Steps to Take Before You Install Solar Panels
If you have decided to install solar panels in your home, you have made a wise choice. Not only will you be giving the environment a boost by depending less on fossil-fueled power plants, but you will also save a lot of money you would otherwise spend on your bills. However, before you go ahead with the installation process, you need to take a few essential steps to prepare yourself and your home for the new change.
Before you install solar panels, make sure that you’re making the most of your electric usage. For example, you can start by getting green power strips and white light bulbs and then move on to improving the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems. By doing so while you’re still completely on the grid, you will be able to utilize your renewable energy effectively in the future.
Before you install solar panels, you need to decide where you’ll place them. Ideally, you’ll need to keep these on the roof facing south. That way, the PV cells can collect as much solar energy throughout the day. You can also entrust your specialized solar installer with this task. After all, they have ample experience in ensuring ample sun exposure on your roof.
Measure the Roof to Determine the Number of Solar Panels
You should measure the roof carefully to determine how many panels will fit. On average, a solar panel measures 3’ 6” x 5’ 6”; add to this the space needed for spaces between the rafters and you’ll know how many panels you can get. Again, an experienced installer can tackle this before they install solar panels on your roof. However, it won’t hurt to do calculations on your own to ensure that you’re not being tricked into spending more than you should.
Scan the Area for Shading
Take a look around your home to spot any large trees or tall buildings that can shade your system in the future. One way to estimate the effect of shade is by checking the sun’s pattern throughout the day. However, you won’t need to do this step if you’re planning to install solar panels with a micro-inverter system. Shading in this scenario won’t make a major effect, especially during the early hours of the day or as it ends.
Upgrade Your Electrical Service
The electrical service entrance is the line that connects your meter to the grid. For homes that are less than 30 years old, the electrical service can easily handle a 30 panel system. On the other hand, older houses, especially those where wires show signs of deterioration, need to upgrade the service. You can ask the company that will install solar panels for help in this regard.
Check the Status of Your Main Electrical Panel
Before you can install solar panels, you need to open at least two slots in the breaker panel. The panel should be at least 200 amps but not smaller. You may need to upgrade your electrical panel if it’s less than 100 amps or if it is in poor condition.
These are the main measures you’ll need to take before you can install solar panels. To make the most of these, run them by a professional installer and get their advice on each step. If you haven’t hired an installer already, get in touch with some of the best in your area through the form located at the top of the page. With this free service, you can easily save time and get a more detailed list of the right people for the job.