Solar panels are an increasingly popular option for homeowners who are seeking to reduce their energy costs. Solar panels are not only environmentally friendly but can even save homeowners the entire cost of their electricity bills, plus some extra if they sell excess energy back into the grid. However, solar panels do have a high enough up-front cost that it’s important to get all of your questions answered before deciding whether or not to install them.
The following are some frequently asked questions about solar panels.
Do Solar Panels Pay for Themselves?
Eventually, solar panels can pay for themselves. How long it takes depends on the amount of sunlight they can absorb and how many solar panels you have. If your solar panels can power your entire house so that you don’t need to pay for electricity, then the amount you save on those energy bills will add up over time until it equals the amount you spent on the solar panels. Solar panels can pay for themselves even faster if they produce excess energy that you can sell to electric companies.
How Many Solar Panels Do You Need?
How many solar panels you need depends on the energy needs of your home as well as how much sunlight you get per year. Someone living in Florida or California, states known for their sunshine, will get better use out of solar panels than someone living in Oregon or Washington, which are known for their rain. You’ll have to calculate how much energy each solar panel can generate based on the amount of sunlight it can absorb and then determine how many would be needed to meet your home’s energy needs.
You can have fewer solar panels if you’re just looking to reduce your energy bills rather than eliminate them completely. Additionally, if you’re wanting to sell excess energy to electric companies, then you may want to consider more solar panels than fewer.
Can You Install a Solar Panel System Yourself?
Some home improvement projects can be done DIY. Installing solar panels is not one of those projects. Because solar panels are very sophisticated, there’s too great a risk of causing damage or injury if a homeowner attempts to personally install them. Solar panels should only be installed by professionals.
Do Solar Panels Increase a Home’s Value?
Typically, solar panels do increase the value of a home. They’re not portable, so once they’re installed, they stay with the house. If a home with solar panels is sold, then the new homeowner would benefit from the energy savings of the solar panels without having to pay for the costs of installing them. As the seller, you’d recover the costs of the installation because the home’s overall value would increase.
Are Solar Panels Noisy?
The solar panels themselves aren’t typically noisy. The solar power converter, which connects the solar panels to your home’s electrical system, may make some noise. However, it’s typically not louder than a refrigerator would be. Additionally, the solar power converter would be located somewhere near other utilities like the water heater or the HVAC unit. It wouldn’t be in a living space where it could disturb residents of the home.
Do Solar Panels Work if the Power Goes Out?
If the power coming from the electrical grid is out, so will any solar panels that are tied to the electrical grid. This is to prevent the solar panels from back-feeding energy into the grid because this could be dangerous for workers who are trying to repair the electrical grid. Even though the solar panels typically don’t work during a power outage, you can connect a battery backup that fills with energy from the solar panels that could then power your home in the event of an outage.
Can Solar Panels Go on Any Roof?
Not every roof is able to accommodate solar panels. Some roofs can’t bear the weight of solar panels. Before choosing to install solar panels, you should have your roof inspected by a professional who can tell you whether installing solar panels would compromise the structural integrity of your roof.
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