According to research, going solar can save the average homeowner around $20,000 over the life of their system.
However, installing solar panels is a big decision. Not only will you be making a long-term commitment to reducing your reliance on fossil fuels, but you’ll also be making a significant investment in your home.
While more and more people are making the switch to solar, there’s still a lot of confusion about the process. One of the most common questions we get asked is the following: “How do I prepare my home for solar panel installation?”
Well, there is so much you can do to ensure you get the best out of your solar panels. It’s important to do your research and prepare properly before installation day arrives.
For these reasons, we bring you this comprehensive guide on solar panel installation preparation.
Schedule a Home Energy Audit
If you want to get the most out of your solar panel installation, it’s important to start by scheduling a home energy audit. A home energy audit is an assessment of your home’s energy use.
The auditor will look at factors like insulation, window sealing, and appliance efficiency. They’ll also take into account your local climate and how much sun exposure your home gets.
Based on this information, they’ll recommend the best way for you to reduce your energy consumption. This is important because it’ll help you save money on your utility bills and make sure that you’re getting the most out of your solar panels.
Homeowners can schedule a home energy audit through their local utility company or through a private contractor. A professional solar panel installation company may also offer this service.
Check What Incentives You Qualify For
Installing solar panels is a big investment, but there are several incentives that can help offset the cost. The most common incentive is the federal solar tax credit, which allows you to deduct 26% of the cost of your system from your taxes. There are also a number of state and local incentives that can lower the cost of going solar.
The Solar Energy Industries Association has a helpful website that lets you search for rebates and incentives in your state. You can also check with your local utility company to see if they offer any programs or discounts for solar panel installations.
If you qualify for any incentives, make sure to keep all of the documentation in a safe place. You’ll need it when you file your taxes or apply for rebates.
Obtain the Necessary Legal Permits
In most cases, you’ll need to obtain a permit from your local government before you can install solar panels. The permitting process can vary depending on where you live, but it’s typically not too complicated.
The first step is to contact your local building department and find out what permits are required for solar panel installation. They should be able to provide you with the necessary paperwork and applications. The process is fairly similar to getting permits for home improvement projects.
Once you have all of the necessary paperwork, fill it out and submit it to the building department along with any required fees. Once your application has been approved, you’ll be able to move forward with scheduling your installation date.
Keep in mind that the permitting process can take several weeks, so it’s important to start early.
Get a Comprehensive Roof Inspection
If your home is going to be outfitted with solar panels, your roof will need to be in good condition. This means that you should get a comprehensive roof inspection before the installation process begins. A professional roofing contractor can assess the condition of your roof and make any necessary repairs.
It’s important to have a strong and stable roof when installing solar panels. Otherwise, there is a risk that they could become damaged or dislodged during severe weather conditions. If your roof is not strong enough, you may need to repair or replace it before solar panels can be installed.
If you need to replace your roof, don’t despair because you can opt for solar shingles instead. The best part is that they’ll serve as your roof and generate solar energy as well.
Solar shingles can generate as much solar energy as solar panels, so consult with a professional installation company to know whether this is a viable option for you.
Choose the Right Solar Panels
One of the most integral parts of your solar panel installation is deciding what type of panel is right for your home. The most common types of solar panels are monocrystalline and polycrystalline.
Monocrystalline panels are made from a single crystal of silicon, and they’re more efficient than polycrystalline panels. However, they’re also more expensive.
Polycrystalline panels are made from multiple crystals of silicon, and they’re less efficient than monocrystalline ones but are relatively less expensive.
The type of panel you choose will depend on a few factors, including your budget and how much energy you want to generate.
You also need to decide how many panels you want to install. The number of panels you need will depend on your renewable energy consumption and the amount of sunlight that hits your home.
The location is also crucial because it’ll affect how much energy they generate. For example, if your roof doesn’t get a lot of sun exposure, you may want to consider installing them on a south-facing wall.
For more information about some of the best solar panels, consult solar experts.
Conduct Thorough Research on Solar Panel Installers
One of the most important decisions you’ll make when going solar is choosing the right panel installation service. This is a big decision because you’ll be making a long-term commitment to working with this company. It’s important to do your research and find an installer that you can trust.
There are a few things you should keep in mind when choosing an installer. First, make sure that they’re licensed and insured.
Second, check to see if they have any complaints with the Better Business Bureau or other consumer protection agencies. Finally, ask for references from previous customers and call them to get their opinion on the quality of work.
Don’t just go with the first installer you find. Get quotes from multiple companies and compare their services.
Ask about the warranty they offer and what kind of maintenance is required. By doing your research, you can find the best installer for your needs.
The Ultimate Preparation Guide for Solar Panel Installation
Installing solar panels is a big decision, but it can be a great way to save money on your energy bills and help the environment. By following these tips, you can prepare your home for solar panel installation and ensure that the process goes smoothly.