Things to Consider When Installing a Solar Power System
Should I install a solar power system? This is a question that many homeowners ask themselves. From environmental conservation to reduced electricity bills, several arguments might encourage you to invest in solar energy.
Like other home installations, purchasing solar power systems requires thorough consideration and detailed planning. Furthermore, this is a significant investment where you’ll need to know as much as you can about the product you are buying and its specifications.
If you are interested in solar energy, this article lists some of the factors you need to consider before purchasing. By putting them into practice, you’ll make an informed decision when you decide to buy.
Condition of Your Roof
Most roofing materials last for 30 years before they need replacement. In comparison, solar panels remain effective for up to 25 years. How does this influence your shopping decision?
If your roof is old, it would be unwise to install solar panels. This is because when your roof needs to be replaced, you’ll incur the cost of removing the panels, replacing the roof, and reinstalling the panels. As such, it’s advisable to install solar panels on new roofs.
The number of solar panels you need largely depends on the number of appliances you own and the amount of electricity they consume. Generally, the more devices you have, the more panels and batteries you’ll need.
It’s also worth noting that energy consumption is higher in some months. For instance, you are likely to consume more energy keeping your house cool during the summer or keeping it warm during winter.
Keep this in mind when shopping for a solar power system to ensure your energy needs are met.
Your location affects the size of your solar power system. More specifically, areas that receive little sunlight need more panels than those that get adequate insolation.
Tall buildings and trees can also affect the amount of solar radiation that reaches your solar panels. Ensure that your location doesn’t have such barriers for maximum exposure.
Type of Solar Panel
The three main types of solar panels are:
- Monocrystalline panels: The photovoltaic cells in these panels are made from single silicon crystals. These panels are the most expensive and have the highest efficiency.
- Polycrystalline panels: The cells in these panels are made from multiple silicon crystals. Polycrystalline solar panels are less efficient than their monocrystalline counterparts, but they are also cheaper.
- Thin-film solar panels: Despite being the least effective, these panels are lightweight and highly portable. They are made by applying photovoltaic material to a substrate that generates electric power.
Although it has high upfront costs, investing in solar energy helps you save money in the long run. This is because you won’t have to pay monthly electricity bills once the system is up and running.
With solar panels, the three most popular financing options are cash, loan, and leasing.
- Cash: Though expensive, this approach gives you full ownership of the system. You also become eligible for rebates and tax credits.
- Loan: Here, you take the system home after making a down payment. Then, you are required to make monthly payments over a specified period. While it is ideal for people with financial constraints, the overall cost of buying through this method is higher than purchasing with cash.
- Leasing: With this approach, a third party pays you to install their solar panels on your roof. The payment is usually in the form of reduced electricity bills. Notably, you aren’t responsible for maintaining the solar power system when you lease.
Warranties are vital to consider before you buy because they help protect your solar panels and other accessories. If the system becomes defective, you can hold the manufacturer accountable without incurring additional costs.
Some local authorities also require you to have a warranty to be eligible for financial incentives.
Installing solar panels in your home is a wise investment that you won’t regret. Use the tips mentioned above to help you make the right choice.