9 Things You Should Know Before Installing Solar Panels

Solar energy is becoming more popular in the US every day.   It is your best option if you want clean energy without expensive energy bills. With advancements in technology over the years, incredible milestones have been achieved.  Solar power systems are better and more reliable. You will generate affordable electrical energy by installing solar panels on your property.  You’ll also decrease the strain on the grid.

However, there are important things you should know before installing the panels.

Consider these 9 important things before you buy a solar system

1) Roof repair

Solar panels are usually installed on the roof.  So the roof has to be in a good condition to avoid problems in the future. An old roof that requires repair isn’t the best candidate for installation. Also, if there is any damage to the roof you should have it repaired first. Additionally, it’s better to do that work before installing the panels. In such a case, you won’t have to remove the solar panels for roof installation/repair then install it all over again. It is also advisable to ensure the roof has a longer warranty than the solar panels. If the roof warranty expires first, then maintenance costs will be on you. This can increase your expenses tremendously.

 

2) Roof shape and sloping

Roofs vary widely in terms of size and shape. The roof should have enough surface area to accommodate all the needed panels. You won’t be able to install enough panels to meet your energy needs if the space is too limited.  Additionally, solar panels have to be placed a certain way to maximize their ability to harness solar power. Some contractors will choose to have the solar panels facing west while others prefer south. Nonetheless, this decision should be made before you purchase the system to avoid added expenses.

3) Can your roof handle the weight?

Solar panels increase the strain on your roof. If it cannot bear the extra weight there is a high possibility of a collapse. Not only is a roof collapse dangerous but also costly. All this can be prevented by having a roof checkup prior to the solar panel installation. Ensure the inspection is done by a qualified professional. That way you’ll be sure you’re getting an honest and thorough report.

 

4) Grid or off-grid

The solar energy system can be connected to the grid. You can also choose to go off-grid. In the latter, you will use batteries to store your energy. When you are connected to the grid you will be on Net Metering. If you produce excess energy then you can get a credit for that on your bill.

For the off-grind option, you will have to invest in batteries with high storage capacity to save any excess energy produced. You should weigh your options  whether to be on-grid or off-grid based on your power production and consumption capacity.

 

5) Warranties

Warranties are highly recommended. Not only are the panels protected but so is other affiliated equipment. Should anything happen to the solar panels, the manufacturer will take responsibility. And you won’t incur any additional costs.

In many states, there are incentive programs offered to people using solar energy. However, you won’t be able to take advantage of these programs if you don’t have a warranty for your energy system. There are different types of warranties including inverter warranty, solar panel warranty, and installation warranty.  If possible, you should have all of them.

 

6) Home insurance

Confirm whether or not your home insurance will cover any damage to the property that might occur during the solar panel installation. Even though this is unlikely when you hire a reputable contractor, you shouldn’t leave anything to chance. Many legal permits, building codes, and rebate programs require home insurance certificates before you are allowed to install the panels.

7) Is DIY a good idea?

If you are not a professional in solar panel installation you shouldn’t be contemplating a DIY project. There are dozens of things that can go wrong. The losses will be major compared to what you think you can save through a DIY. Wiring problems and a leaky roof are some of the most common. Also, code compliance and safety standards will be breached if you opt for a DIY installation. In this case, you won’t receive any compensation in case things go wrong. Additionally, warranties are void if the installation isn’t done by qualified professionals.

 

8) Your location

Direct sunlight is an important consideration when installing solar panels. If you live in a region that receives a lot of sunlight you may not need a lot of panels to get enough energy to run your household. Tall buildings and tree shade affect the exposure of the solar panels to direct sunlight. Some solar panels will be able to harness energy at a reduced capacity when shaded. Others will shut down completely. You need the best climate for maximum solar energy harnessing.

 

9) Energy consumption

The number of solar panels you need will depend on your energy needs. Therefore, you should do an energy consumption audit before purchasing your solar panel system.

3 Considerations to determine the number of solar panels you’ll need

The number of electric appliances you have in your household.
How often you use your appliances.
Also, the number of people living in the property is an important consideration in evaluating your average energy needs.

Capacity

To find out the capacity of the panels you need for efficient energy production you’ll use a calculation. The kilowatts you spend in a month should be multiplied by 0.25. Also, make an allowance for energy demand surges. Solar energy not only assures a consistent power supply but also reduced energy bills.

You should take your time in researching the do’s and don’ts before installing the system.  That way you will avoid future regrets or property damage. It will be too costly and inconvenient to install the system just to take it down a few weeks later for one reason or another.

 


The above real estate information, Does it make sense to install solar panels? was provided by Vicki Moore, Pacifica CA Realtor.  Pacifica is on the coast of Northern California.

I can be reached via email at [email protected] or by phone at 650-888-9268. I have helped people move in and out of San Mateo County since 1998.

Are you thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for selling homes and loves to talk real estate!

I provide real estate sales assistance in the following Mid Silicon Valley cities: PacificaMontara, Moss Beach, El Granada, Half Moon BayBurlingame, Millbrae, Daly City, San Mateo, Foster City, Redwood City, San Carlos, and Belmont.