When you sell homes every day, no one needs to tell you what a bonus green energy-saving items are. Everyone is concerned with maximizing energy efficiency, both to save costs and to minimize environmental concerns. Adding solar energy to a home is a great way to do both.
Solar panels can cut down on the carbon dioxide a home uses by nearly 36,000 pounds annually. Since carbon dioxide emissions are the prime contributor to greenhouse gases and global warming, that’s a green benefit to be proud of. It makes installing solar panels the environmental equivalent of planting 88 trees.
You should do some pre-planning to make sure solar energy will fit into your current environment, needs and budget. Here are 10 questions to ask about making your home solar.
1. How much sun can your solar panels receive? Generally, solar energy panels need sun from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day. This does not mean you need bright sunshine, however. It means sunlight should be able to hit your panels between these hours. Does a chimney block part of the available roof space? Do trees? Do other buildings? If so, have a solar panel installer give you an estimate of whether your roof is a good candidate for solar power.
Solar panels receive sun not only from the sky, but also from insolation — the degree of solar radiation the ground receives during a given span of time. This varies according to region. A solar installer will be able to give you an estimate.
2. How much roof space is available for panels? If the roof already has roof vents or skylights, there may not be room for the number of panels needed to give you significant energy. In addition to figuring costs, an estimate can be helpful to determine if your roof is suitable for solar panel installation.
3. What types of shingles do you have? Solar panels are most commonly used on asphalt or composite shingles. If you have other types — wood, Spanish tile or metal — it is still possible to place solar panels on them, but it may be more expensive. Continue reading “What You Should Know about Adding Solar Energy to Your Home”