5 Prep Steps to Consider Prior to Installing Solar Panels
Solar energy is a reliable source of renewable energy that can be collected and stored without influence from any outside energy providers. You purchase the panels, have them installed in ideal locations, and sit back as the sun pays your energy bill for years to come. The technology continues to grow more efficient and less expensive as time passes, easily overcoming any possible downsides that the panels may present. Planning is the key to properly switching to a renewable source of energy and the following tips will help you plan accordingly.
Check the roof for exposure to sunlight. The roof is often the preferred location for installing multiple solar panels, but you shouldn’t assume that this is the best location on your property. Check the roof for sunlight throughout all hours of the day. Nearby trees or other structures can obstruct the panels view of the sun and reduce the amount of energy they can gather throughout the day.
If your roof isn’t open to sunlight during the day, you will need to find a new spot to install the panels or remove the source of interference. Sometimes, it may be easier to put the panels in the yard while cutting down a shade tree would lead to higher savings. Compare the time, work, and savings from the possible locations for installation and choose the spot with the most sunlight for the longest period of time.
Review previous energy bills from your current provider to estimate your typical energy consumption. This number can be cut using energy savings techniques like turning lights off and removing your dependency on certain appliances. Try unplugging unused electronics. When buying new appliances, look for certification from energy star and other energy efficient labels. These will help reduce your needed power production even further.
Upon reviewing your last month’s energy bill, you can estimate how much energy you will need to produce on a daily basis to support the same lifestyle. It’s best to overshoot this number slightly to prepare for unexpected environmental errors. This number dictates how many panels you need to purchase when making the transition to solar panel. More panels may be more expensive initially, but with enough of them you can completely remove your energy provider from your list of bills for the month.
Cloudy days and natural disasters can ruin a good plan, so prepare ahead of time. Having access to a generator or high-capacity batteries capable of supporting your household for a short period of time is the best solution. One cloudy day can ruin your energy production from solar power and without a backup, you can be left without power for however long it takes the clouds to pass. Generators that run on gas work well in emergency situations where solar is not an option.
Should you make the change to solar power and toss your energy bill out of the window? Absolutely! Prepare for this big move by handling all of the hard work ahead of time. After this, all that’s left is installing the panels and shredding your old bill.