9 Facts to Know Before Installing Solar
There’s no doubt that the solar industry has taken off in North America, with huge expansions in installations predicted for 2016. With this growth comes a lot of misinformation. Here are nine facts about solar and solar installations to keep in mind if you’re planning be part of this growth.
- Utility-rate drops
The way most utility providers have it set up is that higher-use customers pay top-tier costs. Find out what tier you’re on currently and expect to drop to a lower-rate tier when you power your home with solar. (You’ll still be connected to the grid, but your usage will decrease dramatically.)
- Bypass batteries
You don’t need to add battery power to your solar panels unless you’re off the local power grid, which you probably shouldn’t be. In addition to having power access at night, with your system on the grid, you’ll qualify for more solar rebate incentives.
- Which direction should panels face?
Contrary to what a lot of solar reps will tell you, solar panels don’t have to be in perfect southwest-facing alignment to work well. You’ll get sufficient energy by facing them directly south or directly west. Even other directions bring good results.
- How much more property tax will I pay with a solar installation?
None, in most cases. Tax reassessments happen when you add a room or otherwise increase the home’s square footage. If a reassessment is triggered for whatever reason, most states provide property tax exemptions for solar panels.
- Don’t neglect insurance
When planning a solar installation, talk with your insurance representative and get the numbers. It’s likely that your homeowner’s insurance won’t increase by more than $10 a month. Most important, your investment will be protected.
- Warranty specs
Understand warranties before you buy. Typically, manufacturers of solar panels cover their products for 20 to 25 years; the inverters commonly come with a warranty of five to 10 years. The company that installs your solar panels also should guarantee their work and cover any damage done during the installation process for between two and 10 years.
- The life of solar panels
There are differences from brand to brand, but basically you should get 30 good years of life from quality solar panels and experience an efficiency decrease of only about a half percent per year.
- Can solar panels negatively affect the roof?
The answer is no, when they’re installed correctly. In fact, panels can provide various protection from light, heat and crazy weather to the room(s) beneath them. Some homeowners report that rooms with solar panels stay naturally warmer during cold weather and cooler in the heat.
- Installation cost and roof type
As with any home-modification project, the cost of solar panel installation will be affected by the “lay of the land,” in this case, the type of roof you have. Making sure everything is properly sealed and undamaged is more time-consuming when installing solar on a shake or Spanish tile roof than on roofs with asphalt shingles.
Burlington Fireplace & Heating supports the growth of the solar industry. Learn more about this amazing source of energy and a wide range of home-heating options by visiting us at 857 Milwaukee Ave., or by calling (262) 763-3522.