Solar panels are a great way to reduce or eliminate your energy bill. However, there are some things you should know before getting started.
If you’re considering going solar, find a reputable company. They’ll help you get all the permits, connect to the grid and receive any incentives you may be entitled to.
There are a lot of steps that go into solar panel installation. Getting your solar system up and running can take several weeks, so it’s essential to be prepared!
The first step in the process is choosing an installer. It is essential because the company you select will impact the quality and timeline of your installation. Ensure you choose an experienced, NABCEP-certified solar company with positive customer reviews.
After you sign a contract with your solar panel installer, they will schedule a site visit to check your home’s electrical and structural integrity. It is done to ensure that your roof can support the weight of your new panels and verify your circuit breaker and electrical panel are working correctly.
Once the engineer has verified that your home can safely and adequately accommodate a solar system, they will begin filling out paperwork to obtain permits from the local government. The time needed for the permission procedure can range from a few weeks to approximately two months.
Next, the engineering company will work with your installer to prepare an installation plan for your home. It will detail precisely what type of panels you will need, how many to install, and where they should be placed.
It can also include information about your solar energy system’s cost, financing options, and tax incentives. The goal is to design a system that meets your power needs and costs the least money over time.
The next step in the solar installation process is building the array on your roof or ground. It is part of the process that takes the longest. It involves setting piers, pouring concrete to build the frames for your panels, and constructing a wooden brace that will hold the panels up while they cure.
After the piers and concrete have been set, your contractor will place the panels onto the frame. They will use a special racking report to ensure that the rails are spaced correctly and aligned.
A solar panel system is a great way to reduce your home’s carbon footprint and save on energy costs. But to keep them functioning at their best, they must be maintained.
One of the best ways to ensure that your solar panels are working at peak efficiency is to ensure they get regular cleanings. These can be done by yourself using a garden hose, or if you have a professional service, they will clean them.
During a regular solar maintenance visit, an expert will check the condition of your panels, batteries, and inverters. It will allow them to determine if any damage needs repair and thoroughly clean your solar panels to work at their best possible efficiency.
A monitoring system that enables you to examine the output of your panels at any time is typically included with the best solar panel installation services. It can assist you in spotting any problems with your solar system before they worsen, saving you money on repairs over time.
Another vital thing to note is that your local weather can impact the performance of your panels. In hotter climates, for example, the sun’s rays can heat the surface of your panels, making them less effective.
On the other hand, rain in your area will usually wash away much of the dirt that builds up on your panels. However, if there is not enough rain, you may need to have your panels cleaned manually.
If you do decide to hire a company to do the cleaning, they will have special equipment that can be used to remove all of the debris from your solar panels. It will ensure that your system is working at its best possible efficiency and will prevent any future problems.
Aside from the maintenance requirements, most manufacturers will also cover any damage caused by the elements for a while. It will give you peace of mind that your panels are in good shape and will continue to save you money on electricity bills for years.
Depending on the size of your system and any regional incentives, the solar panel installation costs can vary significantly. Comparing solar store pricing with other expensive things is crucial. It is advised to request bids from three to five different contractors.
Your panels will need to be mounted onto the roof of your home. It is a very detailed process that will require some skill and experience. Some pros must be better versed in this work, so hire a company with plenty of experience.
After the panels have been installed, they will be connected to your house’s electric wiring and the inverter. It will create electricity that can be used to power your home or exported to the grid.
The energy produced will depend on how many panels you install, your location, and sunlight exposure. The energy cost will also influence the number of panels you need in your area and whether or not you want to eliminate your electric bill.
Another factor that will affect your solar panel installation cost is your roof’s pitch or the steepness of its slope. Professionals will need to access your roof to install the panels and the inverter, so a steep roof or a difficult-to-navigate area can increase your installation cost.
Local tax incentives, utility pricing, and your home’s energy requirements are additional variables that may affect the price of your solar panel installation. The overall cost of your installation will also depend on the type and quality of the panels you choose.
Solar can be a significant investment if you are a homeowner interested in saving money on your electricity bills. The upfront cost of installing a system will be more than offset by your savings over time, and the panels are relatively inexpensive compared to the long-term maintenance costs. However, solar is a significant commitment. You will want to ensure that you have the right panels for your home and that you find a company with excellent customer reviews and high-quality products.
Your homeowners’ insurance typically covers solar panels, but there are some instances in which you might need to get a separate policy or add-on.
For example, if you install solar panels that don’t attach to your roof — ground-mounted or free-standing on a post in your yard, for instance — you may have to add a rider or endorsement, depending on your insurer. This type of coverage is called “other structures,” and it’s usually a percentage of your dwelling coverage limit.
You may also need a supplemental policy for installing your panels outside the home, such as in a detached garage or shed. Because these buildings are not technically part of the house, they are not covered under your homeowner’s policy.
Discussing your specific plans with an insurance agent before you start work on your home is best. Your agent will help you decide what additional coverage you might need and how much it would cost.
Your solar panel installation company will likely hold general liability insurance, which protects them from lawsuits and other financial losses caused by accidents, damage to property, or injuries they cause to someone else. It is essential for solar energy contractors, especially those with many tools and materials on the job site that can be stolen or damaged.
In addition, you should ensure that your contractor has a workers’ compensation policy. It is an inexpensive form of coverage that protects you from injury claims if a worker gets hurt during your project.
While it is rare for a contractor to be injured during a solar installation, the risks are still accurate. Injuries can occur from falls, burns, electrical shock, or other hazards.
Many states have laws that require solar panel installers to carry general liability insurance or professional liability insurance. These policies protect the contractor and their employees in case of a claim, so ensure they have it before you start working with them.
You should also check with your state’s insurance department to ensure that solar panel installers are licensed and insured. In some areas, there are regulations for solar panel contractors that need to be clarified and easier to understand. Fortunately, there are a few websites that can help you navigate the rules in your area.