Skip to main content

5 important questions to ask before buying solar panels for your home

Green living has been on the rise for years, and it has become more affordable than ever before. You may be considering switching to solar energy for your home as a next step. Before you take the plunge, however, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself when it comes to buying solar panels.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

What are the benefits of switching to solar power?

The most popular benefits of solar energy? You’ll make less of an impact on the environment while saving some money. One other reason that you may not have thought of is the minimal maintenance costs associated with solar panels.

Unlike furnaces, air conditioners, and boilers, solar panels have no moving parts and typically don’t need any maintenance or replacement for decades after installation. The two most common upkeep and maintenance tasks with solar panels are:

  • Replacing the inverter, which only needs to be done every 15 years or so
  • Keeping panels free of debris, like branches and snow

How much money will I save with solar power?

A solar energy system has high up-front costs, which need to be taken into consideration. On average, according to The Climate Reality Project, solar panels cost roughly $18,840. While that’s a big initial investment, the average family saves roughly $1,500 per year on energy costs with solar power.

In addition to monthly energy savings, federal tax credits are available that offset the installation cost by up to 26%. To top it all off, a solar energy system increases the value of your home, which can earn you a lot of money down the road if you decide to sell your house.

Is solar energy the right choice for my home?

The next question you need to ask is if solar panels will be practical for your house. Here are a few factors to consider to determine whether the up-front cost of a solar energy system will be a wise financial choice for you.

How much sun your roof gets

Not surprisingly, solar energy is dependent on your roof getting enough sunlight. If your home is surrounded by large trees or it’s overshadowed by taller buildings, the solar panels may not be able to soak up enough sun to power your home.

Which direction your roof faces

If your roof faces south, it’s positioned to get the most sunlight during the day. This means you could purchase fewer panels overall and still get enough energy to power your home.

How much electricity costs in your area

The cost of electricity continues to climb every year, and it likely won’t fall. Electricity costs even more in some regions, so if you live in an area where the costs are high, solar power could definitely be worth it.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

How many solar panels do I need to power my house?

The average home with solar energy installed uses between 20 and 25 solar panels. The specific number of panels your home will need depends on a few factors.

  • How many watts of energy your home uses on average. This information can be found on your past electricity bills.
  • The total number of peak sunlight hours in your area. This will determine how much solar energy each panel will be able to soak up on your roof.
  • The quality of the panels you’re looking at buying. Higher quality panels can produce more energy with fewer hours of sunlight.
  • How much area on your roof is usable. If you have a lot of space on your roof, you can purchase larger panels that are lower quality to produce the same amount of energy as smaller, higher-quality panels that are more expensive.

How long will solar panels last?

Most companies that make and sell solar panels claim that their products have a lifetime of about 25 years. Many companies also offer warranties that protect your investment.

While solar energy isn’t a new idea, it’s come a long way in the last decade or so. With solar technology improving and costs plummeting, it may be time for you to transition to green energy for your home. If you’ve answered the five important questions on our list and determined that solar panels are right for you, go ahead and take that leap.

Editors' Recommendations

Veronica Sparks
Veronica Sparks is a writer from Milwaukee, Wisconsin who loves writing about gardening, home décor, and DIY life. She’s…
What colors go with brown? How to make this seemingly drab hue look glam in your home
Brown doesn't have to be boring. Here's how it can jazz up your space
Brown living room walls with neutral color palette design

Brown tones have a reputation for being "boring." These earthy hues often have a tendency to feel dull and bleak for many people. However, this is largely due to poor design execution. If used well, brown shades can enhance a room’s design and bring a new sense of vitality to a space. Brown can be a wonderful hue to add to your home if you're looking to create a luxe and vibrant environment. These rustic shades can be natural, rich, and earthy when paired with complementary colors that let this hue shine.

Unfortunately, many homeowners struggle to find the best shades to pair with brown, which leads them to create spaces that feel drab, bland, or unfinished. Today, we’ll cover some of the best colors to pair with brown and how this stunning color can help revitalize your space.

Read more
6 easy ways to update your home for under $500
Update your home with these inexpensive, easy projects
Couple painting white walls

When most homeowners think of renovations, they think of time-consuming projects that always run over budget. And often, they’re right. But updating your home doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Tearing down cabinets and installing brand-new hardwood floors aren’t the only ways to up your home design game.

With a bit of planning and elbow grease, you can refresh your space with inexpensive home remodeling projects that will have a considerable impact. Here are six DIY home projects that you can easily complete for less than $500.

Read more
Want to level up your wall decor? We love this interior designer’s trick for blank wall space
Try this clever tip for tackling blank wall space in your home
Woman hanging beach art

A common struggle for many homeowners is decorating a wall without making it feel too cluttered or, worse, too empty. Too much negative space can leave a room feeling unfinished, lackluster, and downright visually unappealing. Thankfully, Julie Jones, founder of Julie Jones Designs, took to TikTok to share a fantastic design trick for dealing with blank wall space by using a clever rule for your wall decor.
Try the 70/30 rule
Interior designer @juliejonesdesigns shared her trick for handling blank wall space with a unique rule that works for nearly any wall. “I have a 70/30 rule,” Jones says in her TikTok video. She explains that the rule means 70% of the wall needs to be filled with positive space while the other 30% can be negative. “It’s a really easy formula that you can apply to almost any wall.”

Read more