Installing solar panels at home is a smart choice that will save you money on utility bills while taking care of the planet. If you already made up your mind and are going solar at home, congratulations! You've made a decision that will change your life for the better. But before calling the contractor, there are some things you have to know and steps you have to take - like the 4 we detail below.
Start to save energy right away
The first step for every household to convert to green energy should always be to take a look at the current electricity consumption, and try to optimize it. You can ask for an energy audit to identify points of energy loss, change bulbs and appliances with ENERGY STAR® certified ones and check the integrity of your climatization equipment.
Remember that when your solar installation is working, you will have the best discounts the less you depend on the general power grid and the more you rely on your power system. Optimizing your usage beforehand, then, becomes crucial.
Check the best placement for your solar panels
The usual equipment are the rooftop solar panels, so you need to control the integrity of your roof or have the proper maintenance cost added to the budget of the energy conversion.
The modern wide angle solar panels can generate energy year round, even with cold weather and overcast, but they cannot be totally or partially covered by shadows or dirt and can be damaged with snow accumulation and ice dams. Also, if your house is surrounded by trees that project shadows over the roof you will need an alternative placement for your system.
There are some things that affect their performance and lifetime, so you should check our recommendations of care to get the most of your panels over time.
Hire professional installers
As we said before, going solar can be a pricey project, so you need to be extremely careful with the contractor you hire. A good solar installer can make the whole process a lot easier: will be more open to consultation, will have the best prices from suppliers, will give you a clear quote, will provide warranty for services and will help you with the paperwork to apply to incentive programs.
Interview as many as you need and ask your friends for recommendations. Check their online presence and reviews on social media and don’t let yourself be trapped with a cheap price that can grow with their lack of expertise or professionalism.
Research on energy conversion
Going solar should be a part of a process to be greener and more environmental conscious, so take the opportunity to research on clean energy and how you can save electricity and fuel on your household.
From the financial standpoint, there are many programs -like Energy Upgrade California or Go Solar- that offer financing, cash rebates or tax exemptions, so it is smart to look at that too. Most sites offer environmental impact calculators and let you estimate how much you will save after a year of going solar. And finally, join websites and local green clubs to share experiences and spread the word!
We hope that you can follow this easy 4 steps and you feel ready to make the change. If you still have any question, leave it the comments and we will be very happy to help you in your solar project.
Posted February 16, 2016
by Gabriel Posternak.