Buying Solar Panels for Your Home? 4 Questions to Ask

Posted by Wattson on Jun 13, 2017

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Getting in the habit of recycling, shutting off lights, and turning down the thermostat are all helpful and simple ways to make an impact on the environment. But, what if you’re ready to make a bigger change? Installing solar panels will not only help keep your utility bills low, but they will also generate clean, renewable energy for years to come. Here’s what you need to think about when buying solar panels for home.

1. Is My Home Suitable?

Many factors work together to determine whether solar panels will be a good fit for your home. Ultimately, each home must be individually evaluated before installation, but these are some common considerations:

  • Shade: If your home is covered by a canopy of trees, there won’t be enough sunlight that filters through to create energy.
  • Direction. For optimal performance, solar panels should face in a southeast or southwest direction. If your roof faces a different direction, it could impact the performance of panels.
  • Square Footage. Your entire roof will not be suitable for solar panels. From satellite dishes to chimneys to exhaust flues, the usable square footage must be large enough to support an installation.
  • Timing. The sun’s rays are strongest between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. If your roof is too shady during these hours, your panels may not collect enough energy.
  • Roof Age. If your roof is nearing the end of its useful life, it may not be the right time to install solar panels for home. First, you want to be sure your roof is structurally sound to hold the weight of the panels. Second, you don’t want the added expense of removing and reinstalling the panels when you get a new roof.

2. How Much Are Solar Panels for Home?

As with many home upgrades, the cost of solar panels for home will vary depending on your particular circumstances. The good news is that more and more people are choosing clean solar energy, and the increase in demand is driving prices down. The federal solar tax credit has also been extended, so homeowners can deduct 30 percent of the total installation cost from their tax returns. Plus, many state agencies and local energy suppliers offer credits to help offset the cost.

Lastly, most estimates average the payback period of solar panels to be between 5 and 15 years. That means that the savings you enjoy by not having an electric bill will cover the cost of your panels in that time frame. After that, it’s free, clean energy for your home.

3. Are There Additional Costs?

Reputable solar panel installers will give you accurate pricing for the materials and installation of your entire solar energy system. However, there can be a few extra expenses to consider. First, trimming trees is often necessary to help provide the sunniest conditions for your new panels. You may also need to obtain permits from your city or association to perform work on your home, and there may be a fee from the local energy supplier for connecting your panels to the grid.

4. Should I Buy or Lease Solar Panels for Home?

Leasing solar panels can seem like a good way to get around the steep upfront costs, and you’ll still save on your electric bills each month. However, most homeowners who end up leasing save far less in the long term, and you will not have as much control over your roof and panels. Plus, it can be challenging to sell your home with leased panels attached. To take advantage of the most savings and retain control of your home and panels, purchasing is usually the best option.

Free Solar Consultation

If you’re ready to make the leap to clean, renewable solar energy, then it’s time to schedule your free, no-obligation solar consultation with Energy Monster. An experienced technician will visit your home and determine whether your roof and home’s placement is a good candidate for solar panels. If so, you’ll receive a custom design that’s specific to your home and your family’s needs–no out-of-the-box solutions here!

When you’re happy with the design, we’ll take care of all necessary permits and requirements of connecting to the local grid. We’ll even fill out the paperwork to finance your solar investment.

To learn more about going green and saving on energy expenses with solar panels, contact Energy Monster today!

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