Thinking about making the switch to solar energy? Now might be the perfect time to claim your place in this rapidly growing industry.
Over the past ten years, solar energy has seen an average annual growth of nearly 50%, and it’s not difficult to see why. Not only is installing solar panels a great way to live a “greener” lifestyle, but it’s also a foolproof method to start seriously saving on your energy costs.
Sounds too good to be true, right? It definitely isn’t. However, depending on certain factors, right now might not be the best time for you to invest in the benefits of solar panels.
Before you can install a solar panel setup in your home, there are a few important questions you should ask yourself. Keep reading to learn 7 things to consider before installing solar panels.
1. What is the Cost of Installing Solar Panels?
While it can result in significant energy savings, installing solar panels is an investment. Before you move forward with your plans, you should ensure that it is something you can afford.
When factoring in the costs of solar panel installation, you should consider the costs of equipment along with how much it will cost to have it installed. There is also a tax credit that will be factored in, so be sure to include that in your estimates.
2. Will My Roof Be Able to Support a Solar Panel Setup?
Some roofs are sturdier than others, and not all of them will be able to withstand installing solar panels. Below are some of the key questions to ask yourself in order to get a better idea of whether your roof will be able to support a solar panel setup.
How Much Weight Can My Roof Handle?
This is one of the most important things to consider before installing solar panels: can your roof handle the weight of the equipment? If you overload beyond its capacity, there is a dangerous potential for the roof to collapse.
Before you begin shopping for solar panels, it’s critical to have a certified professional come to evaluate your roof’s weight capacity. This will help avoid any hazardous (not to mention expensive) damages to your home. The experts at Blue Raven suggest working with a solar energy provider that can handle these evaluations for you.
Is My Roof in Need of Repair?
If your roof is older, or if it has damage, then you should wait until it’s in good shape before investing in solar energy.
Here’s another thing to consider: any minor (or major) repairs that your roof needs will likely require you to uninstall your solar panels and have them reinstalled once the problem is fixed. To save yourself the extra costs and hassle, it’s better to take care of any necessary repairs before making the switch to solar energy.
Does My Roof Have Enough Space?
Some solar panels have larger footprints, so it’s important to ensure that they can fit on your roof. Take measurements of your available space, noting any slants or irregularities in shape.
3. How Many Solar Panels Will I Need for My Home?
Before installing solar panels, you should have a good idea of how much energy your home requires on a monthly basis. Then, you can compare this to the expected power output of the solar panels you’ll be installing. Once you’ve determined that, then you can figure out how many solar panels will be needed to power your home.
It’s worth noting that backup generators are always a possibility, but these will need to be factored into your budget before determining your final costs.
4. Is My Property Suitable for Solar Panels?
While installing solar panels can potentially harness all the energy you need to power your home, not all properties will be suitable for it.
For example, if your property is surrounded by thick trees and foliage, then this might not allow the proper amount of sunlight needed to power a solar energy setup. Likewise, if you’re surrounded by tall buildings that block out the sun, then this could be a hindrance as well. There are also certain parts of the country that have more sunlight than others.
If you feel like your property won’t get the proper amount of sunlight to power your home, you can include a solar backup generator. However, it’s still important to consider whether the amount of solar energy you’ll be producing is worth investing in the equipment.
5. Is This My Long-Term Place of Residence?
Installing solar panels is a long-term investment, and should only be done if you plan on living in your current home for years to come. Ideally, it should be the home you plan on staying in permanently.
On the same note, if you’re renting the property, then you probably won’t be allowed to make the adjustments necessary to convert the home to solar energy. Once you own the home and plan to stay in it, this will be the ideal time to start considering installing solar panels.
6. Have I Considered All Available Options?
Installing solar panels is a considerable investment, so it’s worth shopping around before you make any final decisions. Most contractors and solar panel companies will be able to give you an estimate before you commit. Once you’ve gotten a number of different estimates on the table, you’ll be able to make the best decision for your home and budget.
7. Are the Solar Panel Savings Worth the Initial Investment?
Are you spending a significant amount on your energy bill? If so, then installing solar panels can be a smart investment. However, if you have a smaller household, or if you don’t use up that much power, the costs might not end up being worth it.
Choosing Solar Energy for Your Home
Investing in solar energy can lead to significant energy savings, but it’s important to do your due diligence before moving forward. Now that you know the main points to consider before installing solar panels, you are prepared to make an informed decision for your family and your home.
For more topics like this one, check out our other articles.