Residential solar panel systems have become extremely well-known in recent years. The reason for this is that more and more people are keen to save a lot of money on their electricity bill, take advantage of solar incentive programs, and lower their carbon footprint.
Though some homeowners might love the challenge of DIY projects, DIY solar panel installation is a complicated task that needs a huge knowledge of a solar panel system. Because of this, a lot of experts recommend hiring a trained and licensed professional to install the system.
Each home project comes with some benefits and drawbacks. If you’re really considering DIY solar panel installation for your renewable energy needs, perhaps it’s best that you first weigh the advantages and disadvantages of DIY installation.
The Benefits of DIY Solar Panel System Installation
You might feel that you can enjoy some of the benefits if you install your own solar panel system. These benefits include:
Experience a fulfilling challenge for people who love DIY projects.
Power conveniently another building on your property.
No installation expenses.
Easier access to buy online solar panels or from a local wholesaler directly.
The Disadvantages of DIY Solar Panel System Installation
Since the correct solar panel system installation is a complex and time-consuming procedure, there are a couple of disadvantages to installing solar panels by yourself. This includes:
Working on roofs can be risky and result in a serious injury or fall if not cautious.
You will spend bigger upfront expenses for time, equipment, and tools.
You will have no warranty support or claims if the solar panel system does not properly work.
You run the threat of improperly connecting the solar panels, possible leaks, and roof damage.
DIY solar panel installation raises the margin for error when it comes to solar efficiency.
While the benefits of DIY solar panel installation might appear satisfying and convenient for a DIY-loving individual, the truth is that installing a solar panel system by yourself needs experienced labor. Because of this, you will greatly benefit from a professional solar panel installation.
Reasons to Hire a Professional to Install Solar Panel Systems
Protect Your Home’s Integrity
Keep in mind that solar panels are heavy. Thus, carrying them onto the roof in an efficient and safe way will be extremely hard. The panels might weigh a lot that they can damage the roof and your gutters if you are not careful.
Offer Cost-Effective Maintenance and Installation
A professional can help improve your ROI by installing and mounting the solar panel system in a way that optimizes your sunlight hours to convert the most amount of energy every single day.
Keep in mind that when you install a solar panel system, you’ll have to read instructions. If you’re a regular homeowner, you might be confused with the foreign words used in the instruction. Fortunately, a professional solar panel contractor is trained and experienced when it comes to installation. This means that they can install your system in a timely manner and guarantee every part is connected properly.
While solar energy is highly recommended, it is not the best solution for every person. Though it’s ultimately cheaper and more sustainable compared to utility power, it also needs a huge investment upfront. Also, it does not work for all types of roofs or properties.
That’s why you need to weigh the pros and cons of a solar panel system. Here are a couple of benefits and drawbacks of solar energy, from solar panel cost to energy independence.
Con: It Isn’t Right for All Properties
Not all properties are an ideal fit for solar panel systems. A couple of properties are just too cramped to look for any space to build a system. Some are covered in shade and will not obtain the required sunlight to produce enough energy.
Though there are technologies such as custom racking and shade optimizers to lessen these concerns, they only accomplish so much. If you do not have anywhere to put the panels, it is going to be an actual issue to make solar work for your house.
Pro: Get Rid of Your Electric Bill
If you’re a homeowner, you will probably like one less bill coming out of your paycheck, right? you can greatly lower or totally get rid of your electric bill with a properly-sized system.
You will still enjoy lowered electricity expenses from the moment you turn on your solar panel system, even if you extend your payback period by getting a loan.
This is perhaps the most thrilling part of solar for a lot of individuals. Once they turn on the system, they can watch their electric bill slowly vanish.
Con: It is Costly Upfront
Without a doubt, solar is costly upfront. You may need to spend around $7,000 to $11,000 to build a system that will power a regular house. The price greatly depends on the products you pick.
Of course, this price does not include the cost of installation and shipping.
However, you’ve got to keep in mind that you are spending money upfront for at least 20 years of energy production. You’ll break even on the investment in the long run. Then, you’ll start making money. However, this does not change the fact that not every person has a lot of money to buy the system they need.
Pro: Energy Independence
Almost every individual traditionally rely on the utility provider to supply them with electricity. However, if the company goes down, you might feel helpless without power for a long period.
If you’ve got a solar system with energy storage, you can continue producing power during emergencies. This peace of mind is crucial if you live in an area with an unreliable utility company.
In addition to that, utility power also limits individuals who want to live off the grid. Solar could produce energy where it will be too costly to run power lines.
When you’ve got total control over how and where you generate electricity, it can be liberating. Also, it feels great to have your own power with electricity costs slowly rising.
A lot of homeowners are opting to install solar panel systems in a range of methods, from full-service installations to DIY. There are a lot of cost benefits if you go solar. This includes adding value to your house and lowering your utility bills every month. If you install solar panels, you will have a renewable source of energy that needs little upkeep.
However, it is vital to know what types of installation are out there and how to properly install a solar panel system. Before you start the process, you will have to know the differences between turnkey, contractor, and DIY installations. This is particularly true if you want to install the system properly.
Today, we’re going to talk about the 3 different methods of solar panels installation.
This is a complete-service installation at a very high cost. This option is best for individuals with a huge budget to give the project to someone else. A professional turnkey installer manages every factor of the project. This includes:
Helping in filing for incentives
Installing local building codes
Sourcing the components
Designing the system
For your solar system installation, you can hire a local contractor. They’ll charge you more compared to a DIY installation. However, the cost is a lot less compared to a turnkey installation. In addition to that, you can also hire a contractor to manage a few of the more complicated elements of the job. This includes solar installation, design, and permitting.
You will manage elements of the task that you are comfortable with. Then, you’ll provide the rest to specialized contractors. This includes roofers, electricians, and much more.
A do-it-yourself (DIY) solar installation offers you complete control over the whole project. while it’s the cheapest option out there, this method needs complete involvement and careful research in the process from start to end. You will be assembling the system without any help, tracking down permits, selecting components, and designing the system layout.
There are a lot of helpful guides on the internet. These guides can help teach you how to install properly a solar panel system. With the right help, the entire process is a lot easier than you might think.
Choosing the Right Installation
For most individuals, it’s their top priority to get the most value out of their investment. If you’ve got a particular budget, but do not have the time to learn how to install a solar panel system, here are some tips you can follow:
You should think about hiring a local contractor or going DIY if your budget is tight. Going this route helps cut down on costs. A contractor can offer you a great middle-ground between convenience and budget.
If you’ve got a huge budget, you might think about hiring a turnkey provider. These professionals can offer expert and high-quality installation. In addition to that, they can manage all of the technical specifics of the job.
A solar panel system for your home is one of your best investments. Because of this, you’ve got to make the most out of your system. Aside from monitoring your solar panel system, routine maintenance and cleaning will ensure it operates properly for a lot of years.
Fortunately, solar panel cleaning and maintenance are not extremely hard. Almost every DIY solar user is able to handle maintenance by themselves. Oftentimes, it involves inspection of the batteries, electrical system, and wiring system.
Today, we’re going to share with you some things you should know about solar system maintenance and cleaning.
You will need to set up a routine battery maintenance schedule if your solar system has a battery bank. This will help keep the efficiency and lifespan of the batteries.
The needs for your battery maintenance vary based on type. Most batteries require routine maintenance to stay in excellent condition. On the other hand, lithium-ion batteries need little to no maintenance.
Here are some tips when it comes to maintaining your batteries:
Cables and terminal connections need to be cleaned to avoid rust.
Examine the stage of charge of your battery regularly. Every 3 months, you should apply an equalization charge to flooded batteries.
Refill flooded lead-acid batteries using distilled water every 2 weeks or 1 month.
Program voltage set points.
This maintenance task refers to how your solar system is attached and what hardware is utilized effectively. They can be ground-mounted or roof-mounted. In addition to that, there are less popular mounts. This includes pole mounts and tilt legs. Before you pick, it is vital to think about the form of structure, cost, weather, and other aspects.
For regular cleaning, you should check the racking for indications of debris buildup, damage, or loose hardware. You can do this once every 12 months.
This task is a lot simpler if it is a ground-mounted solar panel system. However, you’ve got to ensure you wear the right protective gear if you’ve got a roof-mounted system.
Electrical and Wiring
It’s suggested that you check ground conductors, fittings, electrical conduits, and any other visible electrical system at least once every 12 months for security and indications of damage.
Check cables or PV wiring. This will help ensure they aren’t touching your roof. Every PV wire needs to be fastened securely to the panel frame or racking.
The climate of your region and your location greatly affects how often you need to clean the panels. Routine rainfall might be enough to keep your system clean if it is installed in your home.
On the other hand, you might find that manual cleaning is required if there’s an accumulation of bird droppings, dust, or tree debris. If this is the case, all you’ve got to do is to rinse the panel using a hose. When wiping your panels, you’ve got to ensure you don’t use abrasive materials.
You can always call an expert solar panel company if you aren’t certain of how to properly and safely clean your solar panels.