Should I Install Solar Panels? 8 Important Factors to Consider Beforehand

Did you know that installing a solar energy system in your home is 60% cheaper than it was just a decade ago? 

If you’re looking to cut your utility bills and be a little more environmentally conscious, then maybe you’ve asked yourself, “should I install solar panels”?

How viable an option this is for you depends on a number of factors. Solar energy technology has definitely come a long way in the past decade. And continued innovations are making it even more reliable and affordable.

If you’re curious about whether or not solar panels are right for you, check out 8 factors to consider below.

Should I Install Solar Panels?

There are so many benefits to going solar. You’ll save money while reducing your carbon footprint. In fact, you can now rely on solar energy to power a portable generator. 

So even if your electricity goes out, you can use solar energy to power your necessary appliances and medical devices. Visit https://PoweredPortableSolar.com to find out more.

In the meantime, there are some things you’ll need to consider before installing solar panels for your home.

1. Location

Some places are sunnier than others. For example, if you live in New England or the Pacific Northwest, you experience less sunlight per year than if you live in the South or Southwest.

The more days of sunlight you experience, the more energy your solar panels will generate. But that doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from solar panels in places where it’s cloudier.

You may just need to install more panels. 

Beyond just the geological location, the orientation of your home makes a difference too. In locales north of the equator, roofs that face south, southeast, and southwest will be far more ideal for solar panels than roofs that face north.

Also, you don’t want to install solar panels on your roof in places where shadows from tall trees or satellite dishes could be cast. 

2. Roof 

The good news is solar panels are incredibly durable. They can last 30 years or more.

The bad news is if you have an asphalt roof, it’s only good for around 20 years. So in this case, you’ll need to take care of all repairs or even invest in a new roof. Otherwise, you may end up paying a lot to remove and reinstall panels later to make way for roof work. 

You’ll also need to consider your roof’s layout. It may cost more install on concrete, flat, or ceramic Spanish tile roofs because it’s a more involved installation. 

3. Length of Time You Will Live in Your Home

Your solar panel investment will pay off – but not right away.

You’ll see an immediate reduction in your electric bills. But solar panels and their installation are going to be costly. So plan on it being a minimum of 5 to 6 years before your solar panel investment pays off. 

The choice to install solar panels makes sense if you’re planning to be in your house long term. On the other hand, if you’re a free spirit who’s always on the go, you’ll need to figure out other ways to decrease your energy consumption. 

4. Panel Options

There are quite a few options for solar panels. The most popular choice is the traditional, roof-mounted variety.

But there are also ground-mounted options. These are ideal in situations where there’s not enough roof space or you have a north-facing roof. Because they require more labor and materials, these panels are more expensive though.

It’s also possible to mount your panels with a tracker. With this option, there is a tracker which moves the panels so they can follow the sun. This specialized option is even more expensive than the above two.

You can actually forgo panels altogether and go with solar shingles. These aren’t as efficient, but they are more discreet. 

Just remember though that the higher the efficiency, the greater your return on investment.  

5. Energy Required to Power Your House

Your energy consumption is going to depend on a number of factors, including how many people live in your house and how many electrical devices you use.

In order to know how many panels will be sufficient to power your house, you’ll need to assess the average electricity consumption of your home. 

Start by following your electric bills. Determine how many kilowatts of energy you use on an average day. Then multiply that number by .25 to determine the properly sized system that will be needed for your house.

6. Eligibility for Rebates

It’s clear that solar panel installation isn’t cheap.

But tax credits and rebates can cut that cost considerably. You’ll need to be willing to purchase from a particular company though. And you’ll have to complete paperwork.

Several states, as well as utility companies, also offer incentives. It’s a good idea to review your state and federal options ahead of time so you can get a sense of just how much you’ll save.

Check out how to leverage Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credits for the biggest savings opportunity. It’s available as long as you install your system by December 31st, 2019.

7. Financing Options

If you’re not eligible for rebates – or even if you are – you may still be scrambling to come up with funds for solar panel installation. Solar loans are a good option in this case. There is typically a small down payment, then monthly fees.  

But maybe you don’t qualify for a loan. Or perhaps you don’t actually wish to purchase a system. 

Some solar companies allow you to lease a solar array. They still own the equipment, and you pay a small rental fee. Plus, you also have the option to enter into a power-purchase agreement where you can buy discounted energy from the company that installs and maintains the equipment.

With this last option, you won’t have to maintain the panels and you’ll save money on your utility bill. But you’re less likely to be eligible for tax credits or rebates.

8. Warranty Options

The nice thing about solar panels is their durability. They typically perform efficiently and without hassle for many years.

Still, in rare situations, issues can arise. So it’s crucial you understand what’s covered by the panel manufacturer’s warranty. That way, if there ever is a problem, you’ll know exactly what to expect. 

Harness the Power of the Sun

We hope we have effectively helped you to answer the question, “should I install solar panels?”

If you think you’re a strong candidate for solar energy, we strongly encourage you to start helping the environment today. You’ll be glad you did.

And for more informative articles relating to living a better and healthier life, keep checking back with our blog. 

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