When you are thinking about going solar, you will be faced with the question of whether or not your home is right for solar. But there are a few things you can do to make sure that you can actually benefit from the energy generated by efficient solar panels.
Calculate Your Sun Number Score
Solar energy is one of the most powerful sources of renewable energy, able to help you save money on your electricity bills while reducing your carbon footprint. To determine the best fit for your home, calculate your Sun Number score.
Several factors affect your Sun Number. The biggest factor is the orientation of the home towards the sun. You can also consider average weather conditions and the number of days with direct sunlight on your roof. If there are several overcast days, your solar power potential may be limited.
A higher Sun Number score indicates a better chance of achieving solar power. Similarly, a lower score means that your solar potential is not a good match for your home.
One of the largest factors that determine your Sun Number is the price you pay for electricity. For example, homes in places where electricity rates are higher tend to have a lower Sun Number.
Other factors that reduce the number of points your home receives are obstructions that prevent sunlight from reaching your panels. For example, a high-rise building or a tree on the roof can limit your Sun Number.
You can find your Sun Number score using a free tool available on the internet. It will give you an estimated savings on your energy bill and will provide you with some detailed information about the solar installation process.
You can enter your address on the website to get a detailed report on your home’s solar power potential. As of August 2016, Zillow lists Sun Number scores for about 84 million homes. This shows that serious interest in solar technology is increasing.
If you’re not sure about your home’s potential for solar power, contact a reputable contractor to discuss your options. They can estimate the cost of installing a solar system and offer suggestions on how to improve it. Moreover, check to see if there are any tax credits in your area that might help you offset a low score.
If you’re thinking of buying a new home, consider your options in relation to solar technology. Your choice can have a lasting impact on your lifestyle.
Consider Your Roof’s Shape
If you are thinking about installing solar panels on your home, you may want to consider its roof’s shape. In particular, is it steep enough? A steep roof will reduce the amount of energy you’ll get from your solar array, and you may want to think twice about going solar on a house with a pitch of more than 45 degrees.
While you’re at it, you should look at other features of your home that can affect the number of solar panels you can fit on your roof. For example, a large square roof makes for a simple installation, and can also help you save money on electricity in the long run. The average American household needs about 500 square feet of roof surface for an efficient solar installation. Using this measurement as a starting point, you can estimate how many panels you’ll need, and what type of panel material you’ll need.
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You’ll also want to consider whether you’re on the grid or not. On the grid, you need about 100 square feet of roof surface for every kilowatt of system capacity you’re planning to install. An off-grid system will require much more. Your choices include slate, wood, and even concrete. All of these materials have their pros and cons, and you should research each one thoroughly before making any decisions.
Finally, you’ll need to decide which direction you want your panels facing. Solar panels work best on a south-facing roof, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have to sacrifice your favorite view of the sun. Likewise, if your property is situated on a slope, it might be worth considering an east-facing roof. That said, if you’re not sure where you want to put your solar panels, you may want to consult with a professional to see which route is the best for you.
With the right information, you’ll be able to make informed solar panel choices for years to come. And if you do it right, you’ll be rewarded with all the perks of owning a modern American home while saving money on your electricity bills.
Determine How Many Panels Fit in Your Available Roof Space
Before you can determine how many solar panels you need, you need to know the size of your roof. There are three crucial measurements that will help you determine the optimal number of panels for your space. You will also want to determine the best orientation for your panel to capture the most energy.
The CALSSA calculator can show you how many solar panels your roof can handle. It will also tell you the average sized solar panel. However, this information is only a rough estimate. Using a more detailed calculation will give you a more accurate idea of how many panels your roof can hold.
Your solar system’s number of panels should be based on how much energy you use, as well as your geographic location. An average American home uses about 11,000 kWh of electricity per year, so if you’re serious about installing a solar system, you’ll need to think about the number of panels you need.
Depending on the area you live in, you might be able to take advantage of local incentives. Solar companies can help you find out if there are any such programs in your area. This will help you save money on the initial installation cost.
If you have an east-facing roof, you’re likely to get a lot more sun than if you have a south-facing roof. Usually, though, the most efficient position for your panels is on a south- or west-facing roof.
When it comes to measuring the best angle for a solar panel, it’s a good idea to consider the roof’s height. While there aren’t many safety measures for measuring directly on a roof, you can measure the eastern part of the roof.
Once you’ve got the length and width of your roof, you can calculate the number of panels you need. There are a number of online tools that can do this for you. You can also contact a local solar company to provide you with a quote. They will be able to measure your roof and design a site layout that will meet your needs.
Find a Reputable Solar Installer
When you are thinking of installing solar panels in your home, you want to find a reputable installer. This can save you thousands of dollars. However, finding a reliable solar installer can be a complicated process.
You may be able to find a reputable solar installer through referrals or online reviews. Alternatively, you can contact friends and neighbors who have gone solar. It’s a good idea to ask a lot of questions before you decide to make a final decision.
A reputable solar installer will provide you with a thorough quote and will visit your property to discuss your needs and options. He or she should also explain the operation of your system and the controls.
The final price will include all fees. Before you make a decision, you should discuss financing options with the solar installer. If possible, get quotes from three different companies. This way, you can compare apples to apples.
Be sure to check out a company’s certifications and licensing. Some states offer a database of certified solar installers. Often, these companies are accredited by the Better Business Bureau.
Find out whether the solar installer has a workers’ compensation insurance policy. Additionally, look for companies with pending complaints with the state license board.
You should also discuss the type of warranty the installer offers. Some offer workmanship warranties, while others offer a lifetime warranty. Lastly, ask about local discounts.
Your final two or three vendors should have a site visit to discuss your solar needs. You should also get a tour of the space where the system will be installed.
Do not sign a contract with the first solar installer you meet. Take the time to vet solar companies and get several estimates. By doing so, you will be able to make an informed decision.
Solar installation can be a large project. Make sure the installer you choose will provide quality work and on-time completion.
If you want to save money and minimize your impact on the environment, it’s important to find a reputable solar installer. By researching and shopping around, you can save up to $10,000 or more.