How to Decide If Solar Panels Are Right for Your Home
Are you looking for ways to save money on your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint? If so, then solar panels may be the perfect solution for you. In this blog post, we’ll cover what you need to know about solar panel installation, how much it costs, and whether or not it’s right for your home. Read on to learn more!
Find Out Your Energy Rates
Now that you’ve identified the size of your roof and estimated the number of panels you’ll need, it’s time to look at your energy rates. Your utility company can provide you with information about how much energy your home consumes and what rate you are charged for that energy. This will help you understand how much solar energy you will need to generate in order to offset your electricity bill. You can also calculate how many solar panels you need by multiplying your average monthly energy usage by the wattage of each panel (which averages between 250 and 400 watts). The Department of Energy suggests that most homes with solar panels get at least 40 percent of their energy from solar, which varies by house, so assessing your energy consumption is a good place to start.
Check Your Roof’s Solar Suitability
After determining your energy rates and checking your home for solar viability, you should consider the suitability of your roof’s solar potential. To do this, use a solar panel suitability checker such as Google’s Project Sunroof. With this tool, you can map your roof’s solar savings potential and get an estimate of the estimated solar energy your roof can generate. You can also find out if there are trees near your home that cast too much shade on your roof and check the orientation of your roof to get an idea of how much sunlight it will receive. It is essential to make sure that your home is fit for solar panels before making a decision to go solar.
Check Your Home for Solar Viability
Once you’ve determined your home’s potential for solar, you can move on to the next step. Checking your home’s solar viability is essential before committing to a solar panel installation. Google’s Project Sunroof is a great place to start – it provides an easy-to-use calculator that can help you understand how much power a home solar system would produce and how much energy you consume. You can also compare energy rates and learn about local community solar options. After assessing your energy consumption, make sure to check your roof’s orientation, as this will play a large role in the amount of power you can generate from your solar panels.
Consider the Initial Investment
Making the decision to go solar is a big one and requires a lot of thought. One of the most important considerations is the initial investment. Solar panel systems cost money, but they can also save you money in the long run, depending on the size of your system and how much energy you use. To determine how much your initial investment will be, start by looking at system cost after upfront incentives, which represents the amount you invested. Subtract from that all first-year tax credits, cash-back incentives and other discounts to get a better picture of your actual costs. Additionally, you should factor in potential installation costs, as well as any maintenance fees associated with your system. Assessing your energy consumption is the best place to start when determining if solar panels are right for you, as it will help you determine how much money you can save over time.
Understand Solar Panels Don’t Need Hot Weather
Solar panels don’t need hot weather to function, but understanding this factor can help you decide if solar panels are right for your home. In fact, heat can make them less efficient, so panels installed in cold locations will work just as well as those installed in warmer areas. Solar Thermal panels use sunlight’s heat to create electricity, and the panels are heated by the sunlight. The optimal temperatures to operate solar panels is 77 degrees Fahrenheit, or 25 degrees Celsius. When you move 10 or 15 degrees away from that temperature, the efficiency of the solar panel starts to drop. If a solar professional determines that your roof is not suitable for solar, or you don’t own your home, you can still benefit from solar energy through community shared systems. Home solar panels are tested at 25 °C (77 °F) and generally range between 15 °C and 35 °C during operation. Understanding how solar energy systems work will help you make an informed decision about solar panels for your home.
Look for Potential Roadblocks
Once you have determined that your home is suitable for solar panels and you are ready to move forward, it is important to identify potential roadblocks. One of the biggest roadblocks in consumers’ minds when it comes to investing in solar panels is the upfront cost of purchase and installation. Additionally, trees that cast shade onto your house, orientation of your roof, and the local climate will affect how much energy you can generate with solar panels. It is important to consider all of these factors before investing in solar panels to ensure you get the most out of your investment.
Identify Your Roof’s Orientation
Once you have determined that your home is suitable for solar panels, you should then assess the orientation of your roof. The best position for solar panels is towards the south, but even west and east facing roofs can accommodate solar. If the orientation of your roof isn’t quite right, there are still several other options to consider. If peak rates are extremely high, then solar panels should face southwest. Positioning your solar panels on a roof facing true south, and at a tilt between 30 and 45 degrees, will yield the best results in terms of capturing the sun’s energy. The orientation of your solar panels doesn’t affect the production of your system, but it is still important to consider when planning a successful installation. Google’s Sunroof is a great tool to use if you live in an area it covers, as it will help determine how much sun your home receives. For a roof mounted solar system the tilt will equal the roof’s pitch, so it’s important to take this into account when calculating how much space you need for installation. You should not mount solar panels on a wooden roof since it might become a fire hazard, but there may still be other options available. With all these factors taken into consideration, you’ll be able to decide if solar panels are right for your home.
Find a Reputable Company
Once you have all the necessary information, it’s time to find a reputable company to install your solar panels. It’s important to work with installers who have at least three years of experience. Ask them how long they’ve been in business and how many installations they have completed. Additionally, look for companies that specialize in solar energy systems, as they will be best equipped to handle the installation properly. Don’t rely on solar price comparison sites; get more than one quote and avoid leases and power purchase agreements. Talk to a solar installer to get an in-person tour of your home and a comprehensive quote. Ask friends, family, and neighbors for references and check a company’s history with your state and local consumer protection agencies.
Check Warranties and Maintenance
Solar energy is an investment, and when it comes to solar panel warranties and maintenance, you need to know what you’re getting. Solar panel warranties vary in length and coverage, but most guarantee production levels for up to 25 years. Equipment warranties cover faulty installation and defects, while product warranties are typically immediately apparent. Solar system monitors can help you keep an eye on your system, and some warranties can cover maintenance costs. It’s important to research the options available before investing in solar panels for your home.
Make Sure Installers are Certified
When considering if solar is right for your home, it is essential to find a reputable company. To ensure you get the best service possible and to protect your investment, make sure the installer you choose is licensed, bonded, and insured to install residential solar projects in your area. Ask if they will be backed by Dominion Energy or have any other certifications that go above and beyond the minimum requirements. Additionally, check with your local licensing board for any complaints against the company. Finally, ask if the company is NABCEP-Certified: The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners certifies energy installers, including solar PV technicians. With all these precautions taken, you can have peace of mind that your installer understands the ins and outs of installing your solar energy systems.