Going green is a new trend and if you’re looking to cut down cost, installing the solar panels including the entire system on your own can reduce your cost by 10%. So, the question here is, can you install solar panels yourself? It is not as simple as fixing a light bulb or swapping the water filtration system. There are some major drawbacks to doing it all on your own along with the benefits, so let’s get right into it.
In this new DIY era, there is nothing you cannot build or fix yourself. However, some projects are better off on the hands of a professional and solar panel installation is one of those projects.
But if you are up for the task, here is a list of things you must know before getting into it.
Factors to Consider before Solar Panels Installation Process
You may be able to set up a solar panel to the side of your RV or shed but a whole home solar installation is a much bigger mountain to climb. Here is a list of things you must consider before attempting to install a solar panel system yourself.
Planning and Placement
The most important factor in installing a solar panel is planning. You must make sure you place it in a proper direction to ensure you get the most out of your solar panels. It is also essential that you have an understanding of how solar panels work and store energy.
Also, you must identify what size solar panel will be best for your household based on usage and the weight your roof can bear. You should also figure out the right angle tilts to allow it to get maximum sunlight.
If you are unable to get the placement correct, you will not save as much in the long run.
To install your own solar system, you require experience with high-voltage wiring. You are prone to severe injury in this process. Incorrect wiring can blow your inverter, create problems in your fuse box, and in worst cases, even start a fire.
Most states require you to be professionally certified before indulging in such intense electric work. You need to have a knowledge of the local grid specifications and existing wiring of your residence. A professional solar panel installer can understand your system requirements better and install it in a way that is compatible with your grid and residence.
The local power company in your area can help you understand all the additional guidelines you must follow for proper installation. You might need to get permission from the city planning departments and municipalities.
The main benefit of getting a panel installed by a professional is that you get a warranty just in case if anything breaks or malfunctions.
The materials used, angle, age, and size of your roof are some of the important factors to keep in mind when you are installing a solar system on your roof. The solar panels can easily last you for a few decades. So, if your roof is already older than two decades, you should get your roof inspected before the installation process.
How to Know What Type of Solar Panels to Buy?
There are various types of solar panels available in the market. Some are designed for smaller space, some with higher efficiency rate, some have thin-film while the rest vary in price rates.
In order to determine the best solar panel system, you can start by monitoring the total amount of energy consumption. It can give you an idea of the size of the panel you’ll need and its cost. However, you need to note that a higher price doesn’t ensure high effectiveness.
Where Should You Install the Solar Panels?
It depends on the type of solar system you decide to purchase. Mostly, homeowners mount the panels on the roof because it saves a lot of space and allows better contact with the sun’s rays. But in case if your roof doesn’t offer much space or falls under the shade of large trees, you can install the solar panels in your yard instead.
Steps for DIY Solar Panels Installation
- The size and design of your panel must match your energy needs.
- Purchase all the necessary equipment like inverters, solar panels, racking.
- Install the mounts or racking for the panels.
- Connect all the panels to the racking equipment.
- Install solar inverter.
When it comes to mounting an expensive system, you must let the professionals take care of it. Some of the solar installers have been in business for many years. They have the required experience and proper equipment to install solar panels safely.
Your solar installer will take care of all the permits and required applications you need to submit. They have a stronger understanding of all the financial incentives for solar in your location.
The bigger the system the better, because the cost per watt goes down when your system grows. It provides you with a higher annual yield on your investment.
There are two ways in which you can install a panel for your household:
Buy the solar kit and get a licensed contractor to install the system.
Buy the solar kit and mount the system yourself.
If the system is installed improperly, it is going to cost you even more in the long-run. You need a proper angle to maximize the savings and functionality in your house. Solar panel installation needs advanced wiring techniques and you must ensure that your roof is strong enough to handle the weight of the system.