Between the increasing cost of traditional electricity and the threat of global warming, solar power continues to prove that it’s the future of sustainable living.
By harnessing free and renewable energy from the sun, solar power systems help reduce or eliminate your energy bills while positively impacting the environment. That said, solar energy is a significant investment. As such, you want to take the time to prepare yourself for the process.
This post shares six questions you need to ask yourself before installing a solar energy system in your home. Keep on reading to learn more.
How Much Will The Solar Panels Cost?
A solar energy system helps convert sun energy into electricity, allowing you to reduce or eliminate your energy bills. This can save you money in the long run.
Nonetheless, solar panels, inverters, batteries, wiring, and labor will cost you thousands of dollars. For the average homeowner, this is quite a significant expense. As such, you want to consider how much you can afford to make the switch.
The cost of installing a solar energy system will depend on various factors, including your location and the system’s size. Generally, solar panels can cost as low as USD$3,500 or over USD$35,000.
Please note that aside from the upfront cost of the solar energy system and installation labor and fees, you should also consider repairs, replacements, and regular cleaning and maintenance.
How Long Will The Solar Panels Last?
Due to its high cost, it’s only natural to ask how long you can take advantage of your solar panels system. Fortunately, solar panel technology has improved significantly in the last decade. Today, the average solar panel lifespan is at least 25 years with proper maintenance.
Please note that, like any other system, solar panels tend to suffer a slight degradation over time. Yet this degradation is often caused by accumulated dirt and dust on panels–nothing a regular wash can’t clean.
How Many Panels Do I Need?
You must assess how many panels can power your home depending on your needs and where you live.
As such, before installing a solar panel, you need to do an energy audit to help you understand your energy use which can impact the size of the system you need. You can look at your energy bills in the past year, taking note of power use trends and fluctuations every month.
In addition to your energy use, your geography and the direction where your roof faces can also impact the number of panels you need to install. You’ll probably need more panels if you live in a state with less sun on average or have a flat roof.
Where Should I Install The Panels?
Installation placement is another critical factor you need to consider. In general, most homeowners have several options on where they can place the panels.
For most residential homes, panels are installed on the rooftop to provide maximum and direct sun exposure. They’re out of sight and help keep your curb free of large panels. Aside from your main roof, you can install panels on top of other structures, such as a patio or garage.
If your roof can’t accommodate solar panels, a ground-mounted system is ideal, especially if you have a wide open space in your backyard. Ground-mounted systems are typically seen on farm properties and rural homes with hectares of unused land.
Who Will Install It?
You may be an avid fan of the do-it-yourself (DIY) movement; however, solar energy system installation isn’t a recommended DIY project. This is particularly true when installing panels on a higher or sloped roof. Thus, consider a solar expert to ensure a proper and safer installation.
As solar energy becomes more common, you can now find numerous solar installers and contractors. Thus, you want to do thorough research. Check their credentials, qualifications, and experience to find the most reputable ones. Also, compare prices from at least three contractors to find the best offer for your budget.
What Is The Warranty For Solar Panels?
With projects that require significant amounts, you should always look for service and product warranties to protect your investment. If anything happens to your solar panels–whether from improper installation or caused by the Earth’s wrath–a good warranty can help keep your provider accountable without incurring additional costs.
As such, when looking for a reliable solar contractor, you want to ensure they carry a good service warranty. If you’re buying panels from a separate supplier, ask the company about the product warranty to protect you against manufacturing defects.
In today’s increasingly eco-conscious world, adding solar panels can be a valuable asset for homeowners, giving you the ability to generate your own electricity while staying on the good side of the planet.
When considering installing solar panels in your home, answer the abovementioned questions first to help guide you through the process and ensure a successful switch.