Choosing the right solar panels for your home can be a daunting task. But with a little research and guidance from an experienced solar expert, you can find the right fit for your needs.
Which system is ideal for you depends on your home’s size, kind of panels, and exposure to sunshine. It would help if you also thought about your finances and energy requirements.
Determine Your Energy Needs
Before determining the right solar panels for your home, you must know how much energy you need. The solar panel installation depends on several factors, including electricity consumption and the sunlight you receive. It also depends on the size of your home and whether you plan to replace all or a portion of your existing energy usage with renewable sources.
Collect the total kilowatt-hours (kWh) from your utility bills over the past 12 months to calculate your energy needs. This number will fluctuate based on your consumption habits, the size of your home, and the efficiency rating of your appliances. Once you have a monthly kWh average, you can use a solar panel kWh calculator to estimate how many solar panels you need for your home.
Next, look at your local peak sun hours to estimate how much power your solar panels will produce during these times. You can find this information by using the United States government’s database. The peak sun hours in your area will vary by time of year and weather conditions.
Once you have your expected kWh figures, multiply them by the time your solar panels require to collect and convert solar energy into usable electricity. The wattage of the solar panels you select and the system’s production ratio will determine how many watts you require.
For example, if your house gets four peak sunlight hours per day and your solar panels need 250 watts, you will need about six solar panels to cover your household’s electricity needs.
A home energy monitor can help you determine which devices consume the most electricity and how many panels are needed to offset their usage. It can also give you a clear idea of how much electricity you will save by going solar and how soon it will pay off.
Determine Your Budget
Solar panels can be hugely expensive, so it’s important to know your budget before deciding. You’ll want to compare prices and consider incentives to help reduce your overall cost.
Obtaining estimates from many businesses can help you get the greatest deal for your installation. Make careful to evaluate quality and dependability before making your final pick because going with a less expensive system might result in you spending more in the long term.
One of the most crucial aspects in deciding how much electricity you can generate from solar panels is the quantity of sunshine your property gets. This is so that your panels can produce more power the longer they are exposed to the sun daily.
How much power your solar system produces will also depend on its efficiency. The lower the panel’s efficiency, the less electricity it can produce per watt.
Lower efficiency means you’ll have to install more solar panels to reach your power generation goals. Similarly, higher-efficiency panels are more expensive than their lower-efficiency counterparts but may offer more power in the long run.
You should pick a durable system that will stand the test of time. Choose a producer with a track record of producing dependable, high-quality goods. To ensure your system is protected and secure, you need also look into their certifications.
Look for Certifications
Choosing a company with the right credentials is important if you’re looking to install solar panels in your home. These qualifications will ensure that experienced professionals install your system and you’re not subjected to shoddy work or unprofessional service.
Certifications are available for a variety of industries. Community colleges, vocational schools, and universities offer courses that provide the proper training and knowledge for installing solar systems.
Power Output: Almost all photovoltaic panels are rated for their ability to produce electricity under standardized testing conditions. This helps you compare different panels side by side.
Degradation Rate: Typically, solar panels degrade at the highest rate in their first year of use. After that, they usually fall at a much more stable rate over time.
Warranty: If you will use a solar panel manufacturer for your system, ask them about the warranty they offer. This is important because if something goes wrong with your panel or its components, you want peace of mind knowing that the manufacturer will pay for the repair costs.
Salt Spray: Choosing a panel that doesn’t corrode quickly in salty air is important if you live near the coast. Some solar panel manufacturers will void their warranties if they find the panel has been exposed to saline water for too long.
Look for a Warranty
Understanding the warranty given is crucial if you’re thinking about installing solar panels on your house. This will enable you to select the best kind of solar system and guarantee the longevity of your installation.
The most common warranties available for solar panels are product and performance warranties. These guarantees protect you from defects resulting from material quality or manufacturing errors. Depending on the manufacturer, these warranties can last for as long as 10 or 25 years.
Additionally, a performance warranty does not cover any issues due to weather conditions or installation problems. For example, if you have a solar system installed correctly but its production has been below the average over its life span, the performance warranty won’t cover this.
Some installers also offer workmanship warranties. These warranties cover damages that may occur during installation – essentially, they promise you that the job will be done right. This can save you in the long run, as a failure by the installer can leave you with big repair bills.