Is My Home Right For Solar? Will It Work For Me?
Your home is right for solar if trees and excess shade from nearby buildings don’t block the sun. In short, the amount of sunlight that reaches your roof, your roof’s conditions, your geographical location, and your budget play a critical part in deciding whether a solar system will work for you.
The technology behind solar panels has developed in leaps and bounds.
What was once reserved for green gurus and government-subsidised initiatives is now an affordable energy solution for most homeowners across Australia.
The good news is that the Australian government has incentives and rebates to ensure you can get your money’s worth when it comes to solar for your home or business.
Overall, home solar systems are an excellent investment for the future, especially if you want to save money on your energy bills.
However, sunlight for a solar system is vital. If appropriate sunlight can’t reach your solar panels, the system isn’t going to do you any good, no matter how much money you spend or how advanced your panels are.
This article will discuss some specific factors to help you decide if solar power is suitable for your home.
Check your roof’s material and condition
Metal roofs are perfect for solar panels because they have seams for drilling. Composite roofs can also work. But tile roofs are not suitable as they are fragile and often sealed with a waterproof coating. Moreover, solar panels should not be mounted on a wooden roof due to fire hazard issues.
As surprising as it may sound, nearly two million households run on solar energy in Australia.
Your roof is the biggest factor in your solar energy decision.
The roof affects system cost, efficiency, and how long it will last. And choosing the right installer can make all the difference.
Professional guidance from Nectr can help you in making the most of the available space. Our solar experts will perform a thorough inspection of your roof, look out for damage, and ensure your system is properly connected.
You may also want to consider making special mounting arrangements for the panels on the roof.
If the roof is in good condition, you’re all set. But if there are damages, make sure to repair them before putting solar panels on the roof.
Otherwise, roof repair can come at an additional cost and inconvenience.
Solar panels are a one-time installation item. However, they occasionally need repairs and can last up to 40 years without needing any replacement.
So, it’s only logical to prepare a solid roof to avoid any disturbances later on. Therefore, check your roof condition and analyse how much weight it can bear.
Have an ideal roof tilt
Solar panels are best mounted on roofs with a tilt of about 30 degrees. But it varies with your latitude. If your roof is not already pitched, you can add a tilt by building a support structure at the right angle and installing your solar panels on top of it.
The point here is to capture as much sunlight as possible. Thus, you should install solar panels on a pitched roof so that they’re tilted towards the sun.
Pitched roofs are stronger than flat roofs. The slope makes it easier to guarantee sufficient structural support.
They protect the structure and cover neighbouring structures as well.
A pitched roof can even protect a building from earthquakes as it helps slow down its swaying.
The bottom line: if you live in an area with extreme weather, your house should probably have a pitched roof, even if it costs more upfront to build one.
Make sure that there aren’t trees, buildings, and roof chimneys shading the panels. If the panels are near windows, make sure curtains or shutters don’t shade them.
Make sure your area gets sufficient sunlight
A sunny day is ideal for solar panels. But they can still create energy on cloudy days. The solar panels can sustain exposure to heavy rains and fog since they’re well sealed. However, it’s not feasible to switch to solar power if your area receives heavy snowfall.
Any snow on your solar panels can block sunlight, reduce power output, and cause irreversible damage.
The amount of solar power produced depends on how much sunlight a site gets. That’s because the sun isn’t always shining, and clouds can get in the way.
The more direct sunlight a site receives, the more power a solar panel system will generate.
Observe your monthly electricity bill
Your average monthly bill will depend on many factors like how much power you use, where you live, what kind of appliances you have in your home, and so on.
The size of your solar system will depend on your energy consumption. Your electricity bill can help you determine that.
The average monthly bill in Australia is about $156, but it varies from region to region.
So, if your average bill exceeds the average number, it’s probably a good time to start thinking of solar.
Also, when you take up professional services from Nectr, you get a more comprehensive understanding of how a solar setup can cut down your electricity bills.
While the initial cost of complete solar systems can be substantial, they pay off quickly when you have higher energy consumption.
But a partial solar solution does not give you the same benefits as the complete one.
A partial solar solution will still require you to pay an electricity bill, which depending on your location, can be more expensive than the conventional energy supply service.
In addition to saving money on electricity bills, you will also start generating income when the system is up and running as solar panels pay themselves off in 2-3 years.
Choose backyard solar panels if your roof isn’t suitable
If you don’t like the aesthetics of typical rooftop solar panels and have space constraints, you can use a backyard solar system to generate power for your home. Solar panels mounted on rooftops with low pitch may not capture enough sunlight to produce significant energy.
Rooftop solar panel arrays are more practical for larger homes with pitched roofs.
Some homeowners don’t have enough unshaded areas on their roofs to make the solar system worth the cost.
Luckily, solar panels exist in other types that aren’t limited to rooftops. While not as efficient as rooftop solar arrays, backyard setups can still provide sufficient energy that’s excellent for a small home.
A rooftop array will produce less energy than a ground-mounted array if your roof is old and leaky or has bad insulation under it. So, it makes sense to use ground-mounted solar panels if recovering your roof isn’t an option for you.
You’ll have to live with a lower production average, though.
If you live in a location with strong sunlight all year long, you can also enjoy the benefits of having shade from solar panels.
Now, you can also increase your home’s value with solar panels!
Look into solar panel warranties
The solar panel warranty covers the solar panels for a designated time, usually 20 years. The warranty covers a guaranteed output power for the said time. The installation warranty depends on the service provider. So you can hold the manufacturers accountable if anything goes wrong.
The Australian government also announced several incentives for those opting for a solar setup to promote green technology. These incentives depend on many factors, one of which is the warranty of your solar system.
Mostly, solar panels guarantee at least 80% of the rated power output. If it’s anything less, you should talk to your manufacturer.
In addition, installation warranties last from 2 to 10 years and cover labour, parts leakages, replacements, etc. Since installation is prone to rust and damages, the warranty periods are considerably shorter than solar panels.
Moreover, the inverter warranty is another aspect because they run continuously for longer durations.
If you have shifted from the grid to solar entirely, you need a solid inverter with an extended warranty. String inverters are designed for handling multiple panels and have a warranty of up to 10 years.
On the other hand, microinverters can have up to 25 years of warranty. These warranties cover material defects, installation, and wear and tear due to weather conditions.
Tip: If your roof has a warranty of up to 15 years, it’s better to buy solar panels with a similar warranty period. That way, you can make the most out of these panels at a minimal cost.
Proper maintenance can prolong the efficiency of the panels and keep the mounting equipment in good shape. Mostly, contractors provide maintenance services such as cleaning, reinforcing electrical connections, and replacing certain parts.
Don’t go for self-installation
DIY solar installation is not the best idea since you may not know the proper tools and techniques. Qualified professionals will ensure you get the maximum efficiency from the system, and there is better technical support available when needed.
The installation of solar panels usually involves two stages: the mounting and the wiring.
The mounting stage involves placing the solar panels on the roof or an erect stand or pole.
You then connect wires from the panels to an inverter and other electrical components such as batteries and charge controllers in the wiring stage, which helps produce power for your home.
Generally, solar panel installation is prone to multiple hardware problems. For instance, if you don’t know about electricity, you cannot connect electrical elements involved in the setup.
If you make any wrong connections, it can damage the system and prove dangerous for people in the house.
Thus, it’s essential for a professional to monitor these two stages because it requires special equipment and skills.
Even though there’s no rocket science in the installation, proper expertise will ensure maximum efficiency and longevity for your solar panel system.
An expert will also ensure that your home’s electrical wiring system can handle the extra load from your photovoltaic system during installation.
In addition, they will make sure your solar panel system meets all of the relevant building regulations and electrical safety standards so that your system is safe for use in the home.
If you have any problems with your equipment or wiring, later on, you can contact your installer directly rather than going through a third-party company for assistance.
Professional services like Nectr don’t just install a solar energy setup, but we also provide detailed analysis and reporting, so you know what’s happening in the background. The solar installation starts with a detailed analysis of the site.
This way, you can learn about the potential power capacity of your location.
Moreover, if you want to claim a warranty on your panels, you must always install the panels via professionals. Otherwise, the warranty may not stand.
A void warranty means that you won’t be eligible for any compensation in case of a damaged solar panel or equipment.
Finally, solar setups have a decent amount of legal obligations. If you are unfamiliar with the regulations, you might end up doing something illegal.
Even though the future of solar energy suggests that there will be plug-and-play solar arrays for easy installation, the current technology still relies on professional expertise for safety.
Before you purchase solar panels for your home, make sure you get sufficient sunlight in your area. In addition, your roof’s age and material, its optimal tilt for maximum efficiency, and how much shade it gets can affect whether or not the panels are right. Your budget will also help you decide!
You can save the planet, money, and energy every month with a solar panel system. It’s lovely!
But you can end up with several hazards in terms of electrical efficiency, safety, and performance if you don’t take professional guidance. Eventually, it will cost you more and bring unwanted troubles of re-installation.
So, even if the initial cost is more than you expected, never compromise on quality.
Companies like Nectr provide customised solutions that fit your home at reasonable prices.
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