6 Tips to a Great Solar System
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Tips to Buying Solar Energy System in San Diego
There are few electric products that will last as long as high quality solar panels. With an operational life of 25+ years it makes sense to spend more on this investment to guarantee you the best system for your finances as well as environmental purposes.
1. Check your roof
There is a large selection of solar panels and inverters that are available, but consider your roof space and shading. This is the first step to narrow down what solar system is best for you.
The roof is where solar meets reality and what can be possible. Make sure to make note of all growing trees, power poles, power lines, neighboring buildings, street lamps or chimneys. Shade is the enemy of solar but micro inverters, high efficiency panels and power optimizers will help mitigate these types of losses. The best optimal option is not to have any shading.
Solar panels are best installed facing south. You can also face them to the west or east, but they will produce about 20% less energy. It’s important to assess the space you have facing south so you can have an idea how many solar panels you will need. Most solar panels require 12-58 panels (3.5-6.6kW) with more homeowners turning their homes to smart homes, buying electric cars and solar batteries in the near future, your solar PV system will most likely expand. Unless, you have good roof space it’s advised not to occupy your solar future by installing low efficiency solar panels. We recommend installing panels with capacity of 350W or more.
If your roof tiles are old, cracked or weak or the roof is “sagging” it’s advisable to address these issues with your solar provider. Some companies like Sunline Energy can provide roofing services as well. It’s extremely important to have a strong roof when installing solar.
2. Gather Information
Understand how the feed-in tariffs your local electricity retailers are offering for excess electricity exported back to the grid. In some cases this might skew the financial consideration favorably to getting a big system the grid will allow.
A bigger system with a well-paid feed in tariff will minimize the purchase of the grid electricity and maximize income from power sold to the grid. Yes, it’s very possible to expand your system at a later date, but overall it will be more expensive since you will be paying installation cost twice.
Although it’s advised to place solar panels facing south, you can also face east and generate power from sunrise, or face them west and keep them generating until sunset.
It’s uncommon to have a perfect roof and have your solar panels facing in different directions to maximize your solar energy system. However, it’s important to understand your home’s time-of-day power and make the most out of your roof and locate panels to generate the most power where it’s needed the most. For homes that tend to use more power when the sun is down, the best solution would be to install a solar battery to store the power harnessed during the day.
3. Research Solar Panels
Solar panels tend to look similar visually, but when it comes to performance there might be a huge difference such as build quality, design, components and life expectancy. A major consideration is selecting solar panels that aren’t the most expensive, but with the most life expectancy. The solar panels with more life expectancy will have a bigger impact on our total solar power generated and your savings. A top quality solar energy system can save you up to thousands of dollars compared to those panels that are lower budget.
Cheaper budgets tend to fail when encountering harsh weather conditions and can last anywhere from 3-6 years. So even though a lower price panel is more attractive you will have to buy more panels and more often.
Sometimes cheapest is not the best and this is true in the case of purchasing a solar energy system. Some budget solar installers only care about their own profit and not what’s in their customers best interest.
4. Find a Reputable Quality Focused Local Installer
It’s important to research multiple reputable companies; avoid door-to-door salespeople and any company that uses “high pressure” tactics. A company that has been in business for a long time is less risky than a new start-up.
Obtain several quotes from various companies to compare equipment and costs. A good, reputable solar company will ask for information about your roof and the monthly household energy your house typically uses. The more questions and information you provide, the better they will understand your needs and considerations such as the shading on your roof and could provide you with the best solar package.
Good solar companies will give you information about the challenges of roof space, shading and wiring issues. All installers offer warranties but remember only companies with value stay in business over a long time. Ask how long your solar installation company has been in business. If they have been around less than 5 years that means they might still be learning about the solar industry.
5. Choose Your Solar Panels
Perhaps you don’t plan to stay in your home for 25+ years but installing a recognized solar brand of quality panels and inverters will increase value to your property, it’s a strong feature when you are ready to sell. It gives you and the future homeowners a long-term security, and peace of mind that you and them will be saving thousands of dollars of power savings over the next 25 years.
Look for efficient, durable solar panels from a company that is trusted and known in your city. For example LG, Solaria, REC and Q Cells. All quality solar panels will generate a lot more energy and capture a lot of light.
These types of solar panels provide great values for budget-conscious customers and are backed with a 25-year warranty on performance. The better the quality of solar panels the low maintenance and low failure they will be.
6. Buy With Confidence
Purchasing a quality solar power system is one of the best decisions you can make for financial reasons as well as environmental.
The sooner you install your solar, the sooner your electric bill will fall. When your installation is complete, make sure to monitor your system. When you understand the pattern of solar power you can try and match household power usage to it by “loading shifting” appliances to daylight hours for example dishwasher, dryer, hot water, air conditioner, pool pumps, washing machine, etc. Choosing quality solar products from a brand you can trust, you will maximize your chances of having a great solar energy experience. All you get to do is love the sun and the savings.