So why aren’t we all installing solar panels? The short answer is, they’re expensive — although that’s changing. And it’s true that you have to live in the right kind of house, and that when you install solar panels from Solar Market, it affects your home’s resale value (although this is changing too).
But for many people, the biggest obstacle is a feeling that they just don’t have the time or expertise to make it happen on their own. But here’s the thing: you don’t have to do it on your own.
There are lots of resources available to help guide you through the process. You can talk to your local government about how much financial support they can offer, or even get a group of friends together to go in together on a system. You can find plenty of online guides, and you can hire contractors for advice and installation help.
There are plenty of great reasons why you should install a solar system. It’s an investment that will pay off quickly because it produces clean power for free. But first, you need to know where to start — so here are five steps you can take to make your solar system more efficient.
1. Use a grid-tie system
The most efficient way to use solar power is with a grid-tie system that sends excess energy back into the power grid when you have more than you need. This allows you to buy power at off-peak times and sell it back at peak times.
Don’t waste money on upgrades that don’t pay for themselves fast enough. It’s tempting to think of ways to increase the efficiency of your solar system, but unless you can recoup the costs in about three years, you’re better off sticking with what you’ve got. After all, if it isn’t paying for itself in some way, it becomes just another bill.
Look out for shady salespeople who are really green energy salespeople in disguise. Look up the company before signing a contract and be wary of lowball offers — they’re probably designed to get your attention without costing the salesman much at all. If the salesperson won’t leave after his initial pitch, he’s likely an overly aggressive door-to-door salesman and not worth dealing with.
2. Get the right size solar panel
The most important step you can take is to get the right-sized solar panel. Installing a larger system than you need is wasteful as it will produce excess energy that you then have to store or sell back to your utility company at a discounted rate.
3. Install the panels at the correct angle
The ideal angle for your panels depends on the local climate and the time of year and can vary from around 15 degrees to 40 degrees for optimal efficiency during different times of the year.3. Don’t skimp on wiring
Cheap wiring can be hazardous and can reduce the current carrying capacity of your cables. This will increase wear and tear on your inverter and shorten its lifespan, so don’t skimp on wiring when it comes time to install your solar panels.4. Make sure all components are properly grounded.