By all accounts, the future of solar panels in the US is looking bright. This new technology is catching on like wildfire, allowing homeowners to harness the power of the sun for their own gain.
But installing solar panels is more complex than you might think, and there’s a lot to consider before you slap some onto your roof. If you’re thinking about this decision, here’s what to know about solar panels before you take the leap.
Your Roof Matters
Certain types of roofing materials are better than others when it comes to solar panel installation. Though solar panels can be installed on nearly every roof type, you may need to reconsider your approach when it comes to certain materials, as well as whether the structure of your roof can support the weight of the panels.
In addition, you’ll need to consider the amount of shade your roof receives each day. Large trees or buildings that block the sun may make your investments less effective. Work with solar installation companies in your area to understand your choices based on your home’s roof.
There Are Different Types of Solar Panels
Photovoltaic technology uses arrays of cells to turn the sun’s light into a source of energy, while thermal technology uses sunlight to heat water or air for use. Depending on your needs, you may want to choose one over the other, as both options come with their own benefits, costs, and disadvantages.
You’ll Need to Connect to the Grid
The details of this connection will vary depending on where you live, but you’ll still need to deal with the logistics. Research the details for your area. Will you need to pay for the utility company to connect you? How long will the job take, and how and when will you get credited for the energy you provide?
You Can Lease or Buy
If you balk at the high up-front cost of solar panels, it’s worth knowing that these investments can net you a great ROI over the course of their lifetime. Still, consider leasing vs. buying your solar panels, depending on your financial goals.
Your Area May Offer Incentives
One of the great benefits of solar panels is that many areas offer tax rebates and other incentives for going solar, provided that you do so within a certain time period. The federal tax rebate changes in December 2020, so act fast to reap the current rewards!
You’ll Need to Maintain Them
Solar panels aren’t a “set it and forget it” investment. Though they require very little maintenance, you’ll still need to go off to squeegee dust and debris off of them every now and then.
Weigh Your Options for Installing Solar Panels
Solar panels offer a unique opportunity to lower your utility bills while reducing your carbon emissions, making them a tempting option for any homeowner. But if you’re considering whether installing solar panels is right for you, you’ll need to weigh the details of your home’s structure, your finances, and your lifestyle. Use this guide to help you make the decision!
Want more insights to guide your choices? Check out our other posts for more environmental tips and considerations.