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Questions To Ask About Solar Panels - Read Before You Buy

By SSK Admin December 13, 2021

Questions To Ask About Solar Panels

If you are thinking about adding a solar system to your home, then you will need to gather some important information.

Beyond all the benefits of going solar, the experience of owning a solar power system can be painless. Your life will be so much easier by asking the solar company the right questions when it comes to solar panel installation, and other factors.

We compiled a list of several questions that you can ask.

What You Need to Know About Solar Panels 

How Does a Solar Panel System Work?

If you’re new to solar power, then this should be the first question to ask.

A solar system consists of connected solar panels that soak up the sun’s rays and transform them into electricity. In practice, when the sun rays come into contact with the solar panels’ surface, the solar cells transform them into Direct Current (DC) electricity. DC electricity is not usable in the majority of homes, so an inverter converts this into Alternating Current (AC) electricity.

questions to ask about solar panels

AC electricity is what the majority of homes and businesses use for power.

Can The Solar Panel Installation Be A DIY Process?

It is possible to do the installation by yourself, but you should seek a professional’s service.

An expert can identify where the panels can be installed on your roof without causing any harm to your roof. You can also ask them what their best solar panel setup is.

How Many Solar Panels Will I Need?

You need to know how many panels are required to power your home. This depends on your property’s geography since that will affect the number of hours of sunlight that your panels receive.

For example, if you live in an area that gets below-average sun, then you will need more panels.

What Is the Expected Power Output from The Solar Power System?

If you want to know how much energy you expect to receive from the solar panels, then you need to ask this question. This way, you can make comparisons between your home’s energy needs and make sure that you will get enough energy output from the solar panels.

You will only save money from solar panels if you are getting an adequate amount of energy to power your home. For example, a small house will only need 200-watt solar panels, whereas a bigger house will require higher wattage.

You can also ask the solar company how to measure the power output of the solar panels.

How Do I Connect the Panels to A Grid?

You get grid-connected and off-grid solar setups.

An off-grid solar setup will allow for energy independence since you can rely on the stored energy.

On the other hand, if you are connected to the grid, then you don’t need to invest in battery systems. You will also be able to sell the excess energy that you produced back into the system.

Do I Need a Solar Backup?

You need a solar backup if you live in an area that doesn’t get enough sunlight to power your home consistently throughout the year.

what questions to ask about solar panels

A solar battery backup will give you access to on-demand solar energy. You will have enough stored power, even when the sun isn’t shining. If you’re looking for that peace of mind, then make sure you ask this question. 

Is My Property Right for Solar Energy?

It might be hard for you to determine by yourself whether solar energy will be right for your home, that is why you need to ask this question. 

Here are the main things that you need to question when deciding whether to invest in solar panels for your home. 

How Much Sunlight Does My Roof Receive?

Solar power is not a viable option if your roof is under lots of shade. Although solar panels don’t need direct sunlight to generate an electric current, they do need to be in the line of the sun’s UV rays.

Dappled sunlight is fine, but an area that’s in shade for many hours will mean that your solar panels aren’t producing energy for large chunks of the day.

What Direction Does My Roof Face?

If your roof faces the south, then it will get a lot of sun. This is only applicable if you live in the northern hemisphere.

If this is the case, then you can purchase fewer panels and still produce enough energy for your property.

Can My Roof Support Solar Panels?

If it looks like your roof needs to be repaired or replaced soon, then it’s best to get it fixed before moving forward with solar panels. Your roof needs to have enough strength to hold the weight of the solar panels. 

It will cost you extra to dismantle the solar system and reinstall it if your roof hasn’t been fixed beforehand.  

We recommend that you hire a solar technician to evaluate your roof’s conditions. They will then determine whether your roof can support a solar panel system. 

Is My Roof the Right Shape and Material?

For a simple installation, a standard gable roof has the best shape. However, many other shapes can accommodate solar panels.

When it comes to roof materials, some are better than others when it comes to supporting a solar panel system. 

First, metal is the easiest when it comes to installing solar panels since it doesn’t need to penetrate the roof. 

Secondly, composition shingles are durable, so they make for a simple solar installation process. 

Thirdly, roof surfaces made from concrete tile tend to be preferred. Clay tile tends to break and crack, so they tend not to accommodate solar panels very well. 

What Is The Cost of Electricity In My Region?

Depending on your region, the higher the price of electricity, the more you can save by investing in solar energy. 

What Type of Panels Should I Be Looking For?

If you want to know how to choose solar panels, then you need to know more about solar panel efficiency, power production, and size. 

You should be certain that the solar panels you’re putting on your roof for the next few decades are durable and compare positively to other panels on the market. 

Be sure to check out some of our solar panel reviews to make sure that the panels you’re getting are of good quality. 

All solar panels have a kilowatt-hour (kWh) number that indicates how many kilowatts a panel produces per hour in the sun. 

The kWh number is also one of the reasons why solar panels can be so expensive. The higher the number, the more expensive the solar panel. 

How Long Will My Solar Panels Last?

When looking at the lasting power of solar panels, we will refer to solar power efficiency. 

questions about solar panels

Solar power efficiency gives you an idea of how solar panels are rated

Energy efficiency is the ratio of energy output from the solar cells to the input received from the sun rays. Solar panels will provide a certain percentage of efficiency. 

This is usually between 11 and 15 percent. For example, a solar panel can convert 15% of solar energy into usable electricity. 

Most solar companies claim that their panels produce efficient power for a minimum of 25 years. With that being said, your solar panels’ efficiency will deteriorate over time. 

Degradation is usually caused by pollen, dirt, and other external factors. Fortunately, this isn’t significant until after a couple of decades of high-efficiency production. 

Can I Expand The Solar System If My Electricity Needs To Increase?

If your electrical demand increases in the future, then you should discuss this with a solar consultant. They will be able to tell you how much space you will need for future solar panels if you decide to expand. 

In addition, the solar panel’s efficiency will be a massive factor in this consideration. The more inefficient the solar panel, the more solar panels are needed to reach a level of energy production. 

Do Solar Panels Have Warranties?

Make sure to ask the solar company whether they offer warranties on their solar panels. Warranties differ depending on the manufacturer, but it usually covers energy production performance and equipment. 

Although most solar energy systems can operate without any issues for the duration of their useful lives, you should familiarize yourself with repair or replacement procedures if something goes wrong. 

Here are more specific questions to ask about warrants and repair or replacement procedures. 

Who Is Responsible for Ensuring That Warranties Are Services?

You need to ask the solar company who you can contact in the unlikely event that there is a problem with the solar system. 

What Do the Warranties Cover?

It is important to know how many warranties there are for the solar system’s components, and what they cover. For example, does the warrant cover the products, or does it cover additional things, such as shipping and labor for replacement. 

Are Solar Panels Worth My Money?

Along with your current utility rates, you can ask the solar contractor for information to ensure that the solar power system is worth your investment. 

There are several factors that influence the total cost of solar panels. This includes the setup’s size, your energy usage, and more. 

The contractor can provide you with a forecast for how much energy the solar energy system will produce, the warranty, as well as a total cost estimate. 

You can also work out the dollar per kilowatt-hour. You divide the total cost of maintenance and installation with the amount of electricity that will be produced over the panels’ entire useful lifetime.

If you are worried about the price of panels, you can ask the solar company what their most affordable solar panels are. 

Why should I Go Solar?

You might want to determine why you should go solar. 

There are many reasons why solar panels are worth it

Many homeowners go solar to save money on their electricity bills. 

Other reasons to go solar include a reduction in your carbon footprint, and it promotes renewable energy. 

To Conclude

Bringing solar solutions to your home is an amazing investment, for both your house and the environment. However, when it comes to the installation of solar panels, you might need to consider some factors. 

You’ll likely have a handful of questions, but may not even know which ones you should ask. 

That’s why we made this list of questions so that you are fully sure in the decision to invest in solar panels.

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