Mistakes to Avoid when Installing Solar
Switching to solar is a savvy choice, however there are many decisions that come into play, leading to quite a few pitfalls that can be avoided. Here is a list of the most common mistakes that can easily be avoided when getting your very own solar power system.
Not doing basic solar research
While solar is a topic many people discuss it is important to follow up by doing simple research into how solar works. Solar is a daunting subject as there is an overwhelming amount of information around the topic. A great place to start is how solar panels work as well as finding out how solar panels save you money. Understanding this may also give you more realistic expectations on how solar can improve your day to day life. Don’t be afraid to ask solar installers how the process works, as they understand solar is new to a lot of their clients.
Not outlining how much electricity you use
Understanding your baseline electricity usage is important when considering a solar system. This can help to give context to solar output estimates and how much it will reduce your daily grid consumption. Additionally this can help your household reduce wastage of power by outlining which habits use a lot of electricity, such as leaving lights on. Combining this knowledge will allow your household to not only limit power wastage but also have less reliance on the grid.
Not getting multiple quotes
As solar gains popularity, some installers are inevitably going to try to sell systems for more due to a knowledge gap. Ensure that each quote is broken down in terms of cost per item and service to get an understanding of what is involved in the process of an installation and further maintenance. Going cheap to save money or expensive to ensure quality is not a guarantee. Cheap panels might not work effectively and expensive panels might be average quality with a high markup. Remember your household is unique in terms of power requirements and structure, ensure the quote is tailored to your needs.
Avoiding solar due to questionable claims made by installers
Every industry has people trying to make big claims in order to make an easy sale. While solar may be new to you, don’t listen to every pitch without doing research yourself. Those who have been sold false dreams may be advocates against solar, make sure that your expectations are realistic as solar can’t necessarily solve all your power issues. It is important to ask those within your reach how solar has impacted their household and take notes.
Buying solar panels and trying to install them yourself
While there is plenty of information on solar and home improvements, doing it yourself is probably not the way to go in this instance. Solar systems need to be designed by an engineer and connected to the household safely by a qualified electrician. Undertaking both the electrical and structural approach yourself could potentially put you in harm’s way. Even if you have the capability to do it yourself it may not yield the same results as professional installation.
Not knowing what size system is ideal for your situation
Many systems are actually too small for the households they are being installed on. While this may be a financial constraint it is often due to underestimating your households power usage. Try to install a system that meets your budget and avoid opting for the smaller system if you can. For those living in estates, gated communities and complexes it is important to find out what size your committee allows a household to install. It is important to also find out which of your roofs can sustain a considerable amount of weight for bigger systems.
Underestimating the future of your solar investment
While going for the less expensive option in the short term might be financially savvy, in the long term it might be a mistake. Solar panels can last over 20 years and this could mean a lot of maintenance for poor quality installations. While expensive isn’t always better it does help when the package includes safety nets such as monitoring and a maintenance service. Once the solar system has been paid off the savings can be spent elsewhere. Furthermore the system is now a part of the house which can be a great selling point when putting your house on the market.
Not having a consumption monitor
A consumption monitor is not a necessity, it is merely a tool that can help save you money. A consumption monitor doesn’t affect your power output it can however show you how much grid power you use versus your solar production. This is the best way to quantify your usage and adjust usage habits, it may even come with an app to help you better understand the data.
While these are not hard and fast rules when going solar, they will help you to reduce your initial spending costs and hopefully save you long term hassle. Solar may be daunting but renewable energy is the way of the future and why depend on grid power that regularly goes up in cost when you can lock in the cost by owning your own solar system.