solar panels on roof of house. horizontal orientation, blue sky, gray panels on brown roof.

7 Common Signs You Need to Install Solar Panels

It’s great to walk on sunshine. It’s even better to live off of it. 

Residential solar capacity in the United States has more than doubled over the last five years. Millions of homes have solar panels on their roofs, allowing homeowners to reduce their carbon footprints and utility bills.

You should install solar panels on your roof. But don’t assume that the only thing you need is sunshine. Other factors can improve the quality of your panels.

What are the signs you need solar panels? Here are seven. 

1. You Get Direct Sunlight 

Having a high amount of sunshine makes your panels effective. But you need more than just sunny days. 

Your roof has to receive sunlight directly. Shade or overhanging objects will prevent solar rays from hitting your panels. You need to trim trees and branches that block sunlight from getting through. 

You do not have to have 24/7 sunshine. On cloudy days, solar panels produce 10 to 25 percent of their normal output. What matters is that sunlight can reach your panels without other objects in the way. 

You can install panels on any surface. If your walls have better sun exposure, you can place thin-film panels on them. 

2. Your Roof Faces the Right Way 

People assume that any roof will catch a lot of sunlight. That is true, but the direction your roof faces can increase your energy production. 

The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. If you set your panels in either of these directions, you are missing a lot of sunlight. 

A southern-facing roof faces the sun as it rises and sets. This means that your panels can produce a constant stream of electricity. 

Your roof should not tilt your panels too far down. They should remain level toward the sky so the sun can shine on them evenly. If your roof tilts too much, you can work with the installer to tilt your panels in the right direction.

3. Your Roof Has the Right Materials 

Installers can fit solar panels onto any roof. But some roofs work better than others. 

Wood, gravel, and cement tile support the weight of panels without chipping. The tools that installers use to fix panels in place can break through cedar and clay tile roofs. 

Metal roofs are great for installation because they have seams. You can drill into the seams and fit the base of your panels onto them. 

You should make sure your gutters are empty and functioning. Rainwater and snow pour off of panels, so your gutters will fill up during a storm. 

4. Your Local Climate Is Mild

Solar panels need sunshine, but they do not need heat. Panels contain substances like silicon that operate at moderate temperatures. When they become too hot, they do not conduct electricity at a good rate. 

If you live in a mild climate, your solar panels will work best. They can operate at a strong capacity in low temperatures, even freezing ones.

5. You Qualify for Government Incentives  

The federal government offers tax incentives for solar panel installations. If you install your system before the end of 2021, you can claim 26 percent of the cost as a tax credit. This can total thousands of dollars. 

Many states have their own incentives for installations. The California Public Utilities Commission runs Net Energy Metering.

This allows residential systems to sell the excess energy they produce to the grid. Homeowners receive credits back, allowing them to pay their utility bills. 

6. You Will Live In Your Home Long-Term

The biggest reason why many people don’t buy solar panels is the cost. You may need to pay thousands of dollars for panels. 

But the cost of installation in California has gone down by 45 percent over the last five years. This means that you will reach your break-even point sooner. 

You begin making money on your panels on their first day in operation. Most people reach their break-even point within a decade. They then start making money on their panels, which can total thousands of dollars. 

Manufacturers design their panels to last for decades. You will renovate many other aspects of your home before you need to replace your panels. You do not need to maintain them, allowing you to turn your attention to other home improvement projects. 

7. You Will Sell Your House

People want to buy a house with solar panels on them. Studies from the Department of Energy found that homebuyers are willing to pay 15,000 dollars more on homes with solar electricity systems. 

The increased home value in and of itself can offset the cost of installation. You can install panels, then sell the house right away and make a profit. If you live in your house long-term and then sell it, you can make tens of thousands of dollars. 

You can pursue financing options to increase the profits from the sale. You can lease your panels to someone else, giving them electricity while the panels stay on your roof. You pay less for installation, but you receive the full increase in home value. 

The Seven Signs You Should Install Solar Panels

Every American should install solar panels, especially the ones who live in optimal conditions. Your roof should have access to direct sunlight, facing south. It should have materials that support installation and allow rainwater to drain off.

Your climate should be mild or cool. You should take advantage of government incentives, including tax rebates. 

It may take years to reach the break-even point, so you should live in your home long-term. But panels increase your home value as well. 

Turn to experts for solar panel help. Altair Solar has more than thirty years of experience. Contact us today. 

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