Switching to solar energy has become an increasingly popular choice for homeowners seeking environmental sustainability and financial savings. However, before you can start generating clean energy from the sun, it’s essential to prepare your home for the installation of solar panels.
Proper planning and preparation can ensure a smooth and successful transition to solar power, maximizing the benefits for years to come. In this blog, we’ll answer the following questions:
- What I wish I knew before installing solar panels
- How do you prepare a roof for solar panels?
- Do they drill holes in your roof for solar panels?
What I Wish I Knew Before Installing Solar Panels?
Before jumping into any installation project, you always want to consider the financial effect. Solar panels can be an excellent long-term investment but have high upfront costs. Look into how prices vary for different types of solar panels and what incentives are available in your area.
You can choose from several solar panels, such as monocrystalline panels, which typically cost $1 to $1.50 per watt, and polycrystalline panels, which cost around $0.90 to $1 per watt. You never want to base your choice simply on costs, as panel types have different benefits. For example, polycrystalline may be cheaper, but they’re also less energy efficient than monocrystalline panels.
Likewise, incentives vary from state to state and can help with upfront costs and savings over time. For example, in Arizona, you can receive a tax credit valued at 25% of the solar system cost, up to a $1,000 ceiling. The Solar Equipment Sales Tax Exemption removes sales tax from your solar system purchase, and the Energy Equipment Property Tax Exemption makes it so you don’t have to pay additional property taxes on the value your system adds to your home. You can also receive federal solar tax credit to encourage green energy if you’re eligible.
You need to be aware of ongoing costs for maintenance. You don’t just install a solar system and leave it alone for the next 25 years as you reap its benefits; you must take care of it. Regular maintenance can cost up to $140 to $180 annually, inspections $150, and cleanings around $150 if you opt for pro services. Warranties that come with solar panels can cover partial costs and help with repairs and other issues that may arise.
These items shouldn’t discourage you from installing solar, but you need to be aware of them beforehand to understand what you’re committing to fully.
How Do You Prepare a Roof for Solar Panels?
- Have an inspector look at your roof’s condition before installation to ensure it doesn’t need any repairs. They can also inform you of your options for solar panel sizes and types based on the shape, sturdiness, and proximity of your roof. If any obstructions limit your panel placement or create shade, you can have these removed.
- Establish where you plan to place your solar panels, preferably where they’ll be exposed to the most sunlight. Optimal roofs for a solar system have a south-facing side with a slope between 15 to 40 degrees, allowing for high sun exposure and rain to slide off.
- You’ll also need to obtain the necessary permits and approvals. Specific requirements may be mandated for your area, such as approvals from your local building authorities and your electric company’s approval for interconnection to the grid.
- Assess your energy needs. Look at the amount of energy your home currently consumes to determine the system size you’ll need to generate more electricity than you use.
- Look into available incentives and financing options as well. Some incentives, such as the Solar Equipment Sales Tax Exemption, can be received when you purchase your panels.
Do They Drill Holes in Your Roof for Solar Panels?
Yes, in most cases, it’s necessary to drill holes into your roof for solar, but with the proper installation, this won’t cause any damage to your roof. Professionals cover the holes with a moisture-resistant material that protects your roof’s exterior and infrastructure.
Some options don’t require drilling holes, such as installing solar roof tiles or solar shingles to eliminate the need for mounting. Consult with your solar inspector beforehand to determine the best options for your roof situation and energy needs.
Our World Energy For Reliable, Cost-Effective Electricity
Our World Energy offers cost-effective solar power options that empower you, giving you energy independence from your utility company through renewable energy that works.
Contact us today to learn more about who we are and how we can serve you.