Having a solar energy system in your home is not only deemed as an environment-friendly move, but it’s a sound long-term investment too. In addition to helping you cut down your carbon footprint or emissions that harm nature, owning one can also dramatically reduce your house’s average electricity costs.
Installing a system for your home entails a lot of details up for consideration such as costs, choosing the right solar panel system, service provider, and the like. These play a crucial role in choosing the setup that best suits your home and family’s electricity needs.
Below are a few things that you need to do to choose the energy system that’s appropriate for your home.
Have Your Energy Requirements Assessed By A Professional
On your own, it’ll be hard to determine how much power you need for your property. You can analyze your power bill and check your average power consumption. However, to avoid potential problems, it’s best to have a skilled professional assess your power needs. A solar electrician can run the numbers for you to help determine how much power you need and what system type would be a great fit.
Having a solar energy system that couldn’t meet your power needs isn’t what you need. Ending up with one makes you feel you’ve got shortchanged. Yet, choosing the best or most expensive in the bunch may cause you to pay more than what you actually need. Thus, running the numbers first to find a middle ground is key.
Also, it’s advisable to keep a small buffer in case you’re planning to add more energy-consuming appliances in the future.
Check The Costs Of The Solar Panels
Investing in solar power may entail significant upfront costs but it can be worthwhile down the proverbial road. It’s said that a small, entry-level solar energy system for a typical residence in the United States can cost as low as USD$5,000. However, bigger ones are priced as high as USD$40,000 and may cost even more.
There are many factors that affect the cost of solar panels; including wattage or size, brand, quality, durability, and additional certifications.
However, you shouldn’t be quick to jump at a company that bids the lowest price for setting up your residential solar energy system. As with other projects, investing in a mid-cost project may be better, being that a low-cost solar energy system may prove to be more expensive to maintain and less efficient down the road. Similarly, a solar panel that carries a hefty price tag doesn’t necessarily mean the best, as the company or its marketing costs may have been factored in, on top of the offer.
Look For The Right Types Of Panels
They may look the same, but solar panels are not created equal. Homeowners can choose from three main types of residential solar panels. Each has its strengths and downsides, as briefly explained below:
The silicon cells found in monocrystalline panels are highly rated as being more efficient and have a high tolerance to heat. They’re relatively more expensive as compared to the other types, though.
Polycrystalline panels are believed to be budget-friendly but have lower efficiency and performance rates compared to monocrystalline panels. Nevertheless, they’re the most preferred panels among residential consumers, likely because of a lower price point.
Thin-film or amorphous panels
Of the three, amorphous silicon panels are the clear victors when it comes to form-factor, but they’re not known for being efficient. Portability and flexibility are two of the major drawbacks of this type of solar panel.
Ask For Feedback From Actual Users
Unless you’ve had the system already installed and fully functional, it’s hard to determine the quality of the panels on your own. What you can do is to check with people you know or get in touch with solar energy system users for their honest feedback. For unbiased reviews about the company, check for information published on different consumer watchdog sites.
While you can look at user testimonials posted online, take them with a grain of salt. These can be part of a paid advertising strategy a solar energy firm has in place to lure in potential customers.
Examine Panel Features And Warranties
Go for products that offer the standard warranty period for solar energy systems; which run from 10 to 25 years. A lengthy warranty period represents the manufacturer’s trust in their products. It also goes to show that the panel makers poured all their resources for research and development, which is included in the price that you have to pay for.
Additionally, be reminded that the size of solar panels reflects their output capacity. Choose bigger panels if you have high energy requirements, and vice versa. Of course, make sure your roof has enough space to accommodate your panels.
The Key Takeaway
Having free electricity generated by your very own solar energy system is a worthwhile purchase as it provides you with free electricity in the long run. In choosing the best solar system for you, consider the points discussed in this article before coming up with an informed and smart decision.