Having a home solar power system can be a great way to save money and help the environment – but installing photovoltaic (PV) panels on your home does come with some drawbacks. These panels are mounted to the roof and specifically angled to absorb light directly from the sun, which is then converted into electricity.
Solar panels are gaining popularity, as people are increasingly aware of global warming and looking for cheaper, cleaner sources of energy. However, before you decide to contact a solar energy professional to have panels installed on your own home, it’s important to consider the following advantages and disadvantages that go along with the system.
Since the sun is the only source of “fuel” you’ll need to power your home, you can save on electricity bills. There are also often tax breaks available through federal, state, and local governments to encourage more homeowners to use renewable energy products like a home solar system.
There is also the potential for homeowners to sell excess energy back into the grid. If you find that your panels are producing more energy than you use, some utility companies will buy it from you.
Renewable forms of energy, including solar, are much better for the environment than traditional energy. Since your electricity comes directly from the sun, there are no harmful emissions from your home. This reduces your carbon footprint so you’ll feel positive about your impact on the planet.
When generating your own energy instead of relying on utility companies, you’ll be better able to survive through even worst-case scenarios. Living off the grid is a great way to ensure your family’s safety.
High start-up cost
While this system will eventually save you money, there is an initial investment that can be somewhat discouraging. Even smaller systems can be very expensive, depending on the home – things like location, size, and the homeowner’s needs will all factor in to the final cost of the solar power system.
Once you’ve made the decision to go ahead with an installation, the process can be time consuming and exhaustive. Unless you’re doing a new build, you’ll likely need to retrofit your home to accommodate the new solar panels. Upgrades are no small job. This adds to the cost of the system and involves a time commitment that some people aren’t willing to make.
Since the sun isn’t shining for 24 hours a day, there will be times when your system runs less efficiently. On cloudy days, or when your roof is shaded by trees or other structures, less direct rays hit your panels. That means there is less sunlight for your system to convert into electricity. Temperatures can also impact the efficiency of solar power systems. If you live somewhere with excessively high outdoor temperatures, you may find that your system struggles during peak hours.
Involves regular maintenance
When you’re generating your own electricity, there’s no utility company to fall back on if anything goes wrong. All of the system upkeep will be your responsibility. You’ll want to get in the habit of doing it regularly to ensure everything is in good working order. Dirt and debris can accumulate on the panels, which can reduce efficiency. If you face severe weather, extensive repairs may be required, which could even necessitate hiring a qualified professional.
Still, the advantages of using solar power at home offer some great incentives. Even the initial expense can be quickly recouped thanks to the savings provided by this renewable energy source. However, make sure that you don’t try to do the installation on your own. You might save a bit of money, but it’s important to have a solar professional ensure the system is set up correctly and running efficiently. These professionals can also provide advice to help you decide if a solar power system is right for you.
Guest article by Katie Mills, an expert in the field of home design and products from Poshh.