You may have noticed that there is a very favorable federal tax credit available this year and decided it’s time to go solar! After all, if you install solar panels in your home, you can make huge savings on your electricity bills and potentially contribute to a cleaner and greener environment.

But before you go ahead with installing solar panels, there are a few things you should know. In this guide, we’ll take you through 5 tips to help you prepare for the installation process.

1. Estimate a Budget

Before you go in all guns blazing, it’s worth doing a decent amount of research on how much a solar energy system will cost you. Nowadays, there are many options on the table when it comes to buying and installing solar panels.

If you have the cash, it’s always going to be best to pay in one lump sum. The reason for this is that solar installation companies will prefer this and they will offer price reduction incentives as a result.

There are many finance options on the table these days, too. A good idea is to research at least five companies and compare prices. Try to gain as much info on what they include in their packages and compare the info as well.

Once you’ve seen a lot of options, you’ll be in a much better position to consider your budget. At this stage, however, it’s wise to make a rough estimate of how much you need to spend. We recommend you make a more precise budget once you’ve run through the 4 other tips in this guide.

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2. Roof Considerations

The condition and position of your roof are two important things you must assess before you can install solar panels. Some roofs just don’t cut the mustard because of one or both of these factors.

You have to think that many solar panels will last over 20 years or so. With this in mind, the condition of your roof should be in top shape so that you reduce the chances of having to remove the panels to fix your roof in the future.

It’s typical that if you choose to go with a solar installation company, a professional will come down to check your roof out and make any recommendations to you about the condition of your roof. This person will also take a look at whether your roof allows for adequate positioning of solar panels.

Some roofs are too shaded for solar panel installation. In this case, a solar professional might recommend you cut certain branches off of trees to allow for better sunlight exposure.

One issue with cutting off branches is that you might expose part of your property to the blazing sun. This could mean that some rooms get hotter in the summer, meaning you have to use the AC more; so be wise in your decisions before chopping away at branches!

An excellent position for your solar panels is south-facing so that they can potentially take in the sun all day long. Plus, you should put them in a location where there may be minimal debris that will affect them.

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3. Assess Your Power Needs

Assessing your power needs is something you should factor in when budgeting for solar panels. When you know how much power you require from your solar panels for your day-to-day use, you’ll be able to narrow down your options.

So, the number of people in your household will affect your power output. If you have a large family, you have to think that many lights will be used and charging electronics might be a big thing!

Also, think about how many times you use the washing machine, dryer, dishwasher, and other electronics in your home each week. This energy consumption calculator might be useful for you to make the process quicker.

Furthermore, you have to factor in the seasons. For instance, in the summer, most households will use the AC a lot, and in winter their heating system. Yet, in the spring and autumn months, a family might not even use the thermostat as temperatures might be moderate, and so energy consumption could be lower in those months.

If you struggle with this part, you can always approach a solar company to come and do an assessment of your home. You might not end up buying their panels, but you’ll get some solid advice on the type of system you need for efficient performance.

4. Learn About Solar Panel Types

There are two prominent solar panel options to choose from these days. These include polycrystalline panels and monocrystalline panels. Most solar companies will recommend monocrystalline panels due to their excellent efficiency.

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However, polycrystalline panels are cheaper and if you’ve got plenty of roof space they might be a more economical option overall. If you’re in doubt about which type to choose, again, a professional solar technician can give you solid advice on this. And here’s a link about how solar energy works for the general basics.

5. Check the Warranty Details

One final thing you should compare between solar providers is their warranties. Make sure to learn all the details about your shortlisted candidates so you can get the best bang for your buck!

Once you’ve compared the warranties, you should be in a good position to set your budget accordingly. And don’t be afraid to negotiate a little to see if the solar company can throw in any extras or provide you with better terms.

Install Solar Panels the Right Way

You should now have a much better idea about what to do before you install solar panels. Getting a realistic budget in place is the most important thing so that you can find the best deals and negotiate if you wish.

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