If you’re a homeowner, you’ve probably heard that solar panels can save you thousands in energy costs. However, while there are many great things about outfitting your home with solar panels, there are a lot of important financial and logistical considerations that can affect your decision.
Things to Consider Before Installing Solar Panels
Solar panels are a big investment, so it’s worth thinking through the decision before installing them on your home. The main things to consider include:
Put simply, areas with more hours of sunlight can generate more electricity with solar panels. However, other factors are also important. Things like the orientation of your home, how much shade your home gets and your roof type can all impact the effectiveness of solar panels. For obvious reasons, if your home is oriented away from the sun and sits under shady palms, you’re not going to draw as much energy as a flat-roofed home exposed directly to UV rays.
Cost of Electricity
If you live in an area with high electricity costs, chances are you’ll end up saving a lot more money by installing solar panels. However, if you live in a place with relatively low electricity costs then it will take a lot longer for the savings to offset the cost of solar panel installation and maintenance.
Set Up Cost
Though the setup cost can vary depending on your needs, the cost of installing solar panels is generally not cheap. Factors like your area, competition among companies and types of solar panels can affect the price of installation greatly. Be wary of choosing cheap solar panels, as this often means they are ineffective compared to higher-quality alternatives.
There are a large variety of incentives available for installing solar panels. Check to see what incentives are offered in your area by federal, state and local governments—as well as your utility company. These incentives can help offset and finance the cost of initial setup, and in some places you may even get paid for your excess energy!
Home Improvements to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
If, after considering the factors involved with outfitting your home with solar panels, you decide it’s too expensive of a route, there are still many home improvement options available which can make your home more energy-efficient. A few examples include:
Adding extra insulation to your attic helps seal air leaks and improves heating and cooling costs. This is an inexpensive solution with a long-lasting impact on your home’s energy efficiency.
Check your windows and doors for cracks, gaps and leaks. By using weatherstripping or caulk, you can seal these gaps and help better insulate your home. For a bigger project, consider upgrading your windows to more energy-efficient designs.
Replacing Light Bulbs
Simply switching outdated incandescent bulbs for more energy-efficient options is a great way to save on your electricity bill. Alternatively, installing windows can add more natural light to a room and reduce the necessity of electricity for lighting.
Are Solar Panels Right For You?
Often times, it simply makes more sense to consider simpler, more cost-effective home improvements instead of solar panels. While solar panels are a great way to increase the energy efficiency of your home, a lack of insulation, poor wiring or outdated electronics can leech from whatever initial savings you may experience.
Regardless of if you decide to equip your home with solar panels or note, Doug Ashy is your go-to partner in all things home improvement. Stop by your local Doug Ashy to get personalized advice from experts and trained sales associates to help assist with your next project.