The other option is a stand-alone PV system, which costs more. Stand-alone systems are not connected to the utility grid and are nice options when your home is in a remote location, far away from a utility service or power lines. Jett's Heating & Air Inc. in McHenry is ready to help with your solar energy system questions. Give us a call at 815-410-1128 or set up an appointment online.