As we continue further through the year, you may be looking at ways to cut costs and save some money for more of a longer-term duration. Solar panels for the house may have even crossed your mind at some point, or perhaps you have seen more of your neighbors installing solar panels for their homes, and it has piqued your interest.
Are solar panels for the house really worth it? If you are looking for a smart and long-term investment that can yield positive results with a good return, then solar panels are something you should consider as a homeowner.
First, look at how much you are currently spending on electricity. You can use a solar panel calculator to help you determine the size of the system you will need to use, how much the solar panels can save you in your current location, and will also show you an estimate of the savings you may find when using solar power for your future energy needs.
Basics of Solar Electric System
A solar panel is a simple, yet important device that helps you to store solar energy. They come in various sizes, so you can find the best fit for your home and your needs. Together with other parts that we’ll look at shortly, the panels form a solar electric system for the home and is essentially acting as a mini power plant.
Some important parts of an electric system that you should be aware of include a power inverter that converts direct current into alternating current and the net meter that acts as a measuring tool for how much power goes to the grid. There is also a PV Disconnect that saves you from shock by allowing you to shut off the power supply, the breaker box that sends the solar energy to your home and, of course, the solar panel that collects energy from the sun and turns it to direct current.
Now that you are familiar with some of the essential parts, the following information includes step-by-step procedures on how you should put the pieces together. Make no mistake; it isn’t as nerve-racking as it looks.
There are a few things you should do before installing solar panels, however, such as getting in touch with utilities to ensure that you get any permits that may be required. You must also see to it that you’re not causing any disturbance as you carry out your solar projects.
Firstly, know how much energy you need. This helps in knowing how many solar panels you should invest in. You can do this by going through the bills and finding out how much energy you spend. Afterward, find out when the sun is strongest in your area.
Secondly, you should know which solar panel you want. Carry out thorough research on the different types of solar panels that are available, so that you won’t end up being disappointed with what you purchase.
Currently, there are several types of panels in the market like thin-film solar panels, which are popular because they’re easy to install and work better in the dark. The other type of solar panels is crystalline panels. These panels last longer but are more expensive to install. Factors such as where you live and how much money you have to spend should help you make the right decision.
Thirdly, how strong is your roof? It would be wise to have your roof inspected prior to installation to ensure that it is in the best condition. If it hasn’t been replaced in a while and there is damage, it might be best to repair or replace the roof before investing money into solar panels for the house. Most solar panels are quite heavy. You need to make sure that your roof can handle the strain of the panels.
Also, consider how open to light your house is. Does the sun have to peek into a thicket to reach it? Remember, panels need sunlight to be effective. Without it, they’re nothing but useless decorations on your roof. Additionally, ensure that you have enough land for installing your panels on the ground. Ground installation helps panels to be in step with the sun regardless of its position.
The Installation Process
Next, identify a suitable inverter for your panel. You can choose to go for a single inverter for all of your panels or a micro inverter system that deals with every inverter individually by use of a small inverter. The greatest plus about it is a single hiccup from one panel won’t affect the rest. When you think of the money you’ll save, it’s an immediate choice.
Imagine the lights shutting off when you’re watching something interesting on TV, and suddenly there’s a power outage. If you have backup batteries, you don’t have to undergo the unpleasant experience of being in the dark, literally. It’s also good for you to have a net meter so that you can monitor how much energy is going back to the grid.
If you’ve come through this entire process successfully up to this point, you’re on the right track. After making several calls to the government in your area and sorting out some technical stuff such as getting a building permit, you’re ready to install your panel.
Even if you’re confident in your ability to do it, it’s wise to have a licensed electrician with you. They can check your work, make a few suggestions, and identify some areas where you may have made a mistake and rectify it. Even the best of us make mistakes. Don’t you agree?
Take the Step and Go Solar
If you find that you are an environmentally motivated individual and you want to reduce your reliance on fossil fuels and instead utilize a clean and sustainable form of renewable energy, then solar panels are a good option to consider.
You will effectively protect yourself against any future price increases for electricity being supplied by the utility company and you will save money on energy costs. You will also reap the long-term benefits of the solar installation while making an initial investment that will yield a much greater long-term return. This is also including any rebates or other incentives that are being offered if you choose to install solar panels on your house.