Questions to Ask About Solar Panels
Before you jump in to your solar panel installation project, whether you are doing it yourself or hiring a solar company to do it for you, take into consideration these questions to ask about solar panels.
In what direction does your roof face?
When choosing solar energy, one of the most important questions to ask is which direction your roof faces. Solar panels can generate more energy when they are facing south in the Northern Hemisphere and north in the Southern Hemisphere. If your roof faces east or west, it’s still possible to get some energy from it but not as much as if it were facing the optimal direction. Keep in mind that some regions may have different considerations for determining the best direction for solar panels.
Another important factor to consider is the angle of your roof. If it’s too flat, the panels will not be able to generate as much energy since they need direct access to sunlight. Ideally, you want a roof with an angle between 30 and 50 degrees so that the solar panels can get the most out of the sun’s rays. If you live in a colder climate, you may want to consider using a tracking system for your solar array since it will be able to adjust its position throughout the day to maximize energy production.
What material is your roof made from?
The material of your roof will also affect the efficiency of solar panels. Metal and tile roofs are generally good choices since they can absorb more heat than asphalt shingles or wood and help to keep your home cooler. On the other hand, installation of a solar energy system on a tile roof is more cumbersome and usually is a bit more expensive due to the increased time it will take to complete the job.
What is the current age and condition of your roof?
You also need to consider the condition of your roof when deciding whether or not to install solar panels. If it is more than 10 years old, you may want to check for any signs of damage such as missing shingles or loose flashing. Older roofs are more likely to leak and could damage the solar panel system if not properly installed. It’s a good idea to have your roof inspected by a professional before making a decision.
Does your roof have any shading during daylight hours?
You will also need to assess the amount of shade that your roof receives throughout the day. If it is shaded for a large portion of the day, then the solar panels may not be able to generate enough energy to make them worth investing in. In this case, you may want to consider other options such as installing solar panels on an outbuilding or in your yard.
How much energy do you use?
You will need to consider how much energy you use on a regular basis. The number of solar panels that you need will depend upon the amount of energy that you consume and whether or not your utility company offers net metering. If you are trying to offset all of your energy usage with solar panels, then it is important to know what your total energy consumption is. This information can be found on your utility bill or by using an online energy usage calculator.
How long has your solar company been in business?
Another question to ask before investing in solar is how long the company has been in business. A reputable and experienced company will be able to provide you with quality customer service as well as advice on how best to install your system. They should also be willing to answer any questions that you may have about the product or installation process. It’s also a good idea to do some research online to read reviews of the company and get an idea of how other customers have fared with their solar installation.
Will your solar company handle the local permitting process?
You need to make sure that the solar installation company will handle all of the local permitting and inspection processes. This is important since these are required in order for your system to be connected to the grid. A reputable company should be able to take care of this process for you so that you don’t have to worry about it.
Are your solar installers certified?
You want to make sure that the solar installers are certified in their field. A certified installer will know how to properly configure the solar array and ensure that it is installed correctly. This will help to maximize your energy savings and ensure that your system runs efficiently for years to come.
Are there currently any federal tax incentives for solar panels?
If you are looking to save money on your installation, then it’s a good idea to find out if there are any federal tax incentives for solar panels. These can help to offset the cost of purchasing and installing a system and make them more affordable.
Are there currently any state or local tax incentives for solar panels?
In addition to federal tax incentives, there may be state or local tax incentives that you can take advantage of. These vary from state to state so it’s important to do your research and find out what is available in your area.
Are there currently any property tax incentives for installing solar panels?
Finally, you should find out if there are any property tax incentives for installing solar panels on your home. This can help to reduce the amount of money that you have to pay in taxes each year and make it easier to afford a solar panel system.
Does your solar installer offer financing?
You should find out if the solar installer offers financing options. This can help to make the system more affordable and make it easier to budget for your solar installation. It is important to read through all of the details of any financing agreement before signing anything so that you understand what you are agreeing to.
Does the solar energy system you are purchasing come with a warranty?
Last but certainly not least, it is vitally important to make sure that the solar system you are looking at comes with a warranty. This will provide peace of mind in case something goes wrong and you need repairs or replacements. Make sure to ask about what type of coverage is included in the warranty, as well as how long it lasts.