Solar Panel Installation: How to Prepare Your Home

how to prepare your home for solar panel installation

The US is now home to solar panel installations with enough capacity to power more than 21 million homes. Experts project that number to grow even more, especially with the Build Back Better Act.

So, if you’ve always wanted to go green yourself, now may be the best time to invest in solar panels. However, know that there are a few things you need to do first to prepare your home for solar panel installation.

We’ll give you a rundown of what those prep steps are, so be sure to read on!

Determine what your goals are for going solar

In the US, you can expect the installation of home solar panels to cost an average of $12,000. That pertains to 5-kilowatt systems, generating up to 20-kW of electricity per day.

The thing is, that estimate already includes the 26% federal investment tax credit.

So, it can be much harder to go solar if you need to pay for the panels outright and without the ITC. However, $12,000 is still a considerable investment even with the credit.

So, then, why do it if it costs that much in the first place?

For one, going solar allows you to reduce your reliance on fossil fuels. That’s a goal to prioritize, as burning fossil fuels generate greenhouse gas emissions. So much so that in 2019 alone, it accounted for 74% of total GHG emissions in the US.

Besides, you can trim your utility bills or even eliminate them if you have enough solar panels. If your goal is the latter, make sure to calculate your household’s energy use. If it’s 20-kW or less a day, a 5-kW system may be enough for your needs.

Get an energy audit

Before the solar panel installation process, it’s wise to get an energy audit first. Also known as an energy assessment, an audit gives you a clear picture of your household’s energy use. For instance, it allows you to determine how much energy you and your family use.

It’s also an effective way to track your home for air leaks that waste energy. From there, the energy auditor can educate you on low-cost ways to make your home more efficient. That may include sealing air leaks, installing window films, or switching to LEDs.

You can then calculate your energy consumption after those efficiency upgrades. From there, you can have a more accurate idea of how many solar panels to get.

Check your roof’s condition

Roofs are some of the best locations for solar panels since they have an unobstructed view of the sun. However, it’s vital to note that typical 60-cell solar panels weigh an average of 18.3 kilograms, or 40 pounds each.

As such, you need to ensure your roof is in excellent condition. It should be sturdy and stable enough to support all the added weight of the solar panels.

If not, you may need to get your roof fixed or replaced first. Your other option is to invest in ground-mounted panels.

Prep your electrical system

The National Fire Protection Association addresses photovoltaic systems in five codes and standards. Three, including NFPA 70, 70B, and 70E, are primarily about electrical safety. For example, they cover topics like electrical repairs before panel installation.

So, hire an electrician to inspect your electrical system before getting solar panels. That way, the pro can assess the system and ensure it’s free of violations, damages, or hazards.

Time to Schedule Your Home Solar Panel Installation

Remember: GHGs are the primary cause of global warming. Worse, burning fossil fuels also generates a considerable amount of pollutants.

Those are good enough reasons to prep your home for solar panel installation. Besides, the sooner you get your system up and running, the sooner you can trim electricity bills.

Are you ready for more strategies to improve your home or finances? If so, feel free to stay to browse our latest educational blog posts!

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