As awareness of climate change and its consequences becomes more widespread, more and more homeowners are now trying to switch to a more sustainable living. This has prompted them to reduce their dependency on traditional energy sources and switch to solar power. Solar panels help property owners to contribute to a healthier environment while reducing electricity bills. And with the decreasing cost of panels and government incentives encouraging you to switch, there’s never been a better time to power your homes with solar panels than today.
If you’re planning to have solar panels installed on your property, here are some things you need to do first to prepare your home for solar panel installation and ensure maximum return on investment:
1. Think Maintenance
Generally, although solar panel maintenance is minimal, you should still consider how to provide maintenance requirements to ensure maximum efficiency. Solar panels tend to accumulate dust and dirt. Thus, it will need routine cleaning to stay dust- and dirt-free. If your panels are installed on your rooftop, you’ll need to consider how you’ll reach it for regular cleaning. Do you need to add a dedicated built-in ladder on your exterior walls to reach the panels? Furthermore, when planning a solar installation, you must have easier access to other system parts, such as the solar inverter and battery. Installing them in specific areas ensures easy access to these parts for a quick maintenance inspection and routine repairs or replacements.
2. Check With Local Regulations
Depending on where you live, you may need regulatory approvals from your local government before commencing big projects like solar panel installation. Generally, you’ll need to obtain permits from your utility provider or local building department. While this paperwork can be time-consuming, it’s essential to ensure streamlined installation while avoiding regulatory fines. Fortunately, most solar installers often handle the processing of these permits to reduce the stress on your side.
3. Pick The Location
When switching to solar panels, you must consider where you’ll install them. To get the most out of your solar panels, it’s recommended you place them in a sunny area. Traditionally, solar panels are installed on roofs, providing the best access to direct sunlight. South-facing roofs are ideal, but you can also place them on roofs facing west and east. The roof isn’t the only place to install your panels. If your roof is unsuitable for solar panel installation, you can opt for ground installation. This is suitable if you have an expansive open backyard or own a farmhouse, providing the ground with good sun exposure.
4. Inspect Your Roof
If you choose to install solar panels on your home’s roof, you want to ensure it can support the extra weight. One solar panel can weigh up to 2.7 pounds per square foot. So, the more panels you install, the heavier it becomes, excluding the weight of metal brackets to hold the panels in the correct position. Fortunately, more roofs can handle the extra support. However, if you have an older or slightly damaged roof, it’s best to consult a reputable roofer to inspect your roof, ensuring that it’s structurally sound. Roof repairs or renovations should be implemented to ensure the surface is in excellent condition. You don’t want to waste time and effort installing a solar panel only to remove it next year to repair damages on your roof due to leaks in your home.
5. Make The Necessary Upgrades
While this can be done after a solar panel installation, making the necessary upgrades right now can help you make the most out of your panels from the start. You want to ensure that most aspects of your home are compatible and can work efficiently with your new power system. For instance, you can replace old bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs. Make sure to improve your home’s insulation and seal any cracks or gaps you find. You can also replace old appliances with energy-efficient ones. Doing these upgrades immediately ensures higher performance from your solar panels.
6. Clear The Way
Although a solar installation isn’t as invasive as other home renovation projects like kitchen or bathroom remodeling, when it’s time to install the panels, you still want to ensure that the area your contractors will be working in is accessible and clear to streamline the process. Make sure to clear away anything in the way of your utility meter and electric panel. Prepare the area where they will be installing the solar inverter and battery. Give them easy access to your roof and ensure that little kids or pets won’t get in their way during installation.
While solar panels continue to prove their benefits, switching to this clean energy alternative isn’t as easy as buying panels and installing them wherever. You want to be fully prepared to ensure a smoother installation process and get the most out of your panels. So, before welcoming installers into your home, follow the above tips to fully prepare yourself and your home for this significant home upgrade and maximize the benefits you can reap.