A Homeowner’s Guide To Home Solar System

As energy prices continue to rise, more homeowners are becoming more curious about solar power. If you’re thinking about going solar, it’s important to do ample research about a home solar system.

To help you get started, this comprehensive guide shares the basics about the home solar system, its benefits, and things to consider when planning to install one.

guide to home solar system

Understanding Solar Energy System

Solar power systems are structures that capture usable energy generated from the sun. They can provide solar power to homes instead of relying on your local electricity provider. Technically speaking, solar energy is captured using a photovoltaic solar panel system.

Each solar panel consists of a glass casing unit, a metal frame, a layer of silicon cells, and several wirings to transfer the electric current. The metal frame and glass casing unit house and protect the silicon cells against weather conditions. These silicon cells are non-metal elements responsible for absorbing sunlight and converting it into usable electricity.

When sunlight hits the panel’s silicon cell, the light causes electrons in the cell to move. This initiates the flow of electric current, also known as direct current (DC) electricity. The wiring captures this DC electricity and feeds it into a solar inverter.

Since most appliances don’t run on direct current, a solar inverter is needed to change the electricity output. The solar inverter converts DC into alternate current (AC) through a transformer.

Homeowners with average DIY skills can mount and install small-scale solar panels. However, if you’re considering powering your home with a full solar system, it’s recommended to choose a solar installer.

Hiring reliable solar installation professionals like Impact Energy Home Solar Installation can ensure that your solar energy system is installed correctly according to local building requirements. In addition, these professionals have the necessary equipment and tools to handle all your solar installation needs.

Why Switch To Solar Energy?

Switching to solar energy comes with numerous benefits. Here are some of them:

1. It Helps You Save On Energy Bills

One of the biggest benefits of switching to solar power is that it helps reduce or completely eliminate your energy bills. Installing a solar panel means you generate your own electricity. Hence, you become less reliant on your local electricity provider, ultimately saving money on your monthly energy bill.

According to experts, the average home equipped with solar panels can save up to 90% on the monthly electric bill. However, keep in mind that this percentage still depends on several factors, including your electricity consumption, home size, solar system size, and location.

Nevertheless, as energy prices keep increasing, solar energy becomes a more viable alternative against rising prices. Since you’ll be generating energy from the sun, you don’t need to rely on expensive power from your local grid.

2. It Contributes To Long-Term Sustainability

Solar power is considered a sustainable and clean source of energy. Opting for solar installation can help minimize the production of carbon, pollutants, and other greenhouse gases. It also helps lower your carbon footprint, contributing to a cleaner environment.

Furthermore, unlike other traditional sources of energy, solar power is renewable. This means you won’t ever run out of it as long as the sun shines.

3. It Has The Potential For Extra Income

Aside from its energy bill-saving benefit, installing a home solar system may also help you earn extra income. In the US and most parts of the world, there are several solar incentives you can avail of, such as solar energy credits and net metering. These two initiatives can help you earn bill credits and cash when your solar energy system generates electricity.

A solar credit allows you to get compensated for the electricity your solar energy system produces. Meanwhile, net metering enables you to sell excess energy produced by your solar energy system to your community’s power grid, helping you earn extra cash.

You can check with your local government if they’re offering any of these incentives and if you’re eligible. These incentives can provide you with immediate and long-term returns from your solar investments.

4. Low in Maintenance

Solar panels are low maintenance. Depending on the surrounding area and your location, you only need to clean your panels a couple of times yearly. Also, traditional solar energy systems have no moving parts, so you don’t have to worry about wear and tear.

Hence, you only need regular maintenance inspections on wiring and parts, checking for damages to ensure maximum efficiency. Besides, most reliable solar manufacturers offer extended warranties of 20 years or more to protect you against accidental damages or faulty products.

Things To Consider For Home Solar System Installation

As you can see, solar energy systems can provide you with numerous enticing benefits. If you want to install a solar energy system for your home, here are four factors to consider.

1. Find A Solar Expert

Home solar energy installation is a complex process. Thus, you want to find an expert who can help you navigate the complexity of solar installation and make the switch successful. However, with the increasing demand for expert solar installers, how do you choose the right one?

You can start by asking for references from relatives, friends, or co-workers who recently installed solar energy systems. Alternatively, a simple Google search can provide you with a list of solar installers in your area. You can also use online tools to help you find solar installation companies.

how to maintain your solar panel

Once you have a list, start narrowing down your options by asking them about their qualifications, experience, and credentials. Always ask for their proof of licenses and qualifications.

Furthermore, it’s essential to ensure the solar company is familiar with your local area, building permits, and interconnection processes. Moreover, it helps to ask about their warranties and insurance to protect you against technical issues once installed.

Additionally, it’s best to take the time to research online reviews about the company. You can also ask them for a list of references from previous clients in your area. This provides you with deeper insights into how the company works.

Consider narrowing down your options to three service providers. Plus, it’s best to ask for quotations for your solar installation to help you compare prices and services and find the right contractor for your needs.

2. Understand Your Energy Use

Performing an energy audit and understanding your energy consumption can help you determine the type and size of the solar system you need. In general, you can get the help of your chosen solar contractor for this.

You can take a look at your recent energy bills and determine your annual energy needs. Also, you can review every month of the year to help you identify your consumption trends. For instance, you may use more electricity to keep your home cool during the hot summer months of June through August.

Meanwhile, it also helps to think about your plans for the future. For instance, are you considering buying an electric car next year or building a new room? Such upgrades can affect your overall energy use, so keep them in mind when getting a home solar system.

3. Location

One of the most significant factors to consider when installing residential solar power systems is knowing how much sunlight your home can get. Since solar power systems rely on sunlight to generate energy, you must ensure that your home receives plenty of it for maximum performance.

But it doesn’t mean you have to live in a tropical or sunny location to make solar panels work for your home. Solar panels work well in most climates, even regions with less sunshine. Just don’t expect your solar energy system to be as effective as those in areas that receive the most sunlight.

In addition to your home’s location, it helps to consider nearby structures, including trees, towering condominiums, or even your home’s chimney. These structures can cast shade over your solar panel, reducing its efficiency.

On the other hand, your contractor can help you find the proper placement for your panels and how you can effectively optimize their output, regardless of your location.

4. Solar Placement

Speaking of placement, did you know that you have several options in terms of where you want to install your solar panels?

For most residential homes, rooftop panels are the most common installation placement. It provides the maximum amount of sunlight exposure while also clearing the curb of any potentially hazardous panels or wirings. However, there are several considerations when installing your solar systems on your rooftop.

If you have an older roof but have a vast open space in your backyard, you may consider a ground-mounted system instead. This placement is more applicable for rural homes with hectares of unused land. With a ground-mounted system, you can expand your solar energy system to accommodate your growing needs and provide better access to panels for maintenance.

Meanwhile, if ground space is minimal and your rooftop is out of the question, wall-mounted solar energy systems are a viable answer. If your home has a south-facing wall, you can install solar panels there to capture sunlight for a limited time.

It’s estimated that vertical solar panels can still generate at least 70% of energy. Also, wall-mounted panels are arguably more efficient during winter since the sun is much lower in the sky. Also, you don’t have to worry about snow accumulating on top of the panels, which can disrupt their efficiency.

While it may not be as efficient as other installation options, wall-mounted solar panels still allow you to harness the sun’s energy if both ground and roof installation aren’t suitable.

Takeaway

There’s no doubt that solar energy is the future. If you’re thinking of making the switch, this article has provided you with everything you need to know to make a well-informed decision and make the whole process easier.

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About Salman Zafar

Salman Zafar is the Founder of EcoMENA, and an international consultant, advisor, ecopreneur and journalist with expertise in waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy, environment protection and sustainable development. His geographical areas of focus include Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. Salman has successfully accomplished a wide range of projects in the areas of biomass energy, biogas, waste-to-energy, recycling and waste management. He has participated in numerous conferences and workshops as chairman, session chair, keynote speaker and panelist. Salman is the Editor-in-Chief of EcoMENA, and is a professional environmental writer with more than 300 popular articles to his credit. He is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management and environmental sustainability in different parts of the world. Salman Zafar can be reached at salman@ecomena.org or salman@bioenergyconsult.com

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