Things to Know Before Installing Solar Panels CA
By: John Garcia | Date Posted: March 15, 2022
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There are many benefits of solar energy for homes in California. The first is its low cost. This type of energy can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. Even if you only use a small portion of the power you produce, it can significantly lower your utility bills.
The next benefit is boosting your real estate value and improving energy efficiency. Nowadays, more and more eco-aware buyers are looking for green homes with low carbon footprints. And let’s not forget the benefits for the environment, which are explained in this source.
As the cost of home solar systems falls, the number of installations is growing. These circuits are not too complex, so you can even install them without professional help. If you’ve decided to jump to green, renewable energy, there are a few things to know before that.
Know Your Needs
Before starting, you’ll need to calculate how much solar power your household needs. It’s also important to know what you need that energy for.
That will help you choose the solar system type. Photovoltaic and thermal technologies are available. The first is used to make electricity, while the second converts solar power into heat.
The first systems are universally applicable but require bigger panels, inverters, and batteries to produce and store energy. Thermal solar technology is helpful in households in colder areas, which need a lot of electricity or fuel for heating. Given the ever-increasing fuel prices, these systems can bring significant savings.
Sun-powered systems are way cheaper than a few years ago, but they are still costly. So if you’re planning on installing them at home, you need to calculate their cost-effectiveness. After that, you can buy or even lease these systems.
Solar system purchase requires higher initial costs. Also, don’t forget the costs of system parts that will need replacement at some point, like inverters and connectors. But with regular maintenance, the system will work for you long after the investment return.
Leasing is more affordable than system purchase, but you still have to pay a monthly fee to the company you contracted with. Once the lease period is over, you have to get the entire system back. It pays off for homeowners who plan to move in the next couple of years.
After installing solar panels, you must connect to a grid. You might have to pay a fee for that. Also, ask around what other costs you’ll have. You could even ‘sell’ your electricity surplus to the grids and get significant bill reductions.
Consider Roof Position and Condition
The roof of your home should be of good quality. It should provide optimal exposure to the sun. For the best return on your investment, install your solar panels on the south-facing side of your roof. Southern exposure gets the most sunlight, while northern exposure gets the least. That can make a big difference in electricity production.
If your roof is in great shape, you may avoid the hassle of building a custom platform. But some roofs need to be repaired before placing solar panels. Putting these on a bad roof can bring extra costs down the road. So if your rooftop needs renovation, do it before installing panels. That way, you won’t lose time and money disconnecting and reconnecting the system all over again.
Find a Trustworthy Installer
Find a licensed electrician to install solar panels if you’re not into DIY. Many contractors in California specialize in these systems. Still, you should research their experience and licenses to ensure you work with the best ones. A well-qualified and experienced contractor will ensure your home is safe and energy-efficient.
More tips on finding a trustworthy installer are listed below:
Most states have building codes regarding household upgrades. You can research them alone or ask a certified installer to do that for you. You might even qualify for state and federal incentives for using renewable energy if you make your home energy efficient with solar panels.
Green technologies and renewable energy are becoming more widespread. Raised environmental awareness and rising energy prices have contributed most to that. That’s why installing solar panels is not only good for you but also for everyone around you.
Can I use solar energy in my area given the weather and climate?
Even though you may not believe it, the climate and weather in your region can have a huge impact on the amount of solar energy your home produces.
The sun is the source of solar energy. Due to cloudiness and rain, homeowners in some areas will not receive as much solar energy.
Overcast weather in your state may still allow you to benefit from solar, but you’ll have to install extra panels to offset the shade. This should not be a problem in CA though, however, You can still balance the cost of solar production even if you live in a cloudy state.
Therefore, if you live in a cloudy state, your energy usage will likely be smaller than in a sunny state. Consider higher-efficiency solar panels if your solar panels could use a boost.
Solar panels come in what types?
Solar panels come in a variety of types for homeowners to choose from. Among them are solar panels mounted on the roof, movable panels, and shingles.
The most popular type of solar panel is the mounted one. Silicon solar panels come in a variety of prices and efficiency levels. Monocrystalline silicon panels are more efficient, but they also cost more.
The consumer is more likely to purchase polycrystalline silicon panels due to their affordability. Solar cells made from thin films are also low-cost and portable, but they have a considerably shorter lifespan – 15 years, as opposed to 20 years.
Solar panels that move along the path of the sun are known as trackers, as they follow the path of the sun. Their integrated technology makes them more expensive.
For homeowners who dislike the look of solar panels, solar shingles offer a more concealed, discreet option. Consequently, they cost more and produce less energy. For those who are not yet ready to commit to larger panels, they are a good option.
Thank you for reading!