Installing Solar Panels – Pros and Cons

If you are looking for ways to be environmentally conscious, installing solar panels in your home might be a good start. While upfront costs may be high, using solar energy can be a way to save on energy expenses in the long run. Using solar power will lower your electricity bills, earn tax incentives and add value to your home because the panels are exempt from property taxes.

Consider these advantages of using solar energy when deciding if installing solar panels makes sense for you.

Energy independenceinfographic about how solar panels work

The sun is an infinite source of energy, unlike coal and natural gas, and solar panels can be installed practically anywhere. Using solar panels allows you to reduce dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuels, leading to a more stable and predictable energy bill, especially during times when the demand for energy is high.

Reduced electricity bills

Over a 20-year period, you can save from $10,000 to $30,000, depending on where you live, electricity usage and the size of your home. Unlike paying traditional utility bills, paying off a solar panel system makes you money on the investment. You can also sell solar energy back to the grid, allowing you to earn while you save.

Federal and state tax benefits

The government will offer you benefits when you install solar panels in your home, potentially allowing you to claim 30 percent of the installation costs, with benefits that vary state to state.

Reduce your carbon footprint

Since solar energy generates power without giving off any dangerous emissions, the energy produced from solar panels is clean. It doesn’t emit greenhouse gases. For examples the average American home produces 14,920 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. A family who installs solar panels can reduce its carbon footprint by more than 3,000 pounds.

Longevity with little maintenance

With most systems lasting for more than years, solar panels and equipment require little maintenance. Additionally solar energy is always improving, so a panel you installed last year is even better today.

 

While there are many benefits to using solar power, there are also disadvantages to consider. Some disadvantages include:

Expensive initial costs

You will experience reduced electric bills when using solar panels, but there are initial costs for the equipment and installation. This could add up to more than $20,000. Also, any devices that you run on DC currents will be more expensive to power directly.

Inability to take it if you move

Once panels are installed it is nearly impossible to transport to another location. Even transferring PV solar panels is never advised. It would have to be  dismantled from your roof and retrofitted to your new property, most likely causing extensive damage.

Limitations based on your surroundings

The solar energy industry continues to grow, but most companies serve a particular geographic region or state. If you live in an area outside of a solar energy company’s coverage area, you’re out of luck. Additionally, if you live in a rural area and far away from your solar provider, you could have trouble reaching customer services when you need assistance.

Weather dependence

To power your solar panels you need the sun. If you live in a cloudy area or have days of storms, this will negatively impact how the system runs. If your region has a dark winter season, your system will likely be less productive at that time.

Inconvenience in areas with limited space

You will need a decent size space to install a solar system and have it run smoothly.  Solar panels might be inconvenient in inner cities and other areas with limited space. If your roof is small (less than about 100 square feet of roof for every 1 kW of panels) you might not have the space for all the solar panels that you need to power your house.

Advantages and disadvantages of installing solar panels seem to have a tradeoff. Solar panel technology isn’t perfect, but it is constantly improving. You’ll get a return on your investment, but it takes a while. Energy produced from solar panels is plentiful, clean and renewable, but the infrastructure that manufactures and delivers them leaves its own carbon footprint.

When you understand how solar panels work and what are the best panels for your home, you will need to talk to a solar energy company. Talk to them about what makes the most sense for your home and region.

If you’re looking for professional guidance about energy savings, contact Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing, & Electrical at 800.461.3010.