How to Buy Solar Panels for the Home
Solar panels are one of the hottest trends in eco-friendly homes. They make a substantial impact and are very attractive to homeowners who care about the environment. If you're thinking about buying solar panels for your home, use this guide to help you make your decision.
Why Should I Buy Solar Panels?
Solar panels are obviously great for the environment. However, they’re also good for your bank account. The following are just some of the key financial and environmental benefits of buying solar panels for your home:
- Renewable Energy: Solar panels use solar energy from the sun, which is unrestricted and renewable. You don’t have to worry about shortages or varying energy costs.
- Good For The Environment: Solar energy does not create greenhouse gases, carbon emissions, fumes or noise pollution. It is one of the most eco-friendly energy options available today.
- Financial Savings: Solar energy is free, so the cost of your solar panels is quickly paid for simply by using them to power your home. The panels also require little maintenance, so buyers enjoy huge savings on energy expenses in the long run.
- Tax Incentives: There are many incentives at the federal and state level for purchasing renewable energy home equipment like solar panels. Ask a tax professional or look online for more information about these benefits.
What Types of Solar Panels Are Available?
Among the many options available today, there are a few key features on solar panels that distinguish them from one another. Here are some of the key types of solar panels according to which features they have:
- Cell Type: Solar panels have photovoltaic cells that conduct solar energy. These can be monocrystalline, polycrystalline or amorphous/thin film cells. Monocrystalline cells are generally the most efficient and most expensive.
- Covering: The cells in solar panels are usually covered in glass, plastic, ethylene vinyl acetate or some combination of these materials.
- Mounting: Most solar panels are designed to be mounted on the exterior of a home (usually the roof). However, there are also some solar panels that can double as windows and other glass panels in the home.
- Voltage: The output voltage in solar panels can vary. A larger home or one with lots of appliances to function will need more voltage.
- Current: This will tell you what the maximum current of the solar panels will be at their peak power.
When purchasing a solar panel, the most important things to keep in mind are your voltage requirements and your roof construction. Most people buy solar panels for their roof, so it’s critical that you find out which panels are best suited to your home before making a decision.
How Much Do Solar Panels Cost?
The price of a solar panel system for your home will vary widely depending on your individual needs. For example, a large home with many appliances will need a bigger and more expensive than a small home. For very minimal solar panel systems or ones that offset just a part of your electricity bill, the cost could be as low as $1,000 or possibly even less. However, if you want a full system for all your energy needs, expect to pay over $10,000 for a solar panel system. Large, high-end systems could cost will over $30,000.
In addition to the price of the panels themselves, there are several other cost factors to consider. If you install your panels during the construction of your home (rather than installing them on an existing roof), you may be able to save money. Homeowners also need to consider the cost of professional installation. There are other components to a fully working solar panel system that you may need to purchase, such as a charge controller, a power inverter and deep-cycle batteries.
Where Can I Find Solar Panels?
There are several sources you can turn to in order to find a solar panel provider and installer. You can look for solar energy equipment dealers in your telephone directory, ask your utility company for recommendations or contact the Solar Energy Industries Association for a list of providers. Once you have some companies in mind, do some research online to find out which are reputable and have plenty of experience selling and installing solar panel systems.
Solar panels can be a great way to increase your home’s value, reduce your energy bills and do something good for the environment. With a purchase this substantial, however, it’s important to take your time making a decision and to get as much input as possible from professionals in the field.