An increasing number of homeowners now prefer installing solar panels because it is a lot cheaper compared to grid electricity. Moreover, solar offers earning opportunities from utility companies. Solar power can help you save as much as 30 percent of your heating utilities and, if you install the system by yourself, you stand to save another 40 percent of the approximate installation costs. However, because it is relatively new, the installation process is not straightforward. That notwithstanding, these top DIY solar panel installation tips can make the whole process, very delightful.
1. Plan adequately
The initial step to a successful installation involves evaluating all rebate options as well as all the necessary permits. Local power utilities have rules, which every user must abide by to have their systems hooked to the grid. Moreover, federal and state authorities in certain instances, offer rebates and incentives to help with systems’ costs. A good knowledge of all these will help you avoid frustrations.
2. Ensure your roof has structural integrity sufficient to support the panels
It is essential to establish if your roof has a favorable solar window. Solar window refers to the length of direct sunlight your roof receives in a day. Roofs covered in shade for the better part of every day may not justify the cost of installation. It is also important to ensure that the roof is structurally sound to support the weight of the panels. Do ensure you pick a set of panels with reasonably long warranty. If renovations are necessary a few years after installation, a good warranty will help you cut on the cost of disconnecting the panels and putting them up after completing renovations.
3. Always, improve on efficiency before installing your panels
Essentially, the amount of energy you need depends on your consumption. Your production as such should meet your underlined needs. You are on the safe side if you cut on your consumption. You can then conduct an energy audit as well as efficiency upgrades. Doing so will help you draw an accurate blueprint to guide you in buying appropriate panels.
4. Have knowledge of the panels appropriate for your situation
There are two kinds of solar panels; photo-voltaic, which turns sunlight into electricity using an array of cells and, thermal, which heats air or water using energy from sunlight. If you spend a lot on heating or reside where heating fuel costs an arm and a leg then you are better off buying a solar thermal system. However, this kind of system is rare and its installation process is slightly tricky.
5. Look keenly at the provisions of the contract
The contract you sign when getting your panels should indicate among other information, the performance expectations, ownership as well as financing. However, this is not all; a comprehensive contract should also include provisions for data collection on home energy production and consumption as well as parties that are privy to this information. Sign the contract only if you are comfortable with all the provisions.
There is substantial acreage of literature you should keep in mind when installing solar panels. However, these five top DIY solar panel installation tips cover the essentials, and should help you breeze through the installation process with little fuss.