Energy Systems

Suitable Solar Candidate? 8 Signs You’re Ready to Go Solar

Solar energy is a wonderfully sustainable way to power your home. Popping a few panels up can put more green in your carbon footprint and your wallet. But, you don’t want to fly too close to the sun. Before you decide to invest in solar panels, you need to be sure you’re ready for that next step.

How do you know whether your home is suitable for solar panels or if the investment is worthwhile? If you’re on the fence about fencing the installation costs, here are eight signs that you’re ready to go solar.

 

 

The size of your home and energy usage

If your square footage looks like a zipcode or you cringe at your monthly energy bill, solar just might be the kick you need to bring your costs down. The bigger your energy costs now, the quicker solar panels pay for themselves. The turnaround time will be longer if you have a smaller home, but you’ll still see savings over time, and it’s better for the environment either way.

 

 

Your local weather

Weather doesn’t generally affect the effectiveness of your solar panels, though available sunlight can impact how much energy they produce. If your state gets 364 days of fun-in-the-sun every year, you’re in great shape for solar panels. On the flip side, if you enjoy monsoon weather year-round, you may want to research whether solar panels will be effective in your climate.

 

 

Net metering program

During daylight hours, solar panels store energy to use later so that power is always consistent. If your state offers a Net Metering Program, this means you can benefit from power storage and 24-hour solar energy without the need to purchase batteries. Not all states provide this service, but if yours does, it might be the tip in the scales you need to get on the phone to a solar provider.

 

 

Your roof and property are spacious

The amount of available space on your roof or property will have some bearing on how much bang you can get for your buck. If you’ve got more roof space than even Santa Claus knows what to do with, solar might be a perfect fit for you.

 

 

Your roof’s condition is up to snuff

The condition of your roof is vital for sustaining a grid of solar panels. If your home needs updated roofing or overdue repairs, carving out a space for panels might be more work than it’s worth. A strongly-built, south-facing roof is ideal for solar panels, so if that sounds like your roof, solar energy might just be a match made in heaven.

 

 

Financing options

While solar panels save you a lot of money over time, there is an upfront cost that won’t make sense for every consumer. That said, if you’re enjoying a little extra cash and you’re looking to make an investment in the planet and your savings, solar power is a no-brainer.

 

 

The shape of your roof

Image by Tim Fuller, Flickr. Under CC BY 2.0

Depending on the shape of your roof, you’ll want to consider which direction to install the solar panels for maximum benefit.

Some experts recommend installing solar panels that face south for the best sunlight exposure, though if this isn’t possible, you can mount panels on the ground.

You’ll also want to take into account any trees or any obstructions on the sides of your house, as these may inhibit your solar panels’ ability to catch those rays.

 

 

Protecting your solar panels

If your local area is prone to storms or your home is surrounded by tip-worthy trees, you may want to consider how this will impact your solar panels. Frequent lightning storms, high winds, and heavy rain can affect your grid, and you may need to take necessary precautions to protect your panels.

Otherwise, solar panels are pretty resilient to normal weather conditions, so you can relax knowing that you aren’t dropping money on a glass cannon.

 

 

Summary

It’s good for your wallet, the planet, and your karmic balance, but is it the right choice for you? If you’ve been looking to make a change and save some money in the process, you might be ready for your day in the solar panel sun.

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