Solar energy is a renewable resource that is abundant, environmentally friendly, and sustainable.
With an increase in environmental awareness worldwide, it has become a popular topic of discussion and interest among the general public.
Solar power can be used to heat water for homes or provide electricity through solar panels installed on rooftops or in large utility-scale photovoltaic plants.
When compared to other sources of energy such as coal or natural gas, solar power has many benefits including being clean and not emitting any greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere which scientists believe are responsible for global warming.
The cost of installing solar panels has also come down over time due to increased competition in the marketplace between manufacturers which continues to drive prices lower while improving quality at the same time.
So let’s take a look at some of the things you should consider before installing solar panels.
Find a Good Contractor
The quality and performance of your solar installation depend heavily on the contractor you choose to install it. Do your research and ask for referrals from friends or family members who have had a good experience with their solar installation.
When looking for a contractor make sure to choose a local company. For example, if you live in Seattle your best bet is typing “solar company Seattle” into the Google search bar.
Local contractors will know the local permitting process and likely have a good working relationship with the local utility company. They will also be more invested in their community and have a better understanding of the climate conditions in your area.
Almost every city or municipality has regulations governing solar installations. Make sure to check with your local building department to see what is required and what kind of permits you need before starting your project.
Oftentimes there will be specific requirements for the size, type, and location of your solar installation that must be followed in order to meet code.
Size Of The Panels
When sizing a solar system for your home it is important to consider how much sunlight your roof receives throughout the day. North-facing roofs receive less sun than south-facing roofs, so you will need a larger system if you live in a sunny area. There are many online tools that can help you size a system for your home.
Most solar systems are designed to meet around 80% of a home’s electricity needs. If you use a lot of electricity consider installing a larger system. Think about the amount of electricity you use on a daily basis and multiply that by 365 to get an idea of how much energy your solar system would need to produce in a year.
The type of roof you have will also play a role in the size and type of solar system you install. Tile or slate roofs are not ideal for solar installations because they can be difficult and expensive to work with. Metal roofs are a good option because they are durable and easy to install solar panels on.
Location of the Panels
Another important consideration is where to locate the solar panels on your roof. You will want to place them in an area that receives the most sun throughout the day. Usually, this is on the south-facing side of the house.
If your roof is not ideal for solar panels due to its orientation or age, you may want to consider installing a ground-mounted system instead.
An inverter is the component of a solar system that converts the direct current (DC) produced by the solar panels into alternating current (AC) which is used to power your home.
When choosing an inverter it is important to make sure that it is capable of handling the size of your solar system. A good inverter will have a long lifespan and be able to handle surges in electricity demand.
Net metering is the process by which homeowners who install solar panels can sell excess electricity back to their utility company. Most states have net metering laws in place which allow homeowners to receive credit for the energy they produce at a rate equal to or greater than the retail price of electricity.
This is a great option for homeowners who live in areas with high electricity rates.
Solar power is becoming an increasingly popular way for homeowners to reduce their electricity bills and help the environment. But before you install solar panels on your roof there are a few things you should consider.
By taking the time to educate yourself and do your research you can make an informed decision about whether or not solar is right for you.