As of 2020, the number of solar installations in the US has surpassed the 2 million mark. It’s a statistic that shows the growing popularity of solar energy as an alternative to other, more expensive energy options in the country. 96 percent of American homeowners who’ve already installed solar panels did so because they wanted to cut utility bills.
But there are plenty of other benefits that come with solar installation, including the fact that solar energy is green and sustainable.
For those considering switching to solar, there are certain panel installation mistakes that you need to avoid to get the most out of your investment. In this post, we point out some of those mistakes. Read on to learn more.
1. Delaying the Decision to Install Solar Panels
Making the switch to solar energy is a huge decision that has considerable financial implications. It’s easy to waver when making the move because of the cost of installation. However, the longer you put off the decision, the more savings you miss out on.
Keep in mind that as the adoption of solar energy soars, the price of solar panels may increase. Besides, the current tax credits and rebates might soon be phased out. Installing solar energy right now allows you to take advantage of the current financial incentives before it’s too late.
2. Ignoring the Structural Makeup of Your Home’s Roof
Solar installation can add as much as 25 kilograms of weight per square meter to a roof. That’s why you need to be sure that the structure of your roof can comfortably support that much weight. If your roof has swamp coolers, chimneys, and air vents, it may be impractical to place accessories of the solar panel system near the main unit.
It’s also essential to think of the roof type. A fiber-cement roof, for instance, tends to be brittle. If your home has such a roof, you’ll need to go for racking that doesn’t cause cracks when installing the solar panels.
3. Improper Sizing of the Solar Panel System
The easiest way to calculate the appropriate size of panels seems like calculating your power usage and installing a panel system that provides that coverage. The problem with this approach is that it neglects other factors that could impact the amount of power a solar panel system can produce, including:
- Panel orientation
- The voltage settings of the system’s inverter
- Natural efficiency declines
Unless you account for these factors, chances are you’ll get it wrong when choosing the size of solar panel system you need. The consequences of doing so can be serious. For instance, if your solar panel or battery bank doesn’t have the right voltage, the entire system could harm expensive hardware.
So how do you determine which solar panel system size is ideal for you? Your best bet is to work with an experienced solar panel installation services provider from the very start.
4. Going for the Cheapest Solar Panels in the Market
While you may be considering switching to solar to save on utility bills, you don’t want to cut corners when it comes to the type of panels you purchase. Low-cost solar panels may seem like a great idea right now, but they will cost you more a few years down the line when you have to replace the system all over again because it became faulty or broke down.
Of course, you don’t have to go for the priciest system in the market. A professional solar panel contractor should be able to point you to ideal solar panel designs that are reasonably priced.
5. Not Getting Several Quotes
Regardless of the solar panel design you choose, it’s always a good idea to look for multiple quotes before deciding which contractor to buy from. The same goes for installation services.
While most solar panel installation companies in the country are trustworthy, there are still some bad apples you need to beware of. Some unscrupulous contractors can charge you several times what the solar panels and installation costs should be. In the end, you lose money in your quest to save on energy.
It’s the reason you should never work with the first solar installation service you talk to. Shop around and get at least three quotes. Evaluate what each of these service providers is offering and whether they take into consideration such aspects as the type and orientation of your roof, the appropriate solar panel size you need, installation costs, and so on.
6. Placing the Panels Away From the Sun
Solar panels are hardly the most esthetic features to have on your roof. For many homeowners, keeping such hardware out of sight would be best. There’s absolutely no problem with placing your solar panel system out of view as long as it’s in a place they can get enough sunlight.
Also, make sure that your solar panels are not in places that create shadows. Your solar panel system installer should help you identify the proper location for the unit.
7. Opting for DIY Solar Panel System Installation
So, you are the type of homeowner who loves DIY projects. That’s great, except solar installation is not something you want to attempt on your own unless you have the appropriate expertise to pull it off.
Before you proceed with DIY installation, ask yourself these questions:
- What size of solar panel will suit the required energy?
- How much roof support will the ideal solar panel need?
- How will the solar panel wiring be completed?
- What is the perfect place to locate the solar panel?
If you cannot answer these questions with certainty, it’s best to leave the installation job to the professionals. A single mistake in the installation process could cause endless headaches in the future.
Avoid Solar Panel Installation Mistakes at All Costs
Converting to solar energy is beneficial not only for your wallet but also for the environment. As you go about the process, however, you need to steer clear of common solar panel installation mistakes that may undermine your investment.
Are you interested in reliable solar panel installation services? Please contact us today.