Technology

What to Know Before Having Solar Panels Installed

4% of US homes operate on some form of solar power. While that may not sound like a lot, it translates to millions of personal homes. And as the impact of global warming becomes more obvious every year, that number is only going up.

Installing solar panels is a great way to do your part for the environment. If you’re considering having solar panels installed, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Learn more about starting your solar home journey, below. 

Find Out Your Solar Score 

You could have all the other things on this list, but if your house isn’t positioned correctly for solar panels, then it’s a moot point. How do you know if your roof is a good fit for solar panels? 

Well, when you’re buying a house, you want to look at Zillow’s solar score. That number isn’t the be-all-end-all, but it’s a good estimate. 

If you’re considering putting solar on your current home, then you want to look at these things. First, what direction does the majority of your roof face? Since the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, West-facing roofs have more solar capacity than others. 

You also want to think about how much roof space you have for solar panels. The wider and flatter your roof is, the better. If your home has different levels of roof or accessories like skylights, that reduces your usable space. 

These two variables are the first weed-out factors to consider before moving on to more complex considerations (below). 

The State of Your Roof 

If you’ve determined your house is west-facing and there’s room for solar panels, next you need to consider the quality of your roof. Just like you wouldn’t try to fix a flooring issue by building over it, you don’t want to install your solar investments on a bad roof. 

While there are lots of options for solar savings, the up-front cost of installing solar panels is high. If you install them on an old and damaged roof, that puts your solar panels at stake. 

It’s better to replace your roof first, then save up for the solar panels. If you put solar panels on an old roof and then replace it down the line, you have to figure out how to remove them, build the roof, then re-install them.

Figure Out The Energy Situation 

Before investing in solar panels, you want to make sure you can make money off them, not just save it. Many municipalities will buy back your unused solar energy, which effectively cancels out your other utility costs.

However, this isn’t mandated, so find out about the programs in your area before you pull the trigger. 

Get an Expert Opinion 

Finally, you want to talk to solar experts to get a price estimate, a timeline, and other practical factors. Your consultation should be free, and companies expect you to shop around. 

Go with the company that feels like the best fit, not just the cheapest choice. This is an investment and it should be taken seriously financially. 

Should You Have Solar Panels Installed in Your Home? 

If you meet all the criteria above and have the funds, then yes — you should convert to green living. Having solar panels installed is a great way to lower your carbon footprint and your utility bill. 

If you enjoyed this article about solar-powered homes, browse our site for other environmental and green energy content.  

4% of US homes operate on some form of solar power. While that may not sound like a lot, it translates to millions of personal homes. And as the impact of global warming becomes more obvious every year, that number is only going up.

Installing solar panels is a great way to do your part for the environment. If you’re considering having solar panels installed, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Learn more about starting your solar home journey, below. 

Find Out Your Solar Score 

You could have all the other things on this list, but if your house isn’t positioned correctly for solar panels, then it’s a moot point. How do you know if your roof is a good fit for solar panels? 

Well, when you’re buying a house, you want to look at Zillow’s solar score. That number isn’t the be-all-end-all, but it’s a good estimate. 

If you’re considering putting solar on your current home, then you want to look at these things. First, what direction does the majority of your roof face? Since the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, West-facing roofs have more solar capacity than others. 

You also want to think about how much roof space you have for solar panels. The wider and flatter your roof is, the better. If your home has different levels of roof or accessories like skylights, that reduces your usable space. 

These two variables are the first weed-out factors to consider before moving on to more complex considerations (below). 

The State of Your Roof 

If you’ve determined your house is west-facing and there’s room for solar panels, next you need to consider the quality of your roof. Just like you wouldn’t try to fix a flooring issue by building over it, you don’t want to install your solar investments on a bad roof. 

While there are lots of options for solar savings, the up-front cost of installing solar panels is high. If you install them on an old and damaged roof, that puts your solar panels at stake. 

It’s better to replace your roof first, then save up for the solar panels. If you put solar panels on an old roof and then replace it down the line, you have to figure out how to remove them, build the roof, then re-install them.

Figure Out The Energy Situation 

Before investing in solar panels, you want to make sure you can make money off them, not just save it. Many municipalities will buy back your unused solar energy, which effectively cancels out your other utility costs.

However, this isn’t mandated, so find out about the programs in your area before you pull the trigger. 

Get an Expert Opinion 

Finally, you want to talk to solar experts to get a price estimate, a timeline, and other practical factors. Your consultation should be free, and companies expect you to shop around. 

Go with the company that feels like the best fit, not just the cheapest choice. This is an investment and it should be taken seriously financially. 

Should You Have Solar Panels Installed in Your Home? 

If you meet all the criteria above and have the funds, then yes — you should convert to green living. Having solar panels installed is a great way to lower your carbon footprint and your utility bill. 

If you enjoyed this article about solar-powered homes, browse our site for other environmental and green energy content.  

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