Solar panels are an awesome home addition. Solar panels can cut down on your electrical usage, increase your home's value, and even help the environment. So, it makes sense that you'd be eager to install panels to your home. However, you don't want to move too swiftly. There are critical steps you must take before you install panels to your home to ensure they're safe and effective.
Schedule a Structural Inspection
Do not install solar panels without a structural inspection. A structural inspection is intended to assess the condition of your home's structure, in this instance, the roof. The inspector will mainly be assessing whether your roof can support the weight of the panels.
While the panels themselves are not incredibly heavy, there are bracket systems and anchors that must also be installed to support the panels. If you fail to perform the inspection and your roof cannot support its weight, you will experience serious damage that leaves your home inhabitable for a period.
Perform an Energy Audit
Solar panels are a great way to minimize your energy burden; however, it takes a complete overhaul to truly experience the benefits of the installation. The first thing you need to do is to perform an energy audit. An energy audit will highlight areas in your home in which you can improve your efficiency.
For example, if your windows are old, they will allow air from the outside to flow into your home and allow the climate-controlled air from the outside to escape. Any benefit you could experience from the solar panels will flow right through these windows. The better option is to repair the window before you install the panels.
Weigh Purchase Options
You typically have two options when it comes to solar panels. You can purchase the panels, or you can lease them. Neither option is better than the other but is instead a selection you should make based on your financial situation. When you buy the panels, you pay a larger fee upfront. However, you only pay for the electricity you use.
When you lease panels, you don't have to make an upfront investment. However, you will have to pay a regular leasing fee, and you have to pay a predetermined rate for the electricity that you use. Think about both the long and short-term costs to make up your mind.
Follow these tips to ensure your installation is performed without issue. Contact a structural inspection company like Donofrio & Associates as soon as possible to get started with your setup.