Solar Energy for Homes: Should You Install Solar Panels?

The heat death of our sun isn’t for another 5 billion years. Fossil fuels will deplete within 280 years at the highest estimates. Clearly, the sun is the better bet in long-term energy. Installing solar energy for homes isn’t quite that simple, though. You need to consider several factors before deciding if solar is ideal in your situation. Questions of installation cost, material cost, and averages on KWH for your area all matter. In most states, solar panels pay for themselves over 20 years. Does that timeline sound worthwhile?   Factors to Consider The short answer to “are solar panels worth it?” is yes. They save on energy consumption and divorce your home from total dependence on the grid. That said, no solution fits every need. Depending on the age of your home, and the area you live in, the savings to you over time can be a potential issue. Consider your answer to each of these factors.   Size A typical solar panel covers a space of about 5×10 feet. A typical array is comprised of twelve panels and produces about 6 KW a day. A system of this size negates about a year’s worth of carbon emissions from an automobile. It also saves you between $500 and $2000 a year in power bills. Larger arrays do more at a geometric increase in size and cost.   Installation Installation costs account for only about a fifth of your total solar cost. The panels themselves are the bulk of the price. Depending on your particular skills, you may save some cash doing a self-install. Depending on your area, different solar providers will lease to own panels and arrays. They make money upfront in the installation and you save over time. These companies also benefit from green partnerships and tax incentives. Careful research on providers in your area will show how solar development is going. Like many things, more competition in the area means better deals.   Storage and Ownership One of the largest sticking points of solar panel residential arrays is ownership. You pay for the arrays through direct purchase or a lease. The power generated by the array isn’t always yours. Some states disallow solar companies to install batteries, meaning any power not used by the array gets pumped back out into the grid. The local power company then sells that power to other residents. Check local laws to make certain you keep the energy you generate or get compensated for anything that leaves your residence and goes out into the grid.   House or Items Solar panels don’t have to power your entire house. You can spend smaller amounts to get specific systems and areas of your house powered. Many people look into solar specifically for their water heaters or luxury items like a hot tub pump and heat. Solar panel conversions for security cameras save money and give you confidence even when local power fails. It is a considerable advantage to be able to power specific systems when the power goes out.   Solar Energy for Homes: Be Energetic! Solar energy for homes has a lot of upsides and only one downside: cost. That cost averages out over time, but not everyone has that luxury. Do your research before investing in solar. Keep in mind, there’s a lot of sunshine out there, best to start collecting some earlier than later. Keep reading our blog for more insights.   Article submitted by Alexander Kala.   Alexander is a writer at and manager at solar system management.  

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