A great way to save on your energy costs is to harness the power of the sun by installing solar panels on your roof. Depending on where you live in Michigan and how much direct sunlight your house receives solar panels can save you average of $750 the first year alone according to Solar Nation. Read on to learn more about solar panels and if they are the right choice for your home.
The primary incentive for installing solar panels is the money you will save on your electricity bill. Energy Sage reports that the savings in a 20-year period can be anywhere from $7,000 to $30,000 depending on several variables. And with energy prices continuing to rise the savings will only go up as well. Another positive aspect is that solar panels will increase the value of your home when you go to sell it as the next owners will be able to reap the benefits of your having installed them. Evergreen solar says the increase to your home value could be $20,000 or more. Lastly it will also help save the planet as installing solar panels is equal to planning 100 new trees according to Solar Nation.
Cons Solar Nation estimates it costs approximately $20,000 to install solar panels which can be quite a deterrent to many homeowners. There is a tax credit, however, that allows you to recover 30% of the investment bringing the initial cost down to $14,000. This is still quite a bit of money, though, and while the savings over the years should pay for the installation, it is something to consider. Another downside is that installing solar panels could damage your roof if it is not done properly. Before you decide to get these, do your homework and make sure your roof can support the weight and that you find a reputable company to install them properly.
How to Install
Once you find a competent installer, there is a process to go through according to Energy Sage before you can start reaping the benefits of your new solar panels. First an engineer will conduct an evaluation of your home to check your roof and existing electrical system and make sure they don’t need any improvements before the panels can be installed. After your home is cleared, you will need to fill out some paperwork including applying for incentives and building permits. The next steps are to order and install the panels. Your roof will be prepped and electric wires laid before the solar panel supports and the panels themselves can go on. Depending on the size of your roof this process can take anywhere from one to three days. Your town government will then need to inspect and approve everything before they solar panels can be turned on.
Caring for Solar Panels
Solar panels require minimal maintenance once they are installed. They of course need to be cleaned of dirt, debris and bird droppings every once in a while as Energy Informative estimates that dirty solar panels lose 15-25% of their efficiency but cleaning them is very easy. Simply spray them off with a hose and then wash them off with warm soapy water before rinsing thoroughly. Other than that, you should only have to care for them if there is a problem and they don’t seem to be working correctly.