Solar panels and your home

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Solar panels appeal to homeowners for a number of different reasons. Some of them are concerned about the environment and want to do everything they can to minimize their energy footprint. Others want to save or even make money by not having to pay electricity bills. Instead of buying electricity they get to make their own and feed it back into the grid.

While there are many perks to installing residential solar panels there are also costs. The big one is the upfront cost of buying and installing solar panels on your property. Homeowners need to consider whether there is enough of a benefit to make it worth the expense.

Solar panels have come a long way in recent years. They are cheaper and better. They are also often more aesthetically pleasing with many providers offering silver and black panels as choices.

Here are some things to consider if you are thinking about installing solar panels on your home.

Type

There are different types of solar panels available. You must decide what type is right for your needs. You can always consult with a company and have them answer your questions but it is best to do your research first.

There are rooftop and ground based systems. The rooftop panels are the more common type. They are placed on the roofs of residential homes or office buildings. You need enough roof space for them to fit. The area of the roof you put them on should not be shaded. It is best if it faces towards the south. Most providers can install panels on flat or angled roofs. When installed by trained technicians solar panels have no negative impact on your roof’s structure and integrity. If there are any problems with your roof you should repair it before installing the solar panels.

Ground based solar panels are better suited to large properties with a section of space that can be dedicated to having panels on it. If you live on a farm, ranch or have a larger property then this type of panel may be best for you.

Weather

Solar panels fair best in climates with a good amount of sun. The panels can still create electricity on cold days. If there is snow covering your panels it will not damage them but it will reduce the amount of electricity they generate. Snow often melts off panels more quickly than elsewhere as they generate some heat while working.

Even when it’s raining or overcast some UV rays still get through the clouds. This is why it’s possible to get a sunburn even if it’s cloudy. There will be a reduction in how effective your panels are but they can still generate some electricity on rainy days.

Incentives

Depending on where you live funding, grants or subsidies may be available to encourage people to install solar panels. It is worth investigating and trying to receive as much funding as possible.

BC residents can get a $500 grant through the LiveSmart BC rebate program for the installation of a solar hot water system. Those living in Vancouver may be eligible for an additional $3,000 through the Vancouver Solar Homes Pilot project.