Find your place in the sun.
The United States installed 3.8 gigawatts of solar power capability in the third quarter of 2020. That’s enough to power more than 16 million homes.
Solar panels will only grow more prominent with time, in part because solar panel installation is easy. However, many homeowners have questions before they call their local company.
Understand some basics about solar panels and you can get started today. Here is a quick guide.
1. Your House Needs Some Features
Your house needs to have several qualities for solar to be most effective.
Your roof should be resilient and young. Most roofs last twenty to thirty years, yet solar systems last just as long. If your roof structure is fading, you need renovations to hold up your solar panels.
Your roof should have direct exposure to sunlight. If trees or skyscrapers cast shade over your panels, they will not work.
Southern exposure means continuous exposure to sunlight throughout the day. Install your panels so they face south. If you have a southern-facing home already, your panels will be very effective.
2. There Are a Few Kinds of Solar Panels
How do solar panels work? The answer depends on the kind of panel.
Monocrystalline panels use silicon wafers from a single crystal. This allows the electrons in the silicon to move around as they receive heat, producing electricity. Monocrystalline panels have high energy efficiency, but they can be expensive.
Polycrystalline panels use wafers from multiple silicon crystals. Though less efficient, polycrystalline panels are less expensive.
Amorphous panels place silicon layers onto substrates of glass and plastic. These materials are less toxic than silicon wafers. But they are far less efficient.
3. You Can Lease or Buy Your Solar Panels
Leasing your solar panels saves you money upfront. Your local solar company owns your system, but you receive renewable energy. You can save moderate amounts on your energy bills because you are using less energy from the company.
Buying your solar panels is a higher upfront cost. You will need to maintain your panels and update your system. But you will receive free electricity, significantly reducing your electricity costs.
Some companies may offer deals if you buy panels. Search “solar providers near me” to compare the plans of different companies.
4. You Can Get a Tax Credit
The federal government offers tax credits for solar panel installations. If you install your system this year, you can receive a 22% tax credit.
Factoring in tax credits, you can receive a return on investment within one decade. After that point, you will start making money on your panels.
5. You Can Set Them and Forget Them
Manufacturers design solar panels to be resilient. Most companies provide warranties for up to 25 years. Solar panels have survived Category 4 hurricanes with minimal damage.
The only thing you need to do is to make sure that sunlight reaches your panels. Trim branches that cast shade over your panels. Wash your panels down with a hose to remove dust that can darken them.
Five Things About Solar Panels for Homes
Solar panels are one of the most popular ways to power a home. Understand some facts and you can join your neighbors in no time!
Your home should have direct access to sunlight, and you should consider the different kinds of panels. You can lease or buy your system, but know that you can receive a hefty tax credit. Don’t worry about maintenance, even after inclement weather.
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Pexels.com royalty-free image #2850472, uploaded by user Vivint Solar, retrieved from on January 18th, 2021. License details available at – image is licensed under the Pexels License