There are so many benefits to adding solar panels to your home’s roof. You’ll become energy efficient, energy independent, and save tons of monthly electric costs.
Reducing your carbon footprint significantly, getting solar panels installed is also a responsible thing to do. As solar technology has advanced over recent years, there are not many downfalls to switching to solar.
Yet, before you make the big switch, there are a few things you should consider to ensure that solar panels are the right fit for you. Keep reading to learn more.
1. Your Roof Type
The first thing you should look at is the condition of your roof and your roof type.
First, look and see if any repairs need to be done. This will have to be completed before you can install your solar panels, so if this will be an extra cost, it’s wise you factor that into your budget ahead of time.
Next, look at your type of roof. Solar panels can be installed on pretty much any kind of roof, but certain types will cost more or require specific installers.
For instance, not every solar panel installer knows how to work with Spanish tiles. This doesn’t mean you can’t get solar panels; it will just require more research to find an installer that is well-versed with your type of roof.
Again, if this will lead to extra costs, it is best you know at the beginning of the process.
2. To Lease or to Buy
Now that you know the basics of your roof, it’s time to discuss solar panel pricing, deciding if you will lease or buy your solar panels, as there are pros and cons to both.
This will depend entirely on your financial situation. If you can afford to buy the solar panels outright, this will benefit you in the long run.
It will be a good chunk of money starting out, but you will continue to save money long after paying off the initial costs, with certain incentives and tax breaks. This also means you could become energy independent because you are not paying anyone for your electricity.
If you choose to lease, you’ll pay very little money up front and get the benefit of cheap electricity. You would pay the solar panel company each month, which could be a more affordable option if you don’t have the money to buy them outright.
3. How to Improve Efficiency
Before you create your solar home, you’ll want to do everything you can to make your electric use more efficient.
The amount of energy you will need to produce from your solar panels depends on how much energy you use. So, being as efficient as possible will reduce this amount of energy, making your solar panels also more efficient.
Do an energy audit in your home, reviewing your consumption patterns, needs, and usage. This can help you find which areas can become more efficient and which will require the most energy.
Upgrading old appliances and electronics automatically makes you more energy-efficient, but this will be another significant cost to add to your budget.
4. Consider Grid or Off-Grid
As stated before, becoming energy independent is a significant reason to install solar panels. However, the only way to do so is by going off-grid.
This means you would store your solar power energy into batteries, which requires an extensive storage capacity. You would not be connected to a utility bill or city electricity, so all of your energy is entirely your own.
Most people who have solar panels are connected to the grid, which is called Net Metering. This means the city can see your energy usage, but you will also receive credits on your bill for any excess power that your solar panel produces.
Whatever way you desire, you’ll need to know what is required to set it up.
5. Selling Your Home
You may not want to undergo solar panel installation if you are planning on selling your home someday. Yet, this is a mistake.
Solar panels actually increase the value of your home, and they will help your home sell quicker. Buyers are willing to pay more for properties that already have solar panels, so it still makes sense to do so even if you aren’t planning on staying for more than a few years.
6. Finding an Installer
Finding a solar panel installer is one of the most important factors to consider. You want to find one with the proper credentials, licenses, and insurance, as well as one that has excellent customer reviews and references.
Ask them about past projects and any customer testimonies they may have. Get a feel for their communication and if they will be upfront with you during all stages of the process.
Many companies will help maintain your solar panels even after installation, so if this is important for you, make sure that is a service they offer.
7. Signing Your Contract
Now you’ve done all your research, and it’s time to sign your contract! Before signing, make sure you look over every aspect of your contract, such as your financing, warranty, ownership, and performance expectations.
You should expect to have your solar panels for a very long time, so you want your contract to be something you can rely on.
Ready to Get Your Solar Panels Installed?
You’ve done the work. Now you can get your solar panels installed! It’s a big move and something that you will benefit from for many years.
If you have any questions during the process, your solar panel installation company should provide you with the necessary information. If you ever feel unsure about something, getting a second opinion is never a bad thing.
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