Written by Lisa Walker
Solar energy in America is becoming increasingly popular, not just for major corporations but also citizens who’ve discovered its advantages. Amazingly, industry experts believe that U.S. solar installations are set to triple over the next decade. The following guide from Steps of Impact explores some tips regarding solar panel installations, along with the how and why do solar panels really save you money?
Do Solar Panels Really Save You Money?
In short, yes! They significantly reduce the cost of your electricity bill, help fight climate change, and have become increasingly more desirable because of their overall benefits.
Benefits of Solar Energy Panels
For starters, how do solar panels work? Solar panels collect the sun’s warmth and turn it into energy that can provide power for your home. There are several reasons why you should consider installing solar panels:
- Solar panels can save you thousands of dollars per year.
- Installing solar panels may qualify you for the Federal Housing Administration’s Energy Efficient Mortgage program. This government-backed initiative helps homeowners finance many types of energy-saving methods, including solar.
- The other major appeal of solar panels is that they are environmentally friendly. Besides lowering our dependence on fossil fuels, they reduce greenhouse gases and therefore our carbon footprint.
- While you’re fighting global warming, you’ll be using less water than you would with nuclear or coal-based power. Additional appeal factors include the potential for an extremely low cost of upkeep and constantly improving technology.
How Much Will Solar Panels Save?
On average, you stand to save between $10,000 and $30,000 over the life of your home. So while you are still receiving an electric bill with solar panels, the reduction can make all the difference.
The average electric bill with solar panels can be determined when you calculate the total amount of electricity you currently use, subtracted by the installation of solar panels. According to One Energy System, a U.S. consumer’s average annual electricity use is 10,972 kilowatt-hours. To calculate your electricity use per year, multiply this number by the electricity rate in your area (usually by state).
Once you know the amount of electricity you use, subtract this by the average cost of installation. This can vary. A 10-kW solar power system is about $20,000 after taxes. Per watt, the cost of solar energy is approximately $2.81. Keep in mind the lifespan of solar energy panels lasts an average of 20-25 years.
So is it worth installing solar panels? After your calculations, you should see a difference in price. The savings long-term will add up and you’ll be helping to do your part in the environment!
Ideal Conditions for Solar Energy Panels
Before installing solar panels, make sure your home has the right weather conditions to make doing so worthwhile. The sunnier the weather in your area, the greater the benefit will be. Trim trees and remove obstacles that would block the sun’s rays. For best results, position your panels to the south or southwest, as this maximizes the amount of time they’ll be soaking up the sunshine.
Solar panels can be installed on many types of roofs, including those made from asphalt, metal, wood, slate, and clay. Mounting solutions are available for nearly any style of roof, although the material yours is made from can impact the cost. Flat roofs are fine, though you need to make sure that the wind speed in your zone is gentle enough that it won’t damage your system. There’s also a higher risk of water leakage with flat roofs, so prepare accordingly.
Installation of Solar Energy Panels
If you’re the type who relishes DIY home improvement projects, you might want to tackle installing solar panels on your own. However, multiple considerations must first be addressed. Make certain that you have the authority to put solar panels on your home. There’s a chance that you live in a historic district that forbids such changes, or your homeowner’s association might require its explicit permission. Make sure you’re comfortable with the physical challenge of working on a rooftop. For those who have a fear of heights, it probably makes sense to hire a professional installer instead.
6 steps to install solar panels:
- Identify the best area for installation (see ideal conditions above).
- Fix/work out the layout for the mounting system.
- Mount the solar panels.
- Complete the electrical wiring (professional recommended).
- Connect the solar panels to the indoor components.
- Ground the panels and mounting system.
Maintenance of Solar Energy Panels
Regularly have your solar panels cleaned. Otherwise, their effectiveness is likely to be negatively impacted. Elite Solar Cleaning avoids harsh chemicals and hard water. Additionally, select a washer that inspects for nesting pests, such as birds and squirrels. Address cracks and framework deterioration as soon as possible. Find a service provider with the latest in inspection technology, including drones and thermal imaging. High-tech advantages such as these make it far easier to identify problems.
Harnessing the sun’s energy can simultaneously save money and preserve the planet. For best results, approach the installation and maintenance of solar panels with a professional’s eye.
Steps of Impact provides you with amazing (and easy) tools to take small steps toward green living and leading a healthy, fulfilling life. If you have any questions or you’d like to collaborate, feel free to reach out today!