Is my home solar energy ready?Thursday, May 29, 2014 by: Greener Ideal
The popularity of solar panel installations has increased among homeowners considerably in recent years. Financing options have given more and more people the opportunity to turn the idea of solar energy into a reality, allowing them to cut down on utility bills, reduce energy waste and increase their home’s value. Unfortunately, even if solar panels are something you can afford and really want to invest in, not every home meets the criteria required to really benefit from them. There are several factors that solar installers consider before determining if a property is a suitable candidate for installation.
Ample Sun Exposure
One of the first things that needs to be assessed is the amount of sun exposure your roof receives. Obviously, solar panels will only generate enough electricity to power your household if they are able sit in direct sunlight for the majority of the day on a year-round basis. Roofs facing south tend to produce the best results for solar energy. Homes with roofs that are covered by shade or that are in climates with frequent cloudy weather are generally not recommended for solar panel installation.
Ownership of the Property
It’s important to think about ownership of the property as well when looking into solar panels. Solar installers aren’t authorized to perform work on any type of building that is being rented unless the job is commissioned by the owner themselves. Condos may also fall into this category if there is a homeowner’s association that regulates construction projects. In most instances, only those that own their home and have the right to make all decisions regarding any renovations are a good fit for solar panels.
Average Amount of Electricity Used
Your lifestyle, the age and design of your home and your appliances all contribute to the amount of electricity you use. If you are already living very energy efficiently and your monthly utility bill is fairly low, it may not make sense to spend the money on a solar installation. Also, you must consider if you consume quite a bit of energy on average and if solar panels will generate enough to accommodate for that. If not, you may still choose to have panels installed to serve as part of your power source and the rest may come from the grid as normal.
Condition of the Roof/Useable Space
The current condition of your roof is another element to take into consideration. Roofs that need repairs or replacement should be taken care of prior to looking into solar energy. Solar installers don’t suggest placing solar panels on a roof needing work done, however, panels installed on a newly replaced roof can be a source of protection and prolong its life expectancy. Though there are all different panel sizes and designs, a roof with more useable, clear space is generally preferred.
Financial Situation/Plans For the Future
Your financial situation will identify whether or not you are an appropriate candidate for solar energy as well. Even with funding assistance, it can be quite a big expenditure, and not everyone will qualify for financing. Also, keep your future plans in mind because if there’s a possibility of you moving within a few years you may not wish to make such a big investment unless it will significantly increase the selling price of your home.
Reliable solar installers will take a look at all these factors and help you make the right decision on your candidacy for solar energy.