Three percent of all the energy produced in the United States comes from solar power and is estimated at around 97.2 gigawatts. Now, compare that figure to similar ones from 2008, when companies first started offering a home solar install.
Early adopters of solar power generated a mere .34 gigawatts of power in 2008.
Obviously, the technology has grown in popularity and ease of installation, so you are not alone if you’re seriously eying solar for your residence.
But even with all the choices out there and the improvement in the technology, there are still several factors you need to consider before you start reaping the environmental and fiduciary benefits of solar power.
In the following article, we’ll discuss residential solar and what you should consider when getting ready for your solar panel installation.
1. Know How Solar Works
When sunlight strikes your solar panel, made up of parts called photovoltaic cells (PV cells), photons and electrons become agitated and generate electric current.
This electricity comes in the form of direct current. However, you need to convert it to an alternating current since your home uses this type of current. It is converted through a device called an inverter.
In the early days of solar, the inverter was a separate box inside your home; now, each panel has one, which has proved more productive and efficient. Plus, if one inverter fails, the system doesn’t go down.
2. Net Metering an Option
Once converted to AC, the power flows into your home’s meter, backup batteries (if you have them), and the grid.
If you generate more power than you are using, then your meter actually flows backward. If your power company offers net metering, you or the solar installation company you are leasing the panels from will get financial credit from the utility.
3. Where Do You Live
What area of the country you live in is one of the biggest factors to consider when weighing a solar panel installation. This is because the South and the West get more sunlight, which means more power.
However, utility bills in the Northeast are some of the most expensive in the country. Obviously, it would be best to balance your energy needs with your home’s ability to generate power.
4. The Right Roof
One way to weigh this is to look at your roof size and structure. You also need to ensure that your roof has the structural supports and can handle the number of panels you need to generate sufficient power. A good way to do this is to check with a certified installer like etdsolarservices.com to make sure your roof can handle the load.
Furthermore, it helps if your roof is south facing since this is the best way to make the most of your solar installation.
5. Buy or Lease Your Home Solar Install?
One of the biggest decisions you need to make before contacting a home solar panel installer is to lease or buy your panels.
If you can afford the tens of thousands of dollars necessary to buy the panels outright, you should consider it. You’ll get more control over the installation and removal of your panels, and you’ll assuredly get the panels’ full financial and energy benefits.
However, if you can’t afford the upfront installation and still want to get a decent energy benefit and do your part for the environment, then you should consider leasing the panels.
The biggest word of caution here is to make sure you research the company you are doing business with. Check for outstanding lawsuits and reviews online that signal customer satisfaction and responsiveness.
Consult an Expert
Each home solar install is different, so it is challenging for a homeowner to cover every eventuality with professional guidance. So do yourself a favor and shop around when looking for a solar installer.
Don’t be afraid to ask for references and talk to other customers before deciding. Your solar panels can last up to 25 years, so you want to make sure you make the right decision from the onset.
Did you find this article helpful? Search this website for more on energy and solar power.