Solar system installation is a great thing — especially in Pennsylvania. You’ll reduce your energy bills, do your part for the environment, and may even receive tax credits to make the installation all the more affordable. However, there are some common misconceptions about solar energy systems that should be cleared up before you contact a certified installer. Once you have this information, you’ll be prepared to take your PA solar installation seriously.
Common misconceptions about Pennsylvania solar systems include:
1. “Installation is expensive so I won’t be saving money.”
With solar rebate programs and tax credits available, solar panel installation isn’t as expensive as you’d think. Additionally, installation dramatically reduces your energy bills. Although it may seem like a large payment upfront, the panels will pay for themselves in less than 10 years through lower utility bills.
2. “Solar panels won’t work on my home because I live in an area that gets snow.”
Although the panels won’t work when completely covered, they are slick and snow easily slides off. Additionally, panels are installed on the part of your home or property that receives the most sun. This sunlight will likely melt most of the snow. Our customers are located in the tri-state area so we have plenty of experience with this misconception.
Check out our PA solar page for more information.
3. “It will be hard to sell my home if I install solar panels.”
Actually, there is evidence that says solar panels cause homes to sell quicker. According to the Department of Energy, they sell up to two times as fast as other homes on the market because a major concern from homebuyers is energy costs. Solar power also frees homeowners from the rising cost of electricity from power companies.
4. “Solar panels have to go on the roof.”
Although the roof is the most popular spot, solar panels can be installed anywhere on your grounds that receives adequate sunlight and is free from the shade of trees. Plenty of our customers choose to have solar panels installed in a convenient area in their yards.
Check out the photos on this solar installation page to see for yourself.
5. “I’ll have to constantly clean my panels to ensure my system is efficient.”
Not in Pennsylvania – System maintenance is minimal. There are no mechanical (moving) parts, which reduces points of failure, and; therefore, reduces maintenance needs. If the angle of the solar module is 5 degrees or more, normal rainfall is usually sufficient to keep the solar module glass surface clean under most weather conditions. The solar system production estimate accounts for typical dust buildup on the modules, but if over time dirt build-up becomes excessive, the module surface can be cleaned with a soft cloth using clean, potable water early in the morning or in the late afternoon. Spraying the array mid-day should be avoided so as not to thermally shock the solar module glass.
6. “A home solar system requires batteries as back-up.”
Most solar systems are grid-tied, meaning you have access to electricity at night or on a cloudy day. However, you also store credits when your system produces more energy than you use so that electricity could end up not costing you. If there is a power outage in your area, then this type of back up plan won’t work.
Battery technology/efficiency has not caught up to the solar modules themselves. It is still very expensive to incorporate batteries into a system and typically homeowners are limited to powering the refrigerator and some lighting circuits and outlets. A whole-house natural gas or propane generator by Kohler is a more economical option and can many times provide backup power for the entire home. Most solar system owners opt out of a backup power source because of cost.
7. “I can just price shop the cheapest solar panel.”
While the market is being flooded with cheaper, foreign-made solar modules, the raw materials, quality controls, and warranties don’t always match up. It is important to find an installer that understands the solar module market and can speak to the quality of the product. When comparing quotes it is essential to remember not all solar module and inverters are created equally. Be sure to understand why one company’s price may be higher than a competitor’s. Installation workmanship is extremely important when it comes to solar installations – always check with past customers to ensure the company is reputable and providing excellent quality installations. If you keep these things in mind you will have a worry free 25+ years of solar energy from your newly installed solar system.
We hope this post has given you the information you need to make the decision to go solar. If you still have questions, feel free to call us at 888.873.9995.