If you’re ready to buy solar panels for your home, there are a few questions you should ask. While you are indeed making the smart decision to go solar, you still need to do your due diligence in order to make this transition to renewable energy a successful one.
From questions that can help reinforce your choice to switch to solar and understanding exactly what solar energy can be used for, to finalizing the details of costs, installation and which solar panels you should buy—there’s a lot to know about installing a solar power system.
Here are five crucial questions you should be asking before installing a home solar power system – with answers to match – so you can go solar with full confidence.
1. Why go solar?
There’s a long list of benefits to going solar that should make you feel comfortable in changing your home energy source.
For starters, using solar energy reduces your carbon footprint. Unlike fossil fuels and gas, solar is considered a clean source of energy, meaning it doesn’t pollute the air with harmful emissions. So, while you’re doing good for the environment, what’s in it for you?
The bottom line is, going solar will save you money in the long run. Based on the average household electricity usage, solar energy has been shown to save $10k – $30k over a course of 20 years, when compared to what’d you pay for a traditional electric bill. Furthermore, you will never have to deal with unpredictable electricity bills again. Once you have a system installed, the cost of solar energy is fixed and free, since you are essentially getting power from a free energy source (the sun, that is).
2. What can solar energy be used for?
Solar panels for home energy can be utilized in a multitude of ways. The primary use most people think of is using the energy collected from your panels to power everything in your house, from the electricity to the heating and cooling.
Here’s how it works: The solar panels installed on your roof capture particles of sunlight (aka, photons). These photons are then converted into electrons of direct current electricity. This current then flows through a solar power system that converts it to alternating current power, which is the type of electricity that comes from the wall outlet that connects to your TV, computer, lamps and kitchen appliances.
On top of solar panels providing your home with electricity, you can also opt to heat your water through a solar collector that heats water directly or via a “working fluid” that is used to heat water.
3. How much are solar panels going to cost?
It’s easy to ask the question, how much do solar panels cost? But when it comes to solar systems, they are not one-size fits all, and an easy answer isn’t always easy to find with a quick Google search.
That’s because there are many factors that come into play when determining how much solar panels will cost to install. The size of your home and the amount of electricity needed to power it are the major factors in determining many of the initial costs.
To give you a rough idea, this 2018 year, homeowners will pay between $2.71 to $3.57 per watt to install solar, with the average U.S. system calling for 5000 watts. What it boils down to is around $9,485 to $12,495 (after tax credits) for a total system.
Don’t be alarmed by these numbers because we’ve seen solar systems pay for themselves relatively quickly.
If you’re looking at it from a big-picture perspective, the tax credits you get for going solar and the overall amount of utility savings make the actual value of the panels great. They will pay for themselves and even help you save money over time.
For an exact idea of how much solar panels will cost for your home, we’ll give you a free energy analysis that can determine exactly how much energy your home needs and how many panels should be installed.
4. What are the best solar panels for my home?
When it comes to installing solar panels on your home, you want to make sure they are the most efficient on the market. Some of the top-rated solar panels, according to SolarReviews, include Enphase Energy and LG Solar. These ratings are based on homeowner reviews, but keep in mind that you should also consider your specific energy-saving goals and how much you’re willing to invest upfront.
Getting the most trusted name in solar panels is key to ensuring satisfaction in your switch to home solar energy and that’s exactly what our team at Semper Solaris looks for in solar panel manufacturers.
5. Who are the best solar providers near me?
While using the best panels the solar industry has to offer is a must, choosing the right solar energy system provider to install them is just as important. You want to look for a company that has had proven experience and expertise in the solar roofing field. Word-of-mouth can be one of the best ways to find out who does solar in your area. You can also opt to do a quick internet search. From the list of providers that pop up, be sure to do your research.
We recommend looking for testimonials from homeowners that have used that company’s services.
You also want to make sure that you receive personal attention from the solar company you choose to hire. Open communication between contractor and customer builds trust. Knowing that your solar needs are the top priority for the company you are working with will help to keep your mind at ease while you are installing your new system.
If you reside in California, Semper Solaris provides solar power services up and down the state, installing only the best solar panels for homes.
Making the decision to go solar is a big one that can lead to endless benefits in home energy usage.
Understanding what exactly solar energy can power in your home along with the kind of financial investment it will take, can inform your decision on what solar panels to buy and have installed on your home roof.