Should You Install Solar on your Home? 5 Key Considerations
We here in Arizona know about the heat and the #1 thing that everyone attributes to our state: the sun. The sun is one of the main causes for the heat here in Arizona. For Arizona homebuyers, the question we always get is; Should I install solar on my home? The reason why many Arizona homebuyers have already bought and installed solar panels is that it can save electricity for the home seller in the future. Some of the factors that home sellers here in our beloved state should consider are below. Here are the 5 Biggest questions that you should ask yourself before ultimately deciding:
1. Can Trees Reduce Output & Savings?
The way that solar panels work is that they need direct sunlight in order for them to be effective and absorb the energy for the electricity. Due to this, if your home has many trees that cover up much sunlight, then the panels may not work as effectively.
So, one of the factors that you will have to consider is whether you should cut the trees and sacrifice your shaded areas in this hot weather or save the energy and money with the panels. There are many benefits of having the solar panels, but if you cut down trees you may be sacrificing the shade of areas that make it somewhat enjoyable to be outside even in the summer.
2. Is my Home Efficient Already?
Sometimes when you are considering adding panels and your home may lack some of the needed efficiency to add more value to your home. You may have bad insulation, broken down vents and old windows or any other bad appliances that may affect your decision. Often those repairs and upgrades are less expensive and more cost-effective than adding solar, so you may reconsider before adding the solar panels to your home.
Also, a home that is already energy-efficient will require fewer solar panels to offset a significant portion of its energy needs.
3. What is the Condition of my Roof?
Looking at your condition of your roof is one of, if not the BIGGEST factor that you have to consider when thinking about getting solar panels. If your roof cannot handle the physicality and weight of the panels, then it may be smarter to opt out of getting them for now until you fix it. New shingles can cost an easy $1,000 to fix the shingles on your roof to hold the weight of the roof.
If the roof will need to be replaced in a few years, it can cost you easily more than the solar panels. If you decide to get the solar panels with a bad roof, it can cost up to $2,000 or more to remove the solar panels to fix it.
4. Should I Get Multiple Estimates Before Deciding?
This is a smart choice that will help you be more cost efficient in the end. ALWAYS obtain various estimates for any kind of home improvement or fixing any issues in your home.
Finding out how different companies install the equipment, what they estimate in utility-cost savings, and what they offer in their warranties, can save home sellers and homeowners thousands of dollars.
Estimates from many different solar panel installation companies also will let you see whether the companies understand the homeowners’ needs or not. Solar panel installation companies should base the size of a rooftop system on how much electricity a particular family uses, not simply install the most solar panels that you can fit on the roof.
5. Can My HOA Stop Me?
HOA or Home Owners Associations can restrict some of the aspects or even visual aspects of your solar panels on your house. Although by law, they cannot prevent the installation of the solar panels, then can still restrict you so be careful and ask them before making the ultimate decision.
Arizona Revised Statutes state that any association rules that essentially prevents solar installations are void and unenforceable to to stop a homeowner from installation.