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Protecting the environment has become a matter of critical importance over the last few decades. One of the ways people have sought to do this is to cut down on their energy consumption. There is a scientifically proven connection between our hunger for energy and our changing climate. Weather systems are becoming more powerful, destroying millions in property and costing more lives every year.
To do your part, you may have decided to install solar panels at your home to reduce your need for fossil fuel-generated electricity. It is a laudable decision but it requires some thought before you invest. Here are some items you need to be clear on before you install solar panels.
- 1 Tips for installing solar panels at home
- 1.1 1) Can your roof support the weight of the panels?
- 1.2 2) Does your roof need repairs?
- 1.3 3) Where is your house situated?
- 1.4 4) Do you plan to remain on-grid or off-grid?
- 1.5 5) The logistics of the installation
- 1.6 6) Who will be installing your solar panels
- 1.7 7) Government rebates and tax incentives
Tips for installing solar panels at home
1) Can your roof support the weight of the panels?
An array of solar panels will add extra weight to your roof. You have to be certain of the structural integrity of your roof or the added weight is likely to cause a collapse This will place you and anyone living in the home in danger.
2) Does your roof need repairs?
Every roof has a life span. If your roof is nearing 15-20 years old, it is likely to be approaching the end of its life span and may require repairs. This would be a good time to install the panels, as you are renovating your roof and making the solar upgrade at the same time, saving money.
It is going to be more costly to install an array of panels, only to have to remove them to repair your roof a few years later.
3) Where is your house situated?
Because the panels utilize sunlight to create energy, if you are installing them, your house has to be optimally placed to receive as much sunlight as possible. Your initial outlay to invest in solar panels is unlikely to be recouped if your home doesn’t receive much sunlight.
4) Do you plan to remain on-grid or off-grid?
Most people who install solar panels not only want to protect the environment but hope to benefit from cost savings as well. Your choice to connect your solar array to the electricity grid or not could influence how much lower your energy costs are.
Leaving the grid completely could result in higher costs at the beginning that will lower over time. Remaining on the grid will be cheaper in the beginning and can also result in lower bills from your electricity company.
You can estimate which choice might be better for you by comparing your current energy costs to your potential savings on a solar panel calculator. There are several available online like this one, Green Ridge Solar’s solar panel cost calculator tool, where you can see how much money you are liable to save over some time. You will also be able to determine how long it will take you to see a return on your investment in solar panels.
5) The logistics of the installation
Solar panels will change the flow of water off of your roof. It may cause water to pool in places it is not accustomed to, leading to leaks. They need to be installed in a way that doesn’t create this problem.
The panels may also be exposed to unfavorable weather (storms, lightning, etc) that may damage them, leading to expensive repairs or replacement. Are you prepared to bear the cost of this should it happen? Is there a place on your roof where they will not be exposed to the worst of bad weather, while still receiving maximum sunlight?
6) Who will be installing your solar panels
Given everything involved in your decision to invest in a solar array, it makes sense to hire an experienced and competent team to do the installation. Make sure the company you select is:
- Certified by government agencies to undertake this kind of work
- Has experience doing this kind of installation with customer testimonials and a good work record
- Offering warranties on their work
- Able to maintain your solar panels
- Clear in their contract on the terms of their warranties and maintenance work
7) Government rebates and tax incentives
Because the climate issue is such an urgent one, several governments worldwide have been offering benefits to people who convert to renewable sources of energy. It may be worth your while to check what these are in your country since you might be able to cover the cost of the installation or have that money returned to you at a later date.
Now that you are armed with the facts, you can make a more informed decision about your decision to install those solar panels. You know it will be a good move for the environment, but you can also tell whether it will be a good move for you too in the long run.