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Solar panels for home - What to know before going solar

Whether you advocate the idea of smart energy consumption or want to be energy independent, solar panel installation is a choice. Renewable power can advantage a property owner, local grid, society, and Planet. It's never too late to go green, and the growing number of American homes with solar panels on their rooftops prove that. According to the statistics, as of today, around 16.4 million homes are with PV panels. A rising demand makes companies decline their rates and develop more powerful hardware. The US government also takes pains to encourage the adoption of solar, providing tax benefits, rebates, and performance-based incentives. Thanks to the SETO investments alone, the cost of going solar becomes two times lower every year.

Solar panels for home - What to know before going solar

Solar energy has become an affordable and reliable power source these days. So if you are looking to switch, now is the best time. And to help you make your path to solar even smoother, we have prepared answers to the most frequent questions on PV panels' cost, installation, warranties, and advantages. 

Table of contents

  1. What is the best roof for solar panels?
  2. What direction should solar panels face?
  3. What is the difference between off-grid and on-grid solar systems?
  4. What to know about the cost of solar panels for homes?
  5. Lease or buy solar panels - Get to know more to decide
  6. Solar panels warranty options on offer
  7. How to find reliable solar panel installation contractors?

What is the best roof for solar panels?

Installing PV panels on the roof seems a perfect solution for saving big on electricity and reducing carbon footprint. However, before getting the ball rolling, it's essential to decide on your rooftop compatibility with solar panels. 

Not all roofs are created equal. Your rooftop can be incompatible with solar panels because of the inappropriate slope, coverage, shape, and overall condition. 

The following characteristics are considered ideal for a solar panel roof:

  • the 30-45 degrees angle 
  • the 7/12 pitch 
  • asphalt shingles, metal or tile coverage
  • a surface area of 300+ feet

On top of that, your rooftop should be in good condition without leaks, cracks, and broken or missing shingles. If you're unsure if your roof is appropriate for installing PV panels, leave your request on HomeQuote. We will connect you with a qualified roofer in your area who can inspect your rooftop and fix issues if any. 

Use HomeQuote To Hire Local Solar Panel Installers

Go solar to save a bundle on electricity and get a high return on investment

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Use HomeQuote To Hire Local Solar Panel Installers

What direction should solar panels face?

As soon as you decide on your rooftop solar compatibility, the next stage is to learn how many sun hours target your house daily. This way, you can predict your PV system productivity and calculate the ultimate return on investment. 

So, if you encounter the question "How much sun does my house get?" you should consider a few primary factors like local climate, shading, and expected weather patterns. Please note that your panels should face the south to produce the maximum output. Make sure they get direct sunlight throughout the day and are not shaded. Clear the area for your PV panels by trimming the trees around the house and moving all possible objects that create a shadow. This way, you will minimize solar output losses. 

Utilize Google Project Sunroof to decide whether to go the solar route or not. Thanks to Google Earth imagery, this tool scans your roof shape and analyzes weather patterns in the area. Another option to stay updated on the relevant solar geospatial data, tools, and maps is to use the NREL Transforming ENERGY source. 

And finally, if you want to save yourself the trouble of deciding the perfect place on the rooftop for your panels, leave it to the HomeQuote solar professionals. All it takes is to send a request via our platform. 

What is the difference between off-grid and on-grid solar systems?

The next issue to consider is a grid connection mode. The photovoltaic (PV) system transforms sunlight into electricity that accumulates in batteries and powers your house. You can rely on solar power entirely or back it up with electricity from the grid. 

Off-grid solar systems are fully independent: you use what your solar panels produce. Extra electricity is stored in the batteries and can be used when the system does not work to the maximum. If used together with energy storage means, off-grid systems produce enough electricity to cover the entire energy usage all year round. 

If you opt for an on-grid solar system, you'll always have backup access to electricity from the grid. It's a more expensive option, but the risk of power outages is minimal. Sunlight is not a 100% stable energy source. That is why a grid-supplemented system might be a safe bet. The best part is getting a higher return on investment with on-grid solar systems. They cover the entire energy usage and give you a chance to raise profit by sending excess energy to the grid. 

What to know about the cost of solar panels for homes?

Price range and federal initiatives

A solar power system for the average-sized house varies from $12 000 to $30 000 across the US. Nevertheless, every homeowner is eligible to cut this cost, leveraging federal tax incentives. The government initiated the solar tax credit that covers 26% of the system costs. On top of that, a growing number of states offer rebates and tax credits to encourage citizens to go solar.

Additional costs involved in solar system installation

When planning your solar installation project, you should be aware of the extra costs that go beyond the price of panels. 

Here's what to count when estimating the ultimate solar panel cost: 

  • Additional equipment. You will need more components than panels alone to set up a flexible system to power all your devices. First off, you won't go without batteries to store excessive energy. On top of that, a charge controller is required to ensure battery charging efficiency. And ultimately, you will need to get a power inverter that turns a direct current into an alternating one from solar panels and batteries. 
  • Labor costs. Solar panel installation costs may vary from one state to another. That means you need to find out the rates of solar installation companies in your area to estimate the required budget for your project. 
  • Operational costs. You should expect to spend up to 1.5% of the solar panel system cost on its maintenance annually. Most solar installation companies offer warranties and maintenance subscriptions, helping homeowners reduce operational costs. 

Lease or buy solar panels - Get to know more to decide

If you're getting ready to go solar, you have to decide how to finance your PV system, as it will affect your long-term outcome. So, if you doubt whether to lease or buy solar panels, the following information will come in handy. 

When you buy a home solar electric system, you can leverage the number of advantages that are not available when you opt for a lease. First of all, you can get the federal solar tax credit that enables you to pay much less than a home solar system costs. Secondly, you'll get paid for the solar energy renewable credits you generate. One more powerful argument for buying solar panels is that they increase your home's resale value. 

If you're not ready to shell out on the new solar electric system, you must be wondering about the solar panel lease cost and the potential advantages of this financing option. The average fee you will have to pay to the solar provider runs from $80 to $300 per month. You won't be charged anything for solar panel installation and will be provided with a warranty covering all maintenance spending. Please note that leasing solar panels does not allow you to stop paying for electricity from the local utility company. 

Use HomeQuote To Hire Local Solar Panel Installers

Go solar to save a bundle on electricity and get a high return on investment

REQUEST A QUOTE
Use HomeQuote To Hire Local Solar Panel Installers

Solar panels warranty options on offer

The average solar system warranty ranges from 15 to 30 years. The term depends on the warranty covering performance or product issues. The performance warranty ensures the efficiency of your panels within the stated period. The product warranty means that your hardware can be replaced or repaired if something goes wrong.

Solar panel warranty periods may vary, but you should schedule roof maintenance and repair beforehand to avoid unnecessary installations. The poor condition of your roof can fail the whole plan of going solar. To avoid such outcomes, act consistently. Examine any source of potential issues and only then plan solar panels installation. 

How to find reliable solar panel installation contractors?

This job should be performed by a licensed contractor who knows all the ins and outs of the installation process and can recommend the best equipment. On top of that, solar professionals are usually well versed in local incentives and can predict how much green energy you should generate to get a high ROI.

Analyze the local solar contractors' market to pick a few reliable specialists who can perform the task. The more offers you have to compare, the more chances you won't pour your money down the drain. 

Fortunately, getting solar quotes is a total breeze for modern homeowners. All it takes is to find an online contractor-matching service like HomeQuote. The platform works pro bono, connecting householders with local solar panel installers who meet their requirements and budget. It's up to you whom to hire. The service only gives you the contact details and quotes of the available contractors. 

Switching to solar power is definitely one of the best investments you can make during your life. Generating renewable energy today means a better future for our kids tomorrow. Don't slip on the opportunity to make your life greener, and your energy transition will pay off in spades!

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