These days some consumers are considering installing solar panels in their home due to the high cost of electricity and because they want to help the environment by using this clean form of energy.
How does a solar panel work? The panel itself is made of a crystal form of silicon and it works by absorbing the energy provided by the sun’s rays and using them to make electricity.
Here are four things you should know before you buy and install solar panels in your home:
1. Be sure you are familiar with the way your local utility company charges for power
Some areas charge differently for power based on a tiered system. This means that as you use more energy, your electricity costs go up. So, if you switch to solar panels for at least part or most of your electricity needs, you should be able to avoid paying premium prices for electricity if you are in an area that charges higher tiered rates. Therefore, if you are going to use solar panels, be sure to get a good accurate calculation on how much power your home needs every month. This will help you to make the right decision when considering changing to solar panels.
2. Be sure to insure your new solar panels
It’s important to add your solar panels to your home insurance so you can protect your energy investment. Solar panels do come with warranties, but these usually cover things like the panel and the inverter and won’t cover you for things like fire or theft. The regular warranty on solar panels is usually five to 10 years on the inverters and up to 25 years on the panels themselves. Solar panels normally last about 30 years, but they do tend to lose about a half of a percent of conversion ability every year, so it is important to do regular maintenance on them as your panel’s manufacturer suggests.
3. The kind of roof you have can affect your costs
Depending on the type of roof on your home, the installation costs for solar panels may differ greatly. For instance, it will positively cost you more to put solar panels onto a roof made of Spanish tile instead of regular asphalt shingles. This is because a tile roof is more breakable so the installer has to seal up the points where the solar panels attach to the roof, which can add up to 25 percent more to your installation costs.
4. Get an estimate from honest installers before you buy solar panels
One very important tip is to be sure to compare costs for both the panels and the installation by speaking with several solar panel manufacturers before making a commitment. There could be varied costs, as well as available rebates or other things that are vital for you to know about installations in your area. Be sure to get a list of their previous customers so you can see if they were satisfied with the company’s work.