How to Clean and Maintain Your Solar Panels

7 Things to Think About Before You Install Solar Power


Solar energy is everywhere. Families, business owners, and entire communities are adopting the technology. The number of systems installed has seen a steady rise around the world. The global solar market grew by nearly 30% in 2017 alone. The increase brought the world’s total capacity to over 400 GW.

There are many benefits to using solar at home. The Connect Electric team wants you to consider the following to ensure that your home is prepared for solar installation.

  • Roof Surface Area

Your roof needs to have enough room to accommodate the number of solar panels required to power your home. If you don’t have enough panels, then your system won’t generate enough power to keep up with consumption.

If there isn’t enough surface area on your roof, you may be able to install a ground-level array. Alternatively, you could try a hybrid setup with part of your energy powered using solar and the rest relying on the grid.

  • Roof Integrity

Your roof needs to be strong enough to support the added weight of solar panels and the wires and equipment they need. If you identify damaged or weak points on your roof, now is the time to repair them. This should be done before installation to preserve structural integrity. 

  • Net Metering

If you plan on hooking up to the grid or using net metering to earn money back, make sure you know what is required for your region. Some areas may have fees you have to pay. You should also find out how long hook up will take so you can plan accordingly.

  • Home Optimization

You should take steps to manage your electricity consumption before installing a solar system. The first step is to replace any old or malfunctioning appliances with energy efficient models. Look for those that can handle your household workload while offering the highest efficiency possible. 

  • Reduced Consumption

Along with buying new energy efficient appliances, you should also take steps to reduce your daily consumption wherever possible. This includes things like only running the dishwasher or laundry when there is a full load and turning down the temperature on your water heater. Turn lights off in unoccupied rooms and install a programmable thermostat to control indoor temperature.

  • Solar Financing Options

The initial cost of installing solar panels goes into the thousands of dollars. Now is a good time to look at your financing options. If you have enough cash to pay outright, then that is the easiest option. Otherwise, you may be able to lease your system or obtain a loan.

Don’t forget to check for local and federal tax incentives that can further offset the cost of your installation.

  • Gutters and Rain Runoff

Anything placed on a roof can interrupt the flow of water into gutters and off the structure. Make sure this is accounted for prior to installation. Talk to your installer to figure out how rain runoff will make it to the ground without pooling or damaging equipment or your home.

Doing your research now can help you plan a smooth, hassle-free installation. Contact Connect Electric if you have questions about what you need to do to switch to solar energy.

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Michael Coghlan