Solar seems to be the buzz word of late, hailed for its ability to save your household money in energy costs and reduce your damage to the environment. However, there’s quite a bit to know before you take the plunge into a solar home so you need to be informed.
According to a report by Forbes, installing solar panels in your home could reduce your home’s carbon footprint by a massive 35,180 pounds of carbon monoxide each year. To do this without solar you would need to plant 88 trees a year just to offset that amount, just to put things into perspective.
Considering how long your solar panels will last atop your home, the environmental impact over the years is phenomenal. When coupled with the savings on your utility bill, the prospect of a solar home sounds extremely enticing in modern times. However, here are some things to consider before you make the decision to go green.
Depending on the quality of panels you install, most brands will last you for a solid 30 years. Every year, the panels only lose around 0.5% of their efficiency, so will drop just 15% over their total life. Even if you don’t plan on living in your current house for this long, it still pays to weigh up the investment and see how much you could be saving on energy costs.
Those homes with asphalt shingle roofs are a lot cheaper to have panels installed on than something a little more complex such as Spanish tile. As tile is more brittle, it’s a longer and more costly job for the installer to complete. Speak to a range of providers before you settle on one and make sure you get the best deal. Having one of these more brittle roof types can add up to 25% to your installation fees.
One of the most common myths to do with solar panels is that they’ll only work if your roof is facing southwest, which puts a lot of people off from the installation altogether. While it’s true panels facing this way will get the optimum amount of sunlight, you can still power your home with panels that go either way.
Homes that currently spend a lot on their energy bills are those who can benefit most, as utility companies offer discounts for the more you spend. Consider how much energy your home uses first and then speak with different suppliers to see who can offer you the best deal on your solar energy costs and rebates.
Just like any investment you make into your home’s worth, you’ll need to cover it with insurance. As solar panels are placed outside they can be prone to damage from harsh weather, fires, and more, so you need to protect their cost. Adding a full home’s solar panels to your insurance policy should cost no more than $10 per month so it’s worth the coverage.
Any solar panel provider worth their salt will immediately offer a warranty when discussing their product, and if this isn’t the case then you should look elsewhere. There are two standard warranties for solar panels, the installer’s warranty on their work and the warranty for the panels and inverter.
The installer’s warranty covers you for about 10 years to ensure that the work was competent and will leave no damaging holes in your roof. Depending on your panels and inverter, a good length of warranty should start at around 20 years for a quality product.
Every home is different, and your household’s energy needs are going to determine your choices with solar panels. The best first step is to assess your energy usage and see if having a solar home will really be beneficial to you.
Now that you’re armed with some more of the facts, it should make your decision even easier. There’s never been a better time to equip your home with solar panels and reap the benefits of natural energy straight from the sun, and both your wallet and the environment will thank you for it.