A solar panel system can cost tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars for your Berks County home. This is why it is important to purchase the right solar system and have it installed properly from the start.
If you install solar panels correctly, they will last you 20-30 years, lower your energy bills considerably, and increase the value of your home. Here are four mistakes to avoid when purchasing solar panels.
Sourcing Parts Separately
In an effort to save on solar panels costs, some people opt to build Frankenstein systems, whereby they source the various parts separately and have a solar systems expert put them together.
Parts are often mismatched. You may have an undersized inverter, unmountable panels, or a battery that does not match the charging source. As a result, you have a total system failure that is both costly and dangerous.
Overpaying for the Solar System and Its Installation
Getting multiple quotes for the solar system and its installation is important. Compare the quotes not just based on price but also on the range of services offered.
The majority of solar companies offer installation and maintenance services, either free of charge or at an additional cost. You should compare interest rates and costs when applying for a loan or lease.
Check consumer reviews for prospective suppliers and service providers on forums such as Reddit and review websites like Pissedconsumer.com. The customer feedback will indicate if the companies are reliable.
To determine if a company has recurring issues, read the consumer reviews in addition to the overall rating. Watch out for complaints about poor quality solar panels, bad customer service, and unfavorable lease terms.
Choosing the Wrong Type of Solar Panels
There are 3 main types of solar system designs—on-grid, off-grid, and hybrid. On-grid solar systems are the most common. They are connected to the public electricity grid. As such, the system does not require batteries.
In the event that solar is not enough to meet your power needs, the switchboard will import electricity from the grid to make up the difference. A major disadvantage of this system is that a power outage in the main grid will also result in a blackout.
Off-grid systems are not connected to the main grid. They are most suitable if your house is not connected to the public electricity grid, such as if you live in a remote area. Since there is no supplemental power source, the solar panels have to generate enough power to meet all your energy needs.
As off-grid solar systems require expensive batteries and inverters, they are more expensive than on-grid systems. You may also need a backup generator to supplement the energy in the winter season when the solar system cannot produce enough power.
A hybrid system requires more expertise and is more complex to install. Those units are connected to the main grid and have batteries for storing energy. As soon as the battery's energy is depleted, the grid backs up the battery.
The right size of a solar system depends on various factors, including your energy consumption, power rating, battery size, energy efficiency, sun hours per day, and the number of panels.
It is best to consult with a solar systems expert about the ideal size of a solar system for your home. They will accurately calculate your daily energy consumption and recommend the most suitable solar system size according to its efficiency, power rating, and output.
When sizing, keep in mind that solar panels lose 0.5-1% efficiency annually. Therefore, in 20 years, the solar system will have lost 10-20% efficiency. Therefore, account for the efficiency loss when choosing a solar system.
Are They Worth It?
Are solar panels worth it? Yes. They lower your energy bill and improve the value of your Berks County home. However, the caveat is that you have to choose the right solar system design, layout, and size for your home.
It is best to get a complete unit from one supplier instead of sourcing parts separately. Also, check online reviews to establish the credibility of prospective products, suppliers, and installation service providers.
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