Adding solar panels to your home can lower your electric bills, increase property value, and help save the environment. But it’s important to understand a few things before installing solar panels.
Your home must be well-sunny: Ideally, a south-facing roof free of obstructions is best.
A good installer will calculate how much energy you regularly use to determine the required size system. Also, consider buying all your components from one company to reduce service costs.
The main cost with solar is in the panels themselves, but other equipment can add to the total expense. These include an inverter to convert direct current into alternating current that runs household appliances and metering gear to track energy production.
The sunlight a home gets will also affect the system’s output. Ideally, panels should face south at an angle between 30 and 45 degrees. The angle of the roof can be modified based on the placement and the amount of shade it receives from nearby tall buildings or trees.
Ask solar companies in Aurora, Colorado, for quotes with all-in costs and estimated yearly savings. Compare prices on a price-per-watt basis to make apples-to-apples comparisons—also, factor in any rebates, incentives, or sales and property tax exemptions available.
One of the main draws of solar power is its ability to save money on electricity bills. This is determined by a solar panel’s efficiency rating and performance stats, which are key to determining how quickly the system will pay for itself and continue saving money year after year.
Homeowners should also consider how much sunlight their house gets during peak hours, as this is another important factor in determining the viability of solar panels. Several factors can affect the sun a solar system receives, including the roof’s orientation and any nearby shade from trees or buildings. Additionally, dust accumulation on solar panels can reduce energy output. Ask your installer if they offer solar monitoring software so you can get a real-time readout of your solar energy production.
Solar energy is good for the environment because it does not produce harmful air pollution like coal-powered power plants. It also doesn’t disrupt natural ecosystems to the extent that fossil fuel-powered power plants do.
But the production of solar panels themselves may be a concern for some people because they contain hazardous materials like cadmium. The good news is that these are tightly bound in glass and plastic, making them unlikely to seep into the environment.
Other environmental concerns for homeowners considering solar energy include water consumption and waste management. Some solar companies in Colorado reuse the racking system, but it’s important to talk with your installer about their disposal plans. In addition, most cities and homeowner associations have strict guidelines for solar panel installation that must be followed.
Solar panel warranties can be confusing, so make sure you get a clear understanding of what each one covers. There are two kinds of solar panel warranties: performance and product guarantees.
A performance warranty guarantees that your solar panels will keep a certain level of power production over the 25-year lifetime of your system. All solar panels lose output over time due to a process known as Light Induced Degradation, and a good performance warranty will minimize this loss.
Other issues that can affect a solar system long-term are “snail trails” and “hotspots,” which reduce the total energy production of your system. Most performance warranties don’t cover these, but some installers offer their warranties/guarantees for these issues. Be sure to compare them when choosing a company.
When evaluating solar companies, homeowners should ask about the installation process. The process starts with a visit from a solar professional who assesses your roof for compatibility with the panels.
The installer should also ensure the system is oriented and tilted correctly to maximize solar energy generation. They should also look for a south-facing roof not shadowed by trees or other structures, as this improves efficiency.
Once the solar panel installation is complete, a representative from your town government will inspect it and approve it to start generating energy. Before the final inspection, homeowners should clear extra space in their yard and driveway for construction crews and remove decorations and other items that could get damaged.