Over the years, solar panels have become increasingly popular among homeowners and the price of solar panels continues to become more affordable. Installing solar panels is an excellent way to reduce energy costs while simultaneously investing in your home. In fact, a study conducted by the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory found that a solar panel installation could increase a home’s resale by up to $15,000. If you’re thinking about investing in solar energy for your home, take a few moments to review some important questions you’ll want to answer before making the commitment:
1. Are Solar Panels a Good Investment?
The hefty upfront price tag for installation can be daunting to many. On the other hand, solar panels have a tendency to pay for themselves over a period of several years, not to mention the long-term energy savings. According to Energysage.com, homeowners can expect to potentially save up to $20,000 with solar panels over a period of twenty years. Not only that, there are a variety of state and federal tax exemptions for solar panel installations. Demand in solar panels have skyrocketed over the years and interest is only expected to rise as technology continues to improve.
2. Is My Roof Right for Solar Panels?
The amount of sun your roof receives will determine if a solar panel installation is a good idea for you. Ideally, your roof should receive adequate sunlight all year long. Some areas of the country that experience frequent rains or overcast weather will likely not receive much benefit from solar. Also, some slopes on rooftops may not receive optimal sunlight throughout the day. Before committing to any installation, contact a trusted roofing company to inspect your roof and assist in determining what type of solar panel will work best.
3. How Much Energy Do I Use?
Whether you’re seeking to unplug from the grid entirely or simply augment your normal energy consumption with solar, it’s a good idea to gauge your average electricity usage first. Replace incandescent bulbs in the home with energy saving alternatives like LEDs or purchase EcoSmart appliances to reduce monthly costs. Purchase surge protectors which will turn off your appliances when they're not in use as well to save energy. Once you’ve seen the bill for a few months, you’ll have a much better idea of exactly how much solar energy you will need to power your home.
4. What Kind of Solar Panel Is Right for Me?
There are a variety of solar panels on the market, but the three main types include thin-film, polycrystalline and monocrystalline. For peak performance, a monocrystalline solar install is best. Monocrystalline solar panels have some of the highest efficiency ratings available and tend to be more aesthetically pleasing than the others. While thin-film and polycrystalline panels are cheaper to install, they tend to produce less energy and require more maintenance.
Some solar panels can be mounted on stands that move with the sun throughout the day while others remain stationary. Your geographic location and average weather conditions will play a big part in determining what you need.
5. Who Should Install My Solar Panels?
Find a solar panel installation company you can trust to do the job right. This means finding a team of professionals who will provide support over the lifetime of your solar panels. Seek the assistance of experts with adequate experience in solar panel installation and who’ve received positive reviews.
6. How Much Do Solar Panels Cost?
The cost of your solar panel installation will vary greatly depending on the type of panels, how many panels are installed and the area of the country in which you live. Some states, like California, have rather stringent laws for residential solar panel installation and regular inspections are required. Also, the cost of leasing or buying will vary, so it’s a good idea to discuss these details with your solar provider before installation.
7. Everything Is Hooked up, Now What?
Many states have programs whereby a homeowner can effectively sell unused solar energy back to the grid. It’s important to discuss these details with your utility provider ahead of time to maximize your savings. Be sure to ask about any fees associated with your solar panels along with how long before you’ll begin getting paid for the energy you’re contributing to the grid. You'll also want to schedule to have your solar panels inspected and cleaned on a regular basis to keep them working at peak efficiency.
Schedule a Roof Inspection
Before you get solar panels installed on your roof, you’ll need to have your roof inspected to ensure there is no preexisting damage and that your shingles are in good enough condition to support the panels. Contact First Quality Roofing & Insulation at 702-262-7847 today to schedule an inspection.