Rainy Day Exteriors
5 Things to Consider Before Installing Solar Panels
Making your home more environmentally friendly is a great option for your home in Gig Harbor, Port Orchard, and Tacoma. When it comes to making this happen, most homeowners think of installing solar panels. After all, they are a great option to generate free power from your home without having to take up space in your yard.
But before you install solar panels, please take the following into consideration.
1. It’s not cheap. We won’t beat around the bush on this. Solar panels are still considered an expensive item for the average homeowner, costing roughly $2.70 per watt for a home in the PNW. You can calculate your exact estimate here. This means it will take most homeowners 5-6 years to completely offset the cost of the solar panels.
2. How much power do you need? We know each household uses power differently, but you will need to have a good understanding of the amount of electricity you use over the course of the year to ensure you offset costs.
If your energy use is on the low side, you won’t need as many panels. But larger families and larger homes will need to prepare to pay for more.
Talk with your installation company about how to best calculate your energy consumption to ensure you will be able to offset your costs.
3. Roof Type. Because the panels will go over your existing roof, your roof type and condition are significant considerations. Solar panels can be installed on essentially every type of roof, but some, like tile or wood, require extra preparation and diligence to ensure your roof isn’t damaged during installation.
And if it’s time for a new roof, get one now. You don’t want to have to reinstall the solar panels in three years.
4. Permits. Before installing your solar panels be sure you or your contractor have secured the right permits. Without a proper permit, you are at risk of being fined and asked to completely reinstall the entire system.
And be sure you know who (you or your contractor) is responsible for securing your permit. This will be part of your contract.
5. Project Length. This often trips up homeowners, but the timeline for solar panels can be up to a few months. Once you have decided how many you need, where they are to be placed, secure permits and then install, the process can take some time. But rest assured, your home will soon be working for you, and that is worth the wait!
If you’re considering solar panels, give us a call. We provide complimentary roof inspections and estimates and can help you determine whether or not you need a new roof.