Can I Install Solar Panels on My House Myself?
Solar panels are among the greatest inventions of all time, with benefits that outweigh the cost. The decision that homeowners have to make is whether to go DIY or to hire a professional. Greenville Solar Solutions, which sells and installs solar panels in Greenville SC, has detailed all the things you need to consider to make an informed decision about installing solar panels on your home.
What Are the Benefits of Solar Panels?
If you’re still not 100% sold on the idea of installing solar panels on your home, the U.S. Department of Energy advocates solar energy, citing the following top benefits:
Solar panels do wonders for our environment. The sun is a free, non-polluting renewable and inexhaustible source of energy. Drawing energy from it minimizes our need for fossil fuels, which are rather expensive, emit greenhouse gases, and are non-renewable and finite.
Solar energy doesn’t require much to process, nor does it contribute to air and water pollution. What is good for the environment is generally good for our health as well. We have cleaner air and water, which results in a better quality of living.
Because fossil fuel is a non-renewable source of energy that requires a lot of work to process, the price of electricity generated from it fluctuates from time to time and can be rather expensive. On the other hand, solar panels might seem expensive to install, but the savings you see in the long run translate to a wise investment. Furthermore, the prices of solar panels have been dropping significantly in recent years, so this is a great time to make that purchase.
Increased Home Value
In a 2015 study conducted by the Berkeley Lab Electricity Markets & Policy Group, it was discovered that home buyers showed a preference for solar homes and were willing to pay more for them. The real estate market appraised solar homes at as much as $15,000 higher than non-solar ones.
I’m Sold – Can I Install Solar Panels on My House Myself?
Quick answer: yes, but with much caution. Many homeowners resort to DIY solar installation to be able to reap the benefits of solar energy without the added cost of an installer. If you’re looking to install solar panels on your house yourself, you might have that exact same reason.
Before purchasing a DIY solar kit, ask yourself these questions:
Am I DIY Savvy?
DIY projects can go to either of these two extremes: brilliant or horrible. DIY projects are meticulous and require a deep understanding of the subject. If you’re the type of person that dislikes reading manuals and following instructions down to a T, DIY is not for you.
Why Do I Want to DIY?
If the only reason you want to DIY is for you to save money, here is something you have to consider: a botched DIY, especially on projects as technical as solar panels, can sometimes cost more than when you hire a professional installer. Ask yourself: is the money you’re going to save worth the time, effort, and risk?
How Much Do I Know About Solar Panels and Installations?
This is an extremely important question to ask, and for a good majority of homeowners, the answer is probably “zero” to “minimal”. Will you entrust an expensive electrical system with someone who has little to no understanding of it? You shouldn’t, even if that person were yourself.
In the US, solar companies are required to have staff with professional licenses and certification from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners. These are professionals with thorough training and experience in solar energy installations; in simple terms, perfect people for the job.
I Am Confident I Can Install Solar Panels Myself – Now What?
If, after answering these questions, your answer is a resounding “Yes, I can!” then here are some tips for you:
- Decide what type of solar panels is suitable for the size and location of your home. According to Energy Informative, an online resource site on renewable energy, there are three popular types of solar panels: mono-crystalline, polycrystalline, and thin film, each with its own pros and cons.
- Shopping for a solar panel installation is akin to shopping for a car: the first one you see is not necessarily the best for your budget, preference, and need, so it is important to shop around.
- Research and consult with other solar panel DIYers. Ask questions, seek tips, and inquire on potential problems you may face along the way.
I Definitely Cannot Install Solar Panels Myself – Now What?
If you have even the slightest doubt, don’t proceed with the DIY installation. Hire a professional instead. Here are some tips:
- Shop around for a solar panel installer. Some homeowners tend to get discouraged by the seemingly high cost of hiring a professional installer without realizing that if they shopped around, they could find a great deal that is perfect for their budget.
- Make sure to hire a professional, licensed and certified solar installer. Not only will it get the job done, but professional installers can get you tax rebates and incentives.
- Ask for recommendations from other homeowners. Just as you would with DIY, ask questions, seek tips, and inquire about potential problems you may face along the way.
Whether you DIY or hire a professional solar panel installer, remember to proceed with caution. Oh, and pat yourself on the back for going solar.