Going Solar: The Basics You Need to Know

Going Solar: The Basics You Need to Know

Looking for ways to save on those home energy bills? Maybe you’ve heard of the benefits of going solar but aren’t sure if it’s the right choice for you.

Installing residential solar panels comes with many advantages. There are also quite a few details to cover before you choose this energy system. Check out our guide to make sure this energy source is right for you.

What You Should Know About Going Solar

Before you install solar panels, here are the basics you should know. Familiarize yourself with these fine points before you invest a single dime in this home upgrade.

How Solar Energy Works

Solar energy works by drawing in energy from the sun and converting it into electricity for businesses or homes. The sun discharges protons, which are bundles of energy that travel more than 90 million miles every 8 minutes from the sun to Earth.

Solar panels are made from Photovoltaics (PV) and silicone. When sun photons shine on a PV panel, they’ll generate electrical currents.

These currents flow through the panel and carry the current through other panels called a solar array. If you have multiple panels, you’ll generate more energy.

Best Roof Types to Install Solar Panels On

Solar panel installation works best on a roof that measures approximately 200 square feet. Be sure your roof is free from chimneys or shadows from a tree.

A house that faces the southern, southeastern, or southwestern direction in a sunny state will generate a higher level of energy. You can check this map to see what your state’s sun level is.

Costs for a New Solar Panel Installation

Knowing these installation fees can help you decide if your costs for going solar with a new system today are higher or lower than what you expect from future electric bills. Solar panel prices and installation fees will depend on the solar power company you hire.

Contact a firm that has a North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners certification to learn more about what system and its fees will match your budget. You can also receive a custom quote to find the best system for your home as well.

Solar Panel Financing

Going solar isn’t cheap. A six-kilowatt solar panel system is a common model for a single-family home. This system can cost between $16,000 and $21,000. Homeowners can apply for a solar loan to cover these expenses if they can’t afford solar panel installation costs upfront.

Government Incentives

A homeowner can write off up to 30 percent of their solar installation expenses as a federal tax credit when their taxes come due.

There are also certain states that offer a state tax credit for installing a residential solar panel system. Head to this site to learn more about tax credits and other incentives.

What’s Your Next Step?

If you’re still interested in solar panel installation for your home, then you should do some research.

Go online to find a solar calculator. These calculators help you calculate what your long-term savings could be after you install a solar panel system.

When it’s time to figure out your project cost estimate, contact some solar installation firms. Ask them for a bid so you compare them and find the best option that won’t break your budget.

You can also check our website for more tips on going solar. We can help you find the answers you need.