Solar panels are a smart choice for any homeowner looking to reduce their energy bills, help the environment, and increase the value of their home. With the right research and preparation, you can ensure that you get the most out of your investment.
If you’re considering investing in solar panels for your home, there are several important factors to take into account. Fortunately, if you start a search online today, you can learn how to select the best solar panels for your home.
Can My Roof Support Solar Panels?
That all depends. If you have a relatively new roof that’s in fine condition, it will likely support solar panels. However, your roof’s orientation and pitch play a crucial role in determining the efficiency of your solar panel system. Make sure your roof faces south or west and has a pitch of 30 – 45 degrees.
If your roof is outdated, you may need to replace it before adding residential solar panels. Otherwise, the panels may not have adequate support. This is important because the weight of the solar panels can put a significant strain on your roof’s structure. Damage or even collapse can result if the panels aren’t properly supported. 1
Can I Install Them Myself?
Installing solar panels is a complex process, which involves working with dangerous electrical wiring and components. Beyond the safety hazards, incorrect installation can result in poor performance or even damage to your solar panel system. This can be costly to repair.
The best way to install solar panels is to hire a professional who is certified through the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). By choosing a reputable and certified solar panel installer, you can maximize the benefits of your solar panel system and enjoy reliable and sustainable energy for years to come.
What Kind Of Panels Are Best?
A variety of solar panel brands come highly recommended – and believe it or not, the most expensive options aren’t always the best! As Solar Reviews notes, the best solar panel brands are a combination of premium grade (such as Maxeon and REC Group) and value grade options (like Qcells and Canadian Solar). 2
Homeowners looking to invest in a high-quality, efficient, and durable solar panel system can’t do better than monocrystalline solar panels. These durable panels have efficiency rates of up to 22%, meaning they can generate more electricity per square foot of space than other types. 3 However, this option is more expensive.
How Expensive Will It Get?
Solar panel installation and a fully operational system can cost between $15,000 and $25,000, on average. 4 While that is a lot of money, you can determine whether such an investment would pay off by considering a few factors:
- How much are your utility bills?
- How much exposure to sunlight does your home receive?
- What kind of government incentives are available? 5
If you’re already dropping serious cash on energy bills each month, you would eventually benefit from switching to solar power. (That is, if your home isn’t in the shadow of another building or tall trees.) The price of residential electricity varies wildly by state, so assessing the energy trends of your area can help you decide if solar panels are for you.
How Much Will I Save?
Since the average household in the U.S. spends approximately $125 per month on an energy bill, Forbes calculates that a solar panel system could lead to savings of about $1,500 annually.
On the heels of that estimate, you could save between $25,500 to $33,000 over the lifespan of the system. 6
Of course, the rise or reduction of energy prices during this time period could lead to more or less savings. It’s also important to note that the actual savings can vary significantly depending on your location and energy usage. And let’s not forget how expensive the upfront cost of installing a solar panel system can be.
A Good Investment
Solar panels can be a good investment for homeowners looking to reduce their energy costs and their carbon footprint. While the cost of installing a solar panel system can be significant, the potential long-term savings and environmental benefits can outweigh the initial expense.
Keep in mind that homeowners who live in areas with a lot of sunlight and high electricity rates are likely to benefit the most from installing solar panels. Additionally, homeowners who have a long-term commitment to their home and plan to live in it for many years will also benefit from solar panel installation, as the initial cost of installation can be offset over time through savings on electricity bills.
Look into government incentives and tax credits that can help offset the cost of installation and make solar panels a more affordable option for homeowners. Ultimately, the decision to invest in solar panels should be based on careful consideration of the potential costs and benefits, as well as the homeowner’s energy needs and budget.