Today more than ever, solar panels are widely used to power both residential and commercial places all over the world. From lighting bus shelters to parking lots and even signs, 'going solar' seems to be a trend that is on the rise. But what should you know before purchasing a solar panel? This article will walk you through some things that you must consider.
1. Can your roof support the solar panel?
First, you need to be sure that structurally your roof can support a solar panel. If your roof might need a renovation in the near future, you might have this checked before calling in a solar panel contractor. While most solar panels come with a warranty, you might want to avoid the costs of reinstallation after a roof renovation. Further, be sure to check whether there is any homeowners' association agreement that prohibits solar installations on roofs for aesthetic reasons. Also, a roof that is in shade for most of the day might not be a good spot for installation. Other considerations might be if you are living in a rented apartment or you stay in a multi-unit home.
2. What are your power needs?
Before going solar, you might want to do an energy audit at your home or property to determine how much power you require. If need be, trim down your power consumption to suit the solar energy that you will be receiving.
3. Which solar technique suits your needs?
There are two types of solar technologies that you can pick from. There is photovoltaic solar that turns sunlight into electricity using arrays of cells and solar thermal that uses sunlight to heat water. In this regard, you might want to purchase a thermal panel if you have a lot of heating needs.
4. How trustworthy is your installer?
The installer you settle for should be reliable and have some credentials on them. In the event that your solar panel develops issues, they should be able to fix it within the warranty period. Solar is a combination of home improvement and a great deal of electrical work. Therefore, do not settle for a quick fix for solar panel installation. Go to a dealer who will stick around throughout the warranty period.
Use references to decide on the best manufacturer before going solar. Check that the solar panels have gone through a robust quality check. The installer should be easily accessible even after installation just in case anything goes wrong.