There are many great reasons to install solar panels; saving money on your utility bill, reducing your carbon footprint, and improving your home’s value – but there are many things you should consider before jumping right in. We’ve come up with a list to help you decide if solar power is a good option for you.
Roof Condition and Layout
Solar panels are good for the environment. One of the first things you should consider when wanting to buy solar panels is the condition of your roof. Your roof should be in excellent condition before installing panels. If you know your roof is old and might have to be repaired soon – it’s strongly recommended you get that fixed before installing. That way, you won’t have to pay extra to remove your solar panels later.
The layout of your roof is another important consideration. Some roofs are not suitable for solar panels – and require a bit more effort and extra cost. Some companies may charge an additional fee to install on flat, concrete, or ceramic Spanish tile roofs, due to the more involved installation. Lastly, you’ll need some unobstructed roof space for the panels, though the exact amount will depend on the type and number of panels you choose.
Is your roof optimized for solar panel installation? The ideal candidate is:
- Not too old (less than 10-15 years).
- Made of asphalt shingles, standing-seam metal, or tiles.
- Free from shade throughout the day.
Cost of Solar Panel Installation
Though solar panels can help cut back on costs, they are still pricey. The cost of installation depends on multiple factors – but generally ranges between $10,000 and $15,000 depending on the company you choose, size of the system, and the type of panels.
Before installing solar panels, check to see how much sunlight you get in a day. The more sunlight that shines onto your solar panels, the more energy they can generate. Depending on where you live, the amount of sunlight differs. Make sure there are no tall objects in the way of your roof, like large trees that could cast shadows onto your roof and make your energy production much less.
The amount of solar energy you need to produce will depend on how much you use, so it makes sense to trim your usage as much as possible before paying for all those panels. To do this, start with an energy audit and look for efficiency upgrades before you start. Estimate the amount of energy consumption patterns, usage, and needs.
The Bottom Line
As you research your solar panel purchase – run through our checklist to make sure you’re familiar with your panel and financing options, as well as your roof requirements, and location. If you determine that solar panels are a good fit for your home, you’ll be one step closer to enjoying the sustainability and savings of solar panels.