In an era of worsening climate change, being eco-friendly is more important than ever. You can start recycling, taking your bike to work, or reducing the amount of meat products you consume. However, if you truly want to make a tangible difference as soon as possible, your best option is to switch to solar panels.
Solar power is the most sustainable energy source we currently have available. Unlike coal, gas, and petroleum, it’s an infinite resource. Therefore, we aren’t likely to run out of it any time soon. Plus, harnessing it doesn’t produce any toxic waste. So it’s the perfect solution for reversing climate change and reducing the world’s carbon footprint.
Since going solar has become so popular, the cost of acquiring a good system has gone down. Likewise, the government has started offering tax grants to solar-powered properties to incentivize people to make the switch. So going solar in 2022 has never been easier.
However, that doesn’t mean you can just call up your provider and get a system installed today. First, you have to do some prep work. In case you’re wondering how to prepare your home for solar panel installation, stick around for this guide to help make your home solar-friendly.
Solar Panels 101
In order to truly get your home solar ready, you first have to understand the basics of how they work.
Solar panels are a type of solar technology that harnesses electromagnetic radiation from the sun. The front of the panels has a layer of silicone, containing photovoltaic cells. When the cells absorb sunlight, they generate an electrical charge, which knocks electrons loose from their bonds. They then move in response to the internal electric field of the cells, creating a steady stream of direct current.
An average residential system can produce roughly 300 watts of energy per day. However, this is only if the panels are exposed to direct sunlight. Less sunshine means less energy produced, which is why it’s important to position the panels correctly.
Likewise, fewer daylight hours means the panels won’t generate as much energy in the winter as they will in the summer. But that doesn’t mean the panels will stop working when the weather gets overcast. The sunlight never completely disappears from the sky during the day, so the panels will keep absorbing radiation as long as the sun is up. Nevertheless, their capacity will be reduced, meaning that you will have to take care to choose a system that best fits your local weather and your energy needs.
4 Things to do Before Going Solar
Solar power comes with many incredible benefits that extend beyond it being a green source of energy. Solar panels help you significantly cut back on your utility bills by locking the price of energy at a constant rate. Thus, you can avoid your power bill going up as the cost of energy increases in the coming years.
Similarly, solar panels come with a plethora of tax benefits as well. The US government has been offering tax grants to solar-powered homes since 2006. While the exact kind of benefits you’ll receive vary from state to state, it’s certain that you will get anywhere between a 22% to 26% reduction on the price of your system.
But, as amazing as all these benefits are, that doesn’t mean you can jump into installing your system right away. First, you need to take several steps to make sure your home is ready to take on a set of panels.
1. Clear Your Roof
First and foremost, you should take care of the physical placement of your panels. Since a solar system needs a lot of sunlight to work at maximum capacity, your best bet is to put it on your roof. Thus, you should make sure your roof is equipped to handle the panels.
Clear it of any debris, antennas, vents, or satellites. Likewise, check if any of the tiles need replacing, and outfit the roof with grates that will hold the panels in place.
2. Get a Solar Grant
Getting a set of panels isn’t like getting a new lawn mower — you actually need permission to install a system on your property. Therefore, you’ll have to file for a solar grant with your local authorities and wait to get approved. Depending on when you decide to install your panels, this process can take anywhere between a week to a few months.
3. Do Research
To get the most out of your budget, make sure to do some research. Some solar providers are pricier than others, especially during the peak (summer) season. Therefore, shop around for a company that best fits your budget.
Likewise, check your financing options. As established, the US government grants tax credits to solar-powered homes. Some states even offer solar loans to potential buyers to cover the cost of their system. If you contact the U.S. Small Business Administration, you may be able to secure double the maximum loan amount available, which can be upwards of $750,000!
4. Choose the Right System
The last, but certainly not least matter to take care of is selecting your solar system. The size and capacity of your panels will depend on the amount of energy you use. So before signing a contract, calculate your total energy expenditure. This will give you an idea of what type of system will best suit your home.
To Sum Up
Going solar is the next step in reversing climate change. This energy source is one of the cleanest ways to power up your home and save the environment. But, before you can get a set into your home, you first have to make sure your property is suitable for the solar system. Secure a grant, prepare your roof, and do research on solar providers and all the benefits your panels will net. And, after that’s all finished, you can enjoy your new solar set and all the perks that come with it.