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Should I Wire My Home for AC or DC Loads?

Short answer: It depends on the size of the system and what type of loads you want to run...

DC appliances are usually more efficient than AC since you don’t have to worry about the loss through the inverter, but DC loads are typically more expensive and harder to find than their AC counterparts.

Small cabin and RV systems are typically wired for DC appliances while most home systems are wired exclusively for AC loads. With improvements in inverter efficiency and reliability in the last 5 years, AC is usually the easiest way to go for a home system. Another advantage AC has over DC is that the voltage drop for a 120VAC circuit is much less than a 12VDC circuit carrying the same power, which allows you to use smaller gauge wire.

Keep in mind that if you purchase what’s called a modified sine wave inverter (instead of a pure sine wave inverter), then things that have motors in them (e.g. refrigerators, fans, washing machines, etc.) will actually consume 30% more energy than they would otherwise. In these cases, we recommend trying to find the DC version of that appliance or purchasing a pure sine wave inverter. Look at the detail specifications we have on each one of our solar inverters to determine if it is modified or pure sine wave.