5 Things You Probably Ought To Know Before You Start Dreaming Of Solar Panels

Solar panels are becoming the latest must-have items and it seems like all the cool kids are getting them. Are you thinking about keeping up with the Joneses? You have probably heard how wonderful solar panels are and you might even feel like you’re going to single-handedly save the planet by using them, but there are probably some things you might want to know. They are obviously great and it a perfect world everyone would be getting them installed, but you’re still better educating yourself before you make your final decision.

You won’t go off the grid

Some people think getting solar panels means they will be taken off the grid, but you can relax because it’s not true. You will still be connected, so if the sun decides to hide behind the clouds for a few weeks you will still have power at home. It’s obviously possible to remove yourself from the grid if you harness enough energy all by yourself, but you won’t be able to take advantage of the rebate incentives unless you’re still plugged in.

You don’t need a south facing roof

If anyone tells you the solar panels need to be placed on a roof that faces south-west you can tell them to take a run and jump. In a perfect world your roof would sit facing south-west, but it’s not vital that it does. If any area of your roof gets around 6 hours of sunlight per day you have nothing to worry about. Even if the panels are facing north-east they will still work, though maybe not so good. Of course that is no reason to shy away from getting them fitted.

Don’t forget to insure it

Solar panels aren’t the cheapest things in the world to buy. You might get some money back from the government for having them installed, but they’re certainly not replaceable if they should break. You will need to phone up your insurance company as soon as you have them installed and they will add the cost onto your monthly premium. You might be looking at an extra $10 on top of what you’re paying right now.

They’ll last about 30 years

When you use a lot of electricity you will save more money. Keep this in mind because solar panels last about 30 years, so you have to get your money’s worth. If you live on your own, sit in the dark all night, and wash in cold water it’s unlikely you will save a lot of money. If you have a huge family and your energy bills are getting bigger each month you will end up making your money back on no time. Over the course of 30 years you’ll probably save enough to buy yourself a private jet. Okay, that was maybe a slight exaggeration.

The roof you have affects the cost

Cross your fingers and hope for the best because the roof you have will affect the cost of installation. It’s quite simply because it will take the workmen a lot longer to install if you have certain tiles. Spanish tiles are notorious for bumping up the price because they’re smaller and tricky to deal with. On the other hand, an asphalt shingle roof is a lot easier to work with and it will bring the cost down. If you speak to a few companies before you give someone the go-ahead you can compare costs and get a better deal.

Are you feeling any better?

Hopefully you have learned something new today because a lot of people make rash decisions without fully educating themselves. When you’re spending this much money you owe it to yourself to be less reckless than usual. You’re not just throwing down a few dollars on a mug of coffee here. Let us know in the comments below what you’re thinking because I know you must have something to say.

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This post has been contributed by Ryan Gills, who is an employee at Australian Solar Block, which offers commercial window tinting services. He enjoys expressing his thoughts through his articles and graffiti.


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