Power your home with a renewable energy source such asoffers many benefits. You can reduce your carbon footprint, and feel comfortable knowing that you are contributing in some way to the overall health of the planet. To make things even better, there are .
Of course, switching to solar requires a fair amount of planning and consideration as well. If you are new to renewables for your home, this can be intimidating and it can be difficult to know exactly where to start. What kind of solar panels do you need? How do you install them? How can you be sure that you are getting the most out of them? These are all questions that can come up along the way as you make the switch to renewable energy.
Fortunately, you don’t have to solve these things the hard way. These are the five things to think about before buying solar panels.
Location, location, location
Before buying solar panels, you’ll want to make sure you have a place to put them. Many solar panels are mounted on the roof of the house, and older houses may require repairs, modifications, or even a complete replacement before they can support solar panels.
Solar panels can also be installed on patios in some locations. If you have the space available, this is a potential alternative if the roof installation is too expensive or impractical.
No matter where you install the panels, you want to make sure you can get the optimal positioning for them. In the northern hemisphere, it is best to orient the solar panels to the south, because that is where they will receive the most direct light throughout the day. In the southern hemisphere, the opposite occurs: the panels must face north.
There is more than one type of solar panel.
Not all solar panels are the same. First, you will want to consider your choice between photovoltaic solar panels – also known as solar energy – and thermal solar panels. Photovoltaic energy is much more common and uses solar cells to directly convert sunlight into electricity. Solar thermal panels, on the other hand, use mirrors to concentrate sunlight and are generally used to heat water. Solar thermal energy is more efficient, but is only maximized when the sun is out. Photovoltaic panels are more versatile and durable.
In addition to the type of solar panel you want, you will also need to consider the same things you would do for any major purchase: things like performance, durability, and warranty. All of these will vary and some panels will be better suited to your particular needs. Be sure to research and search for trusted sources and other user experiences to get the best information before making a decision.
Check if you need a permit
Every city, county, and state has different rules when it comes to installing solar panels on residential properties. Before proceeding with any installation, it is important to review city codes and ensure that you comply with all local zoning laws and ordinances. The Solar Energy Industries Association You’ve put together excellent resources to get around any bureaucracy that gets in your way.
Please note that requesting the necessary permits may take some time, both to submit and to receive approval. Installing solar panels is not necessarily an impulse purchase to begin with, but it does take patience.
Consider all costs
Solar panels will almost certainly save you money in the long run, and the longer you stick with the renewable energy source, the more you’ll end up saving as you watch your utility bill go down. However, there are costs that must be considered.
There is the initial upfront cost of the panels, which can be quite expensive. You will need to consider whether it is possible to pay this expense directly or whether you will need to finance the purchase. Be sure to factor in the interest rate and how it will accumulate over time..
The installation process itself will likely require hiring a contractor, and you will have to factor in the costs associated with that, including any necessary modifications to your home to accommodate the solar panels. Permits can also come with a one-time fee. Finally, consider the possible maintenance that will be required over the life of the panels.
Look for discounts and tax incentives
While solar panels may seem expensive, especially since you face considerable upfront costs, you should be aware of the fact that some places have.
The federal government offers tax credits to homeowners who install solar panels. Some states similarly offer tax exemptions and rebates when you embrace solar energy. Be sure to take advantage of these opportunities to reduce the cost of switching to solar power.
Are Solar Panels Right For You?
Solar panels are becoming more and more popular, but they are not suitable for every home or every budget. Your property may not be able to get the most out of solar panels or the installation process will reveal other issues in your home that need to be addressed. You may also find yourself in a situation where solar panels simply cost too much to make sense for your situation.
But for many, solar panels will provide relief in the form of cheaper utility bills, a smaller carbon footprint, and less reliance on the traditional grid. Read more about solar panels: