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4 Important Things to Consider When Installing Solar Panels

Updated: Jul 20, 2021

If you’re living in a home for more than a few years, you already know it will undergo multiple repairs, renovations, improvements, and overall changes. But energy efficiency is one area where you should always be looking to optimize. Not only can your energy consumption cost you extra income each month, but it also impacts the environment.

Solar panels are becoming an increasingly popular energy-saving option for homeowners across the country. Despite their initial cost, these shiny pieces of technology will save you a lot of money and energy in the long run. Here are four important things to consider when installing solar panels.

Determine the best roofs for solar panels

Solar panels can be installed on nearly any kind of roof. Some of the more common roof-types for residential properties include asphalt shingles, concrete, and clay tiles. The material and construction of your home’s roof will depend primarily upon the climate of your state. Due to the popularity of these roof types, a majority of providers have designed their solar panels for easy installation. If your home’s roof is built with unique materials or odd angles, your contractor may have to get creative with installation.

Expect varying stages to the entire process

Even though installation is rather straightforward, there are other steps in the process of obtaining solar panels. At first, a contractor will visit your property to take initial measurements, spot any potential problems, and generate a rough outline for installation. After your contractor designs a solar panel layout unique to your roof, you have to wait for permit approval from your local government. This process varies between each state but could take up to two weeks. When you get the greenlight, installation should only take about a week. Following one more government-issued inspection, you’ll finally be able to activate your energy-saving panels.

Understand the installation process

Once you’ve established the kind of roof you have and have been given the go-ahead, it’s time to start looking at the installation process more specifically. In general, this process will require mounting feet and flashings to be secured to your roof. The panels will then be attached to these devices. For thinner roofs that use asphalt shingles, these components will be screwed directly on top. On clay tile and concrete roofs, some individual tiles will be removed to secure the mounts and flashings to the roof itself. Some professionals may even opt to replace a shingle with a metal version for an even stronger hold. Solar panels can be secured rather quickly and efficiently once the mounts and flashings are in place.

Incorporate these items into your mortgage

Mortgage payments can be a major headache for all homeowners. This monthly charge probably takes up a majority of your paycheck and then some. If you’ve been putting off the purchase of solar panels due to the cost of initial investment, then you’ll be happy to hear about the Energy Efficient Mortgage program. This FHA provision allows homeowners to incorporate the cost of their solar panels into their mortgage to save money in the short run and spread the investment out over time. Essentially, this is a way to finance these improvements. If you’re making other energy-saving modifications, make sure to include these in the program as well.

Solar panels are a great addition for any homeowner who is looking to drastically reduce energy costs, save money, and build a more environmentally-friendly home. If you’ve been avoiding this modification due to the upfront costs, remember that solar panels pay for themselves after a few years. Your wallet and the air will thank you.

Article Credit: Julian Lane

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