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Everything to Know Before Going Solar!

Jessica PirroJanuary 8, 20203680

What a Homeowner Should Know Before Going Solar

Solar panels are good for the environment and a homeowner's bank account, but it’s not a one size fits all investment. There are a few things that a homeowner should know before they go solar.

What It Means to Go Solar

A homeowner is going to know the basics about what it means to go solar, but when you go solar there’s going to be more to it than just the basics.

First things first you should think of the “passive techniques”, or passive solar, meaning that designing the building to take advantage of the local climate. This would be using the sun’s solar energy for heating and cooling homes, using the building itself to optimize the use of natural solar energy instead of applying mechanical solar power systems (active solar power). Homeowners should also consider window placement and double glazing, thermal insulation, thermal mass, and shading. The passive solar energy design technique is easiest applied to new buildings, however, existing buildings can also be adapted. The first step in the process to go solar is going to be optimizing the use of natural solar energy through the design of the building.

When you go solar it will also refer to the active techniques, implying mechanical solar power systems. There are two different methods you can choose from, depending on if you want to use solar power for heating or electricity purposes. Solar water heating systems are going to capture the sunlight to heat water for domestic use. An example, you can install a solar power pool heater to heat your swimming pool.

If you want to use solar energy for electricity purposes, you will need a solar panel installation. Solar panel installation is going to use solar panels to produce solar electricity by transforming the energy it captures from the sun.

It’s Going to Take Time to Benefit From Solar Energy Savings

Your monthly bill savings are going to start as soon as your solar power system is installed and running. The first electric bill you receive after the homeowner gets a solar panel installation will be relieving. But customers need to keep in mind that the savings solar power systems provide are imminent, and you can even see a payback period in less than a decade.

Your Roof Condition, Material, and Layout

One of the best things about solar panels is how durable they are. Most of the solar power systems can last thirty years or longer. But, because asphalt roofs are usually going to last around twenty years, which means that your roof is going to need to be in tip-top shape before you get a solar panel installation. It can be challenging and costly to remove and reinstall solar panels to make way for roof work, so before you get a solar panel installation you should repair any damage or replace the roof altogether if you need to - before you install your solar power system.

Along with the condition of your rooftop, consider the roof layout, materials, and direction. Some of the solar companies might charge an additional fee to perform the solar panel installation on a flat, concrete, or ceramic Spanish tile roof, due to a more complicated solar panel installation process. Lastly, you are going to need plenty of roof space for the solar panels, the exact amount is going to depend on the type and number of solar panels that you choose.

Different Homes Need Different Considerations

There’s no solar power system, provider, or set up that is going to work on every house. The weather at your location may depend on the types of solar panels that you are going to need, and the size of your house and the amount of shade that you get. It’s going to be important to find do your research to compare several different solar installers, this way you can decide which one might be best for your particular situation.

Learn About Your Solar Power System Warranties

Learn about the two different kinds of solar power warranties that are typically offered. The first one is the warranty for the solar panels and solar power inverters that are offered by the manufacturer. For the solar panels, the manufacturer's warranty is typically going to be 20-25 years and 5-10 for solar power inverters. Not all solar warranties are going to be created equal. Your solar installer should also offer what is called a workmanship warranty. This warranty guarantees that they didn’t make any holes in your that will most likely lead to leaks for a specific period, typically from two to five years. You should also keep in mind that these warranties aren’t going to cover, theft, fires, or other damage.

Maintain Your Solar Panels 

Solar panels are going to durable and easy to maintain, helping them maintain their solar power output level for the life of their warranty. Solar panels are typically pretty low maintenance, but it isn’t going to hurt them to hose them off now and then just to make sure that leaves and debris stay off them.

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