Solar panels have become popular across America. Solar power Minnesota is just as common as it is in California, and who’s complaining? The advantages are attractive.
Homeowners save energy, improve building value, and lower utility bills.
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No doubt, alternative power systems are beneficial. However, if you’re considering solar panels, you should keep these five questions in mind before signing the contract with an installer.
#1. What’s The Condition Of Your Roof?
This should be the first thing you should be worried about. While solar panels can be quite durable, you can’t say the same for most asphalt roofs. You don’t want to have your panels blown away because you installed them on a roof that was already in dire need of repair.
It is also difficult and expensive to remove and reinstall solar panels because you need to fix or redo your roof. So it’s best to complete any work you need to be done be finished before you install the panels.
Also, what type of roof do you have? What’s the layout?
Some solar installers might charge an extra fee to install on certain roofings, such as ceramic and Spanish tile roofs, or concrete roofs. Some don’t even want to work on such roofs. Make sure the layout has unobstructed space where the installers will place the panels.
#2. What Amount Of Weight Can Your Roof Handle?
Now, repairing your roof of any damage doesn’t exclude the danger of collapse under the weight of your new solar panel infrastructure. It’s dangerous for reasons we already know, plus the financial cost of installing a new roof and buying new panels.
Have an expert evaluate your roof and advise on the next steps. That way, you’ll know if you need to build an additional support structure or go for a ground-mounted option.
#3. What Direction Does Your Roof Slopes Face?
To generate maximum energy, your solar panels need to be in the direction of the sun. While there isn’t any specific direction, some installers claim that your panels should face west while others say south.
Find out what part of your sun gets the most intense part of the sun’s rays and discuss that with your installer.
#4. Do You Live In A Stormy Area?
Nature always has one up its sleeve, so you need to prepare for storms that impact your panels. If your area is prone to lightning storms, hail storms, or hurricanes, your solar panels and equipment could get damaged. Discuss options to protect your solar equipment with your installer. You can also explore insurance options.
#5. How Do You Connect To The Grid?
Lastly, but also equally important, will you be connecting to the grid? And if yes, how would you connect to the grid?
If you are connecting to your local utility, there are various factors to consider. While the details might depend on the area you live, you should expect to answer the following questions:
- Do you need to pay a connection fee?
- How long will it take for the utility board to connect you to the grid?
- Once connected, will you get carbon credits for the alternative electricity you generate?
An excellent place to get all the information you need is the utility board and your installer. They should be able to advise you on the right steps to take before you commit to this decision.
Installing a solar system is a great decision for many homeowners. You are guaranteed savings on your electricity bill, plus you contribute to reducing the world’s carbon footprint.
However, don’t forget to consider the factors mentioned above to ensure you don’t run additional costs while installing the panels.