According to the Department of Energy, there have been around 3 million solar panel installations. The number of US homes with solar panels has increased by 32% a year.
Solar panels have continued to grow more popular in the past few years. This is something that many households are considering if they are trying to start going green.
If you want to save the environment, the obvious place to start is with energy. Moving towards renewable energy sources is so important in making your home more sustainable.
Keep reading to find out if going green with solar panels is the right option for your home.
The very first thing you need to consider when going green is solar viability. The reality is that solar panels require unobstructed access to the sun‘s rays to work.
For a home that doesn’t get enough direct sunlight, solar panels will not be realistic. The good news is that checking your home’s solar viability is quite easy to do.
You can do this by checking Google’s Project Sunroof tool and adding your home address. This tool will give you an estimate of how many hours of usable sunlight your home gets per year.
It can also estimate how many feet of solar panels you need to achieve usable sunlight. Another option you have is to determine the sunlight your home gets yourself.
You can do this by examining the outside of your home to see if it is in sunlight. It is a good idea to do this on a sunny day when you will be able to see the sunniest areas.
Check for anything that could obstruct sunlight or cast a shadow. You may want to do this several times a day to see if anything changes.
It is also important to consider different seasons of the year and how that may impact your solar viability.
Is There Room on Your Roof?
The next thing you need to do is see if your roof can handle solar panels. Going green is a great goal to have, but not every home can handle the size and weight of solar panels.
You will also need to check the kilowatts that your home uses each month. You may need to hire experts to measure the available roof space for your home.
On average, a solar panel is 17.6 square feet and creates 265 watts when in use. You will need enough available space on your roof to allow the solar panels to be installed.
If your roof is old, you may not want to invest in solar panels. It would be a better investment to replace the roof before you take this step toward renewable energy.
Certain types of roof materials are also harder to install panels onto. This includes slate and wood because these materials are brittle and require special equipment and skills.
You also need to estimate the angle of your roof since this impacts installation. The optimal tilt for a roof is 30 to 45° for the majority of solar panel systems.
A steep roof angle will not produce as much electricity and is difficult to install.
Look at Your Electricity Bill
If you want to save energy, you need to look at how much you are paying for your electricity bill. You may not end up saving as much as you think you will with solar panels.
The general rule of thumb is that the more electricity you use and the more you pay each month, the bigger the savings. This can often depend on the state as well.
Some states have higher electricity rates, which can send the cost of mild electricity use overboard. If your electricity rates are low or you don’t use much electricity, solar panels may not be worth it.
The best solar company can give you a quote that you can compare these bill to.
The Kind of Home You Live in
The type of home you live in can also impact your ability to save money. If you do not own your own home, but you are a renter, you will have to get permission for this.
It is generally much more difficult to get solar panels installed if you don’t own the home. This is often because the cost will go to the homeowner and not to yourself.
This is why it can be difficult to install solar panels on multi-family properties as well as condos or apartments.
Are Solar Panels Affordable in Your Area?
Every state is going to be different when it comes to how much solar panels cost. Even if going green is your goal, you still have a budget that you have to stick to.
How much you pay for your solar panels impacts how much you save. Because of this, most people want to pay as little as possible so that they can start to earn that money back.
Some parts of the country make solar panels much more expensive than other areas. This can come down to the cost of labor, permits, and equipment.
Are Solar Panels Right for You When Going Green?
If you want to start going green, you may be looking into solar panels. If this is the case, you need to look at your home and decide if solar panels are the right fit if you want to go green.
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