For a growing number of Americans, solar energy is an increasingly attractive option. Largely because it's an independent and environmentally friendly energy source that reduces energy bills and also minimizes the effects of energy consumption on the natural world.
If you're considering having a home solar panel system installed at your home there are a number of steps you'll need to take before deciding which system is the best option. Here are the three main issues you'll need to consider when determining how much energy your household consumes on a day-to-day basis.
1. Assess your home's energy needs
In order to ensure that the solar energy system that you choose will adequately meet the energy demands of your household, you'll need an accurate idea of your day-to-day energy needs. The best way to do this is to have an energy audit undertaken by an electrician or a specialized home energy auditor.
An energy audit will accurately calculate how much energy is used on an average day. It can also help you to identify and remedy problem areas of the home that may contribute to a higher amount of energy consumption that is necessary.
2. Remedy problem areas
A home solar energy system can make an enormous difference to your home's energy bills. However, to be truly effective, you'll need to ensure that you deal with any problem areas that were identified in your energy audit. This includes appliances that aren't energy-efficient and inadequate insulation or weatherizing of the home that enables elevated heat loss and gain.
The main objective of this step is to minimize your home's energy needs. Often, it can make a big difference in the size of the solar energy system that's required to provide enough energy for our household. This will save you money on both the purchase of the system and also in the long term with maintenance and upkeep costs.
3. Determine your solar potential
The final step you'll need to take before choosing the best solar energy system for your home is to determine your home's solar potential. In essence, this is figuring out how much power your home can realistically generate given its geographical location and the size and configuration of its structure.
Homes that have large, south-facing roofs and are located in a part of the country will have a higher solar potential than homes with small roofs in areas prone to less sunny days. The type of system you choose will largely be determined by the solar potential and ensuring that the system is compatible with your home's unique location and structure.