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1. The following five items are important to consider before having solar installed:
Is your house a good candidate for solar? The ideal candidate for solar is a house that has:
• A New/Young Roof
• Minimal Shade
• Few Obstructions
• A South-Facing Roof
2. Panel Types: Another thing to consider is what type of panel you’d like to have installed. There are three main types:
• Thin Film
The technology is still pretty new and developing on this one. Some of these products are being integrated with common building materials such as roof shingles or windows. Ross sees this trend growing and thinks there’s a potential that in 5-10 years, this could be the more standard form of solar.
3. Inverter Types: Solar energy creates DC, or direct-current, power. Our houses use AC, or alternating current. To convert the sun’s energy from DC to AC, the solar panels require an inverter. There are three main types:
• String-inverters/‘Central Inverters
• Power Optimizers
4. Financing: There are three main models that you can look into for payment:
• Own (purchase with cash)
Another Quick Note: With all loans and leases be sure to read the fine print of the agreement with respect to selling your home, and end of lease. You want to make sure they are transferable in the event you sell your home.
5. Warranties: If you purchase your panels, there are a couple types of warranties offered:
• Manufacturer ‘Performance’ Warranties
• Manufacturer ‘Equipment’ Warranties
• Installer Warranties
The good thing about solar is there are very few moving parts, so there are very few items to fail. That being said, make sure you keep the squirrels out with a squirrel/critter guard, they love to chew wires!
In general, before you commit to solar, ask friends, family, and neighbors for reputable solar companies. Do your research online; there is a host of solar quoting companies and lead generation services out there. Make sure you choose one that is financially solid, has a decent company lifespan, and has proper certifications. It varies state by state, but North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners [https://www.nabcep.org/] (NABCEP) certified is a must. Also, I like to see Certified Solar Roofing Professional [http://rci-online.org/wp-content/uploads/2011-08-schehl.pdf] (CSRP) along with some others.
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5 Things You Need to Know About Solar | This Old House: Live