If you’re excited about the benefits of installing solar panels on your home or business – you should be! A solar power system provides you with the freedom to create your own electricity and snub your nose at rising power costs. Just don’t get blindsided by your enthusiasm for harnessing free power from the sun, without asking a few critical questions, before it’s too late…
Will Solar Panels Decrease the Value of my Home or Business?
No, it’s likely that solar panels will increase the resale value of your home or business. After all, who wouldn’t want to know they’re moving into a place that will automatically save them money on utilities? Best of all, the panels are already installed, so they don’t have to do anything except enjoy their energy savings and reduced carbon footprint.
One thing to keep in mind…If you plan on selling your home or business in the near future, you might want to consider that factor in your decision to install solar panels. If you choose to lease your solar power system, the lease will need to be transferred to the new owner. Most of the time this is a simple process, but this may discourage some prospective buyers.
Do Solar Panels Need Regular Maintenance? If So, Who Will Service Them?
Generally speaking, no, solar panels do not require regular maintenance. Most will be just fine with little more than a hosing down every few months. This ensures that you don’t lose any efficiency to build-up and debris. Many people simply let the rain do this job, though that may decrease your energy production by 5% over the unit’s entire lifetime. However, if you live in an environment that has smog, dust or heavy pollen, you may need to do some regular cleaning of your panels or hire a professional solar panel cleaning company.
Remember that most solar panel systems don’t have any moving parts that would require maintenance. Those that do, though, usually get serviced by the manufacturers or a third-party company that the manufacturer recommends.
We Have Cold Winters with Lots of Snow. How Will Snow Cover Effect the Solar Panels Ability to Create Power?
Just like we mentioned above, if your solar panels are covered by anything, your results will suffer. Therefore, if snow obstructs your panels, you won’t get as much, if any electricity from them. Even a little snow can decrease production substantially.
Whether or not the cold will affect your solar panels is still a matter of some dispute. Research is currently being conducted, however, to find out.
Will My Solar Power System Be Connected to Batteries?
That’s a matter of preference. Some solar panel owners have their solar systems connected to batteries. This way, they can use the stored power at night or if there is a power outage on the utility grid. If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, read our article: Are you Crazy to want a Battery Backup system for your Solar Panels?
Most solar panel systems are hooked up to a shared grid and benefit from net metering. Net metering allows a solar panel owner to feed their excess energy into the power grid and receive credits from the utility company that they can apply towards the use of power at another time. This way, when the sun goes down, power is still available. If something were to take the grid down, though, power would cease.
How Many Years Will My Solar Panel System Last?
There’s no way to know for sure how long your solar panels will last. Most manufacturers and/or installers will provide you with a warranty though, which should give you some idea.
That being said, all panels lose roughly 0.5% of their efficiency every year. This is why most warranties last for 25 years, the point at which your grid will be producing at 87.5% efficiency.
I Heard That You Must Have a South Facing Roof for Solar Panels. What If I Don’t?
It’s true that panels facing south are ideal. However, even those that face east or west can still produce a large amount of electricity. Obviously, it will depend on where your home is located.
If you don’t have a roof that faces in either of these directions or their access to the sun would be obstructed, you can also place your solar panels elsewhere. Many solar panel systems are set up in more ideal places on a property, where the suns shines bright. They’re connected to your home or business by wires that can be run underground.
Hopefully, we’ve shed some light on the questions that solar panels owners often forget to ask, but shouldn’t. Now, you can make a better decision about whether purchasing a solar power system is the right way to go for your home or business.
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