Maximizing Your Home’s Energy Efficiency with Solar Panels
Last Updated on February 28, 2023 by Kravelv
In 2023, more and more people are flirting with the idea of installing solar panels on their roofs. With electricity prices soaring and even the talks of restrictions in play, this never seemed such a good idea. It’s a pragmatic and ethical choice, but how efficient is this?
- Still, what benefits would you reap even if you were to do so?
- How to set up a solar system, to begin with?
- Will this affect your electricity bill or eliminate it?
You must know the answers to these three questions before making any moves. Before knowing the needs of your household and knowing how much energy from solar panels can you get, it’s ridiculous even to consider this move. With that in mind and without further ado, here’s how to maximize your home’s energy efficiency with solar panels.
What goes into the solar panel home kit?
According to experts behind Solar Prime USA, the bare minimum your home kit needs are:
- Solar panels
- Battery bank
- Power inverter
- Mounting hardware
While this may sound simple enough, it’s anything but.
- Do you get monocrystalline, polycrystalline, or thin film?
- What voltage of a battery are you going to use?
- Will you get an inverter with a built-in solar charge controller?
This is why you need to research and, even more importantly, get a quote. Getting more than one quote would be even better.
On top of this, solar panels will affect your home’s exterior. You need to ask yourself if you’re fine with how these panels will look on your roof. Your home’s exterior is a homogenous unit; every new element affects the aesthetics of your property as a whole.
How to set up a solar system for your home?
The process is simple in theory, but the execution needs to be done right for it to work. First, you need to do your budget. Keep in mind that the cost is not final since there are government grants and tax credits to consider.
Next, unless you’re a master electrician or craftsman, it’s best left to professionals. So, you have to pick the team that will perform the work. Think of it as remodeling your home. In this scenario, you would definitely hire experts. This is even more sensitive, important, and even dangerous.
So, how to set up a solar system? The process itself looks something like this:
- You get all the equipment
- Calculate the power load
- Charge the battery
- Set the inverter
- Fix the panels
- Connect the panels to the battery
Once again, while it is possible to set up a solar system on your own, this is always best left to professionals.
How much energy do solar panels produce?
This question is as broad as asking how fast a car can go. Which car? On what kind of road? Still, if we’re talking about universal standards, it would be fair to say that residential solar panels usually produce between 250 and 400 watts per hour.
With a bigger system, you get to produce more. The real question is, how much power does your home use? While some estimates indicate that an average household uses 1250 watts per hour, this estimate is usually way off.
If you’re already investing in solar panels, chances are that you’re already using low-power appliances and practicing other eco-friendly principles. Replacing your water heater can make a difference, but you can make a real change with several appliances. Also, the size of your home plays a huge role here. Lastly, you can always get a more powerful system.
Even if they don’t eliminate it, it goes without saying that solar panels can reduce your electric bill. Speaking of which…
Do you still have an electric bill with solar panels?
This is the most frequently asked question and the subject of the biggest misconception regarding solar power. Yes, you still have an electricity bill with solar panels.
Even in the best-case scenario where:
- Your solar panels operate at maximum efficiency.
- Your home’s power use is not so high.
- You store excess power in your batteries.
You’ll still have to pay the mandatory utility company fee. However, and this makes all the difference, your cost will be drastically reduced. By how much? Well, it depends on how efficient you get with the three factors we’ve listed in our best-case scenario.
The idea that some people are striving towards is the zero-energy home. This is a concept where the building, via renewable power sources like solar, produces as much power as it uses. You would also need near-perfect insulation, incredible windows, and all your appliances to be low-power. Even with that, some power-saving habits would be advised.
The most important question that you want to ask is – is it worth the cost? So, what is the average electric bill with solar panels? For those interested in the exact numbers, an average household could spend $260 or less per month if they install efficient panels and battery storage.
Do solar panels affect your home insurance?
The next question we need to address is about solar panels and home insurance. Unfortunately, your homeowner’s insurance is likely to increase after installing solar panels on your roof.
The panels are in such a spot that they’re at risk of being damaged by weather elements and debris. While the increase to your premium will be significant, expanding your limits to account for the replacement costs is worth it.
One of the alternatives is to get separate solar panel insurance. This happens when your provider doesn’t provide this service. Bear in mind, however, that even some solar panel insurance doesn’t cover wind and hail damage. In other words, research and consider whether the insurance is worth it.
Coming as close to zero energy as possible
Solar panels can help reduce your power bill; at one point in the future, they may even make your home self-sufficient. However, you need to do your research to pull any of this off. Consult your budget, research how to set up the solar system, and think of the bigger picture. The cost is not as steep as it used to be, and the ROI is more than worth it.