How to Pick Solar Panel Systems: The Complete Guide for Homeowners
Looking to go solar? It’s a big decision, and many factors must be considered.
Choosing the right solar panel system for your home is one of the most important. There are various options on the market, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks.
This guide will walk you through choosing the best solar panels for your needs. So whether you’re just starting to research solar power or ready to buy, read on for tips on picking solar panel systems for your home.
Decide What Your Goals Are for Going Solar
Are you looking to save money on your energy bills? Reduce your carbon footprint? Both?
Knowing your motivations for going solar will help you pick the right system.
If saving money is your primary goal, you’ll want to focus on systems with a high return on investment (ROI). These systems may cost more upfront, but they will pay themselves in savings over time.
But if you’re interested in reducing your environmental impact, you might be willing to pay more for a system that offsets a larger percentage of your energy use.
No matter your goals, there’s a solar panel system that can help you achieve them.
Consider Your Solar Panel Options
Once you know what you want to get out of going solar, it’s time to start looking at the different types of solar panel systems on the market.
There are three main types of solar panels: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin film.
Monocrystalline panels are made from a single silicon crystal and are often considered the most efficient type. They’re also the most expensive.
Polycrystalline panels are made from multiple silicon crystals and are less efficient than monocrystalline panels. But they’re also less expensive, making them a good option for homeowners on a budget.
Thin-film panels are made from a thin layer of photovoltaic material. They’re the least efficient type of solar panel, but they’re also the most affordable.
So which type of panel is right for you? It depends on your budget and your goals. If you’re interested in saving money, go with a polycrystalline or thin-film panel. If you want the most efficiency, go with a monocrystalline panel.
The only way to know for sure is to get quotes from solar installers and compare the costs and benefits of each type of panel.
Determine the Size of Your Solar Panel System
Now that you know what type of solar panel you want, it’s time to start thinking about how big your system should be.
The size of your system will depend on a few factors:
The amount of energy you use: This is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). The average home uses around 30 kWh per day.
The amount of sun your property gets: This is measured in sun hours per day. Arizona and New Mexico have more sun than homes like Washington and Oregon.
The orientation and angle of your roof: If your roof isn’t facing south or has a lot of shading, you won’t be able to generate as much power.
The size of your roof: The more square footage you have, the more panels you can fit.
Remember that installing a larger system doesn’t necessarily mean it will produce more energy. Installing too many panels can reduce the overall efficiency of your system.
That’s why it’s crucial to work with an experienced solar installer who can help you determine the right size for your home.
Determine Your Solar System Budget
Solar panel systems can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.
But don’t let sticker shock scare you off. A residential solar system can pay for itself in as little as five years and will continue generating free energy for decades after that.
There are also some government incentives available to homeowners who go solar, which can reduce the cost of your system by thousands of dollars.
Use a solar calculator to know how much your system will cost. This tool will help you estimate the cost of a solar panel system based on your location, the size of your home, and the type of panels you’re interested in.
You can also get quotes from solar installers to estimate more accurately.
Find the Right Solar Installer
Not all installers are created equal. Some are better at customer service, some are better at installation, and some are better at pricing.
The best way to find a good installer (like Blue Raven Solar) is to ask for recommendations. Talk to your friends, family, and neighbors who have gone solar and see who they used.
You can also check out online reviews from sites like Google and Yelp. And don’t forget to ask the installer for references from past customers.
Once you’ve found a few installers you like, get quotes from each so you can compare prices and services.
Be sure to ask about the installer’s experience with your type of solar panel. Solar panel installation is tricky, and not every installer is qualified to do it.
Finalize Your Solar Panel System
Once you’ve chosen your installer, they will help you finalize the details of your solar panel system.
They will work with you to choose the right type and size of panels and help you determine where to place them on your roof.
The installation process usually takes one or two days, and once it’s complete, you’ll be generating free energy from the sun.
Pick Solar Panel Systems That Meet Your Home’s Needs
Now that you know how to pick solar panel systems, it’s time to start enjoying the benefits of solar power. Work with an experienced installer to find the best system for your home and budget. And remember, going solar is a wise investment that will pay off in savings for years.
Looking for more information about installing solar panels? Check out our other articles on the topic.