What to Consider When Buying Solar Panels

Posted on: December 13, 2013

Thinking about purchasing solar panels in San Diego for your home or business? Excellent decision! Solar panels can help reduce your electricity bill immediately while locking in your cost of electricity—protecting you from future rate increases.

Buying just any solar panel from just any installer, however, is not always a good economic decision. There are several things you should consider when buying solar panels. There is a lot of misinformation and outright dishonestly online about solar panels, so we want to make sure you are making a well-informed decision before making such a large—and long term—investment.

References

Any reputable solar installation company in San Diego will have years of experience and a number of referrals. With the popularity of solar energy, there have been a number of companies that have jumped into or expanded into the industry to get a piece of the pie. While this does not necessarily mean they are a bad company, it is generally a wise decision to go with a company that has several years of experience and a fairly extensive installation profile.

Ask for a list of references in your area and make sure you contact at least three of them!

Warranty

Before making a decision, consider warranty for both the solar panel manufacturer and the installation company. Most reputable solar panel manufacturers will offer at least a 25 year warranty. As for installation, look for a company that offers at least a year warranty on installation. Solar panel systems have no moving parts, so any issues with installation should surface within the first year of operation.

Price Expectations

The old saying “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” should always be present in the back of your mind before making large home improvement decisions. Always get quotes from at least three contractors and if one sticks out as significantly less than the others, there is a good chance that you will be getting inferior installation, products, or both.

Mounting

Where would you like your solar panels mounted? While most people have them installed on their roof, solar panels can also be mounted on the ground. Ground mounted solar panels can be installed at homes that have small roofs, roofs that do not have a large flat surface, or roofs that may not have an ideal orientation to the sun—but only if adequate land area is available.

Inverter

Solar panels produce electricity in DC form, but electricity from the grid is AC. To fix this, the energy produced by your solar panels must travel through an inverter before being used inside your home or business. The type of inverter you choose can have a significant impact on the efficiency of your system. If you have a roof that becomes partially shaded during the day, your best option would be to choose a micro-inverter system, rather than a string inverter. Be sure to ask your solar representative about this during the sales process.

Want to Learn More About Solar in San Diego?

These represent only a small portion of the things you should consider when installing a solar panel at your home or business, but they represent some of the most important. If you want to learn more about solar installation San Diego and the surrounding area for your home or business, give us a call or fill out a contact form on the right. Our solar technicians can discuss the options that are available to you, assess your home’s solar potential, and even provide you with production and return on investment estimates!

Contact us today to get started!