Are you thinking about ways to reduce your electricity rates?
Installing solar panels to power your home can be a great choice and an excellent investment! Not only does it cut down on energy costs, but it also helps decrease greenhouse emissions and fight climate change, minimizing your carbon footprint!
More and more American households are going solar because of the benefits it provides. In the first quarter of 2020, Americans generated 3.6 total gigawatts worth of energy via solar panels. This number is 65% higher than the total installations in the first quarter of 2019.
Despite the pandemic, the trend toward solar has continued, with 2022 solar energy system projections expecting we’ll generate 21.5 gigawatts of solar power.
Are you planning to install solar panels? In this article, we’ll help you decide if it’s best to buy them, repair them, or hire a professional.
Keep reading to learn more about the ins and outs of solar renewable energy!
How Do Solar Panels Work?
According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, solar panels are also known as solar photovoltaic modules. They contain photovoltaic cells (also known as PV cells) that convert the sun’s energy (photons) into electricity (voltage) when it hits a solar cell.
That direct current (DC) electricity is sent to solar inverters or micro-inverters which convert it into Alternating current (AC) to supply power to your home.
The amount of electricity produced is based on the number of panels you have installed. Any extra energy produced is sent to your utility grid. This means that you can receive utility credits for the excess energy that has been generated, which is a major benefit!
The exchange of excess solar energy or excess power is referred to as net metering. Through net metering, you can say goodbye to your huge electricity bill and hello to a check from the local utility company for the power you generate.
These benefits are available to everyone willing to install solar panels that are connected to their local energy grid!
[Read: How Do Solar Panels Work: A Step-by-Step Guide]
Types of Solar Panels
There are two main types of solar panels available, and the one you get will determine how much energy output you will experience and how much power will be generated by them.
1. Monocrystalline Panels
Monocrystalline solar panels are considered to be the most common type and the most efficient. These solar panels are made with silicon wafers that are cut from a single crystal. The crystalline silicon used for these panels is larger than that of polycrystalline panels.
2. Polycrystalline panels
Polycrystalline solar panels are also made with silicon. The problem with this type is that their solar cells are made of melted fragments of silicon, which means they can have gaps where crystals meet.
Polycrystalline panels have lower energy efficiency but these solar panels cost cheaper compared to monocrystalline ones.
How Does Weather Affect Solar Energy Production?
Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity more efficiently at cold temperatures. As the temperature rises, the panels generate less voltage, therefore producing less energy.
That said, solar panels don’t produce more electricity in winter than in summer. Sunnier weather often comes with fewer clouds and the sun is out most of the time.
So even though solar panels are less efficient in hot weather, they produce more solar electricity in summer.
Anything that stands between the panel and the sun (ie: cloud cover or fog) decreases the amount of solar power it produces, but the solar panels will continue to draw energy!
Should You Buy Solar Panels?
Yes! Solar panels are a great investment, especially if you suffer from high electricity bills every month.
Read on to learn the benefits of installing solar panels.
Benefits of Having Solar Panel Installed
There are numerous benefits of installing a solar module onto your home, but here are just a few of the benefits of solar power.
1. Lets you save money in the long run
Solar panels come with a higher upfront cost due to the installation process, but in the long run, your overall cost of power will go down.
Once the panels are installed, your home will be using solar power rather than electricity from the grid, cutting costs on energy bills over time.
2. Helps protect the environment
A solar energy system obtains clean, pure energy from the sun. This can help reduce carbon dioxide emissions and help fight the global warming crisis.
3. Provides tax credits and rebates
When you purchase and install a solar electric system on your home, one of the biggest financial incentives you can receive is through the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), where you can take a tax credit off your personal income tax return for 26% of the solar system cost.
You’re going to want to grab the Solar Investment Tax Credit fast because 2022 is the last year that the ITC is offering the full 26% for those installing solar. If you want more tax breaks and a lower-cost investment, this year is your year!
In 2023, the tax credit will be reduced to 22%, and in 2024, residential homeowners will have a hard time getting any kind of assistance (unless you obtain a solar lease that allows you to take advantage of Section 48 of the commercial ITC).
Enjoy all the potential savings and get it while you can.
(If you have questions about solar leases, ask your installer. They are knowledgeable about what panels will work best for your energy usage and will explain what to expect when you lease solar panels.)
4. Protects home against power outages
Your solar panel system will generate solar power directly from the source. This means that, as long as there’s sunshine, a household with solar technology can generate electricity.
5. Making Use of Renewable Energy
Currently, fossil fuels primarily produce electricity. By their nature, those fossil fuels are in limited supply, in addition to the fact that they produce unhealthy carbon emissions as we mentioned above.
By using energy from a renewable source, you can be comforted in knowing that your home will continue to produce energy for the foreseeable future.
6. Easy to Maintain
Solar panels cost less to maintain and they’re easier to keep clean. Check your panels every so often to ensure that there’s no snow or other debris.
You can hire installation companies regularly to check the panel to be sure it’s producing the maximum expected power output.
Beyond that, you should only need to hire a company to clean the panels every so often.
7. Solar Panels Save Water
Compared to nuclear power plants, solar panels require a negligible amount of water to maintain. This is not only good for your utility bills, but it’s good for the environment as a whole.
8. Boost Home Prices
According to a 2011 study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, homes with PV systems can sell for more than homes that don’t have them.
The research from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory showed that California homes with solar installed sold for more than comparable homes that didn’t have solar installed.
Who Should Install Solar Panels?
If you are thinking about using solar power, remember that solar installation is not something that you can do on your own. It is best to contact trained professionals to do the job for you!
Here are some reasons why you should consult an expert for your solar panel installation.
Why Hire A Professional Installer
Hiring a professional is safer and more accurate because they have the necessary equipment and skills to get the job done right.
1. Ensures Safety
Most solar panels are installed on the roof. Installers must carry heavy panels and walk on elevated surfaces: an undeniably dangerous task.
Installing residential solar panels also involves electrical circuits and wiring. When not done correctly, this could cause electrocution, damage to electrical equipment, or worse, lead to a fire on your property.
2. Proper Positioning for Better Solar Panel Efficiency
Professional installers take into consideration which direction your home solar panel system should face (usually, the area with the most sunlight) to produce more energy.
They also provide expert advice about the type of solar power that would work best for you and how many home solar panels should be installed.
Installing panels with these factors in mind enables you to produce energy efficiently and get the maximum advantage of your home solar system.
3. The Right Equipment
Professionals are equipped with all of the tools needed to accomplish solar installation safely and properly.
4. Roof Quality Assessment
The quality of the roof needs to be assessed before installing rooftop panels to ensure the roof isn’t damaged. This step prevents you from spending excess money on the removal and reinstallation of solar energy systems in the future.
Repairing or Replacing Solar Panels
Like other devices, solar panel problems are unavoidable. The PV system components can become faulty and produce less electricity output.
If your system needs to be repaired, again, it is best to call a professional to ensure that it is repaired properly!
If you feel that your solar panels are underperforming, call a solar professional to help assess the problem.
Your Trusted Professional Solar Installer in Prescott, AZ!
Installation, repair, and maintenance of solar panels is not a DIY job that should be done on your own. You should always consult a professional to ensure top-notch safety, efficiency, and quality!
Here at Assurance Electrical Services, we provide professional and affordable solar panel services to our Prescott-area customers and can assist with any electrical concern.
Contact us today for more information, and experience the best! We provide customized plans and services to fit your energy-efficiency needs.
Leave us a comment below if you have any questions about solar panels. We’d love to answer them!
Jeff Brandlin is the founder of Assurance Electrical Services, LLC. He started in the electrical industry when he was 21 and had worked in several electrical firms before founding Assurance Electrical. Jeff is dedicated to providing the best quality service to his clients and always puts their needs first. Outside work, Jeff enjoys spending time with his wife and children.