Thinking of making the switch to solar? Here are 7 things to avoid when installing solar panels for your home.
1. Low quality equipment
The most common difficulty for homeowners is the upfront cost of installation. This often leads to homeowners searching for the lowest cost, resulting in poor quality equipment and installation.
It is highly recommended to get several quotes before settling with a solar company, rather than settling based on the lowest upfront cost. Lower quotes often mean that companies source from low quality panels, equipment, installation, etc.
Good quality solar panels should last at least a couple of decades, so finding a solar company with high quality equipment for installation will save you a lot in the long run.
2. Leasing instead of owning solar panels
Leasing solar panels to homeowners may reduce the upfront cost in switching to solar, but there are many reasons why leasing should be highly avoided.
Leasing panels reduces your potential energy savings, and can result in entering long-term contracts that could get more complicated over time.
Leasing also means homeowners are ineligible to qualify for government incentives such as the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which allows homeowners to receive higher tax refunds for solar panels, battery storage, electrical vehicles, HVAC, and more. Instead, the leasing company takes advantage of those potential savings. Owning your own solar panels provides value for your home and makes it easier to put on the market to sell.
3. “Fly by night” contractors
Always do your research into a solar company’s reputation and credibility before settling. See how long the company has been in business for, and look into their reviews. You want a company that has a lot of experience and happy customers. Homeowners are often left with no solar company to go to due to their local company closing. Make sure you have a company that will still be around when you need them in the future.
4. Not taking the time to understand your utility bill
Solar panels are meant to help you save on electric bills by storing electricity that you can later use at your leisure and at a lower cost.
Your electric bill is split into two parts. The usage and delivery charge. Switching to solar makes homeowners less dependent on using electricity from their local electrical grid. Utilities will charge customers different rates for electricity based on hours of the day when customers use different amounts of energy. Higher demand hours would charge a higher price for electricity, while lower demand would charge less. Solar + Storage is perfect for offsetting these prices. Your solar batteries are able to store any unused electricity to use at low-demand hours. This significantly decreases homeowners’ usage and delivery charges.
Keep in mind that delivery charges vary depending on your location. Since Hawaii residents pay the highest cost for electricity in the nation, making the switch to solar is heavily encouraged.
5. Micro inverters
Micro inverters are meant to improve the efficiency of an installation while monitoring the electricity generated from each solar panel. Since each panel then requires a micro inverter, there are more points exposed for failure. This has shown to increase technical failure, and increase the cost of maintenance. Micro inverters also tend to have limited wattage capability, and less efficiency in transfers to battery storage.
Helpful tip: Tesla Solar Inverters are much more beneficial than micro inverters, click the link below to learn more:
6. Not analyzing your property before installation
Analyze your property before installing solar. It’s important to identify any factors that might reduce the efficiency of your solar panels. Here are some common hindrances to your solar installation:
Salt from the ocean can build up on panels over time, creating a layer that blocks the panels from the sun and reduces solar energy production.
Birds and other animals leave droppings behind on panels. This can also block the panels from the sun.
Wires can become loose over time, which exposes them to the elements and causes a drop in your energy production.
It’s also important to maintain your solar panels by scheduling them for a routine cleaning once or twice a year. Click the link below on how to know when your panels need to be cleaned.
7. Installing panels on an old or damaged roof
Roofing is the base foundation for your solar panels, but can also tend to be one of the most overlooked parts of a home. Make sure your roofing has a strong foundation. Adding solar to a compromised roof will only speed up the process of deterioration. We highly recommend replacing your roofing before installing solar panels, as it will save you much more in damages in the future.