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Installing solar panels at your home: what you need to consider

Wondering how to install solar panels at home? Solar panels (also known as photovoltaic panels) can be a great way to save money on your home energy bills and help the environment. However, before you go ahead and install them, there are a few key areas you need to consider first. From permission to cost and maintenance, it’s essential to have a plan in place to make sure you get the most out of your solar panels

In this article, we’ll explore some of those crucial considerations so you can go ahead and install your solar panels with confidence.

Considerations when installing solar panels

As with any home renovation, you want to make sure you can afford your solar panels, that you know the installation process, and that you can keep them in top condition after installation.

So, where to start?

Review your home’s energy efficiency

If you’re wondering how to install solar panels at home, one of the first things you should do is review your home’s energy efficiency. Solar panels are a great way to save money on your energy bill, but they’re not right for everyone. In order to get the most out of your solar panel investment, you need to make sure that your home is as energy-efficient as possible. Why generate large quantities of solar power if it’s just going to seep out of damaged windows?

There are a number of ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency, and many of them are relatively simple and inexpensive. For example, you can install weatherstripping around doors and windows, seal any gaps in your insulation, and upgrade to more efficient light bulbs. By taking these steps, you can make sure that your solar panels will be able to offset a larger portion of your energy use, resulting in greater savings.

Space and roof area: how much do you have?

Solar panels are an effective way to harness the sun’s rays but they take up a lot of space. Do you have the necessary square footage on your roof to get good use of your panels?

It’s essential to install solar panels in an open, sunny area in order to work effectively. If you have a small yard or live in an urban area, you may not have enough space for solar panels. In addition, solar panels can be quite bulky and may not be appropriate for all homes. If you’re unsure about whether solar panels would be a good fit for your home, it’s always a good idea to consult with a professional solar panel installer. They can help you assess your needs and figure out the best way to proceed.

Assess the space you have and decide whether your property is suitable for solar panel installation.

Permission

Another area to check out before installing solar panels is whether or not you need planning permission.

In most cases, solar panel installation is considered a “minor home improvement,” and therefore you won’t require planning permission. However, there are some exceptions. For example, if you live in a conservation area or listed building, you may need to apply for planning permission before proceeding with the installation. Additionally, consider whether your solar panels will be visible from the street may. If so, they may also require planning permission. 

If you’re unsure whether or not you need planning permission for your solar panel installation, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and submit an application before proceeding.

Cost and financing

Have you researched how much solar panels cost? If not, this is a very important step to take. After all, although solar panels are an increasingly popular way to save on energy costs, they are also a significant investment. 

The price of solar panels varies depending on the type of solar panel you go for, the size you and coverage you need, and the brand you select. The more complex the project or layout of your roof, the more you may need to spend. 

You may also find that costs vary across the country, so it’s important to compare prices in your local area.

By researching the cost of solar panels before installation, you can ensure that you are getting the best value for your money. Researching ahead of time will also allow you to save up and budget accordingly. 

Solar panel providers

With so many solar panel providers out there, how do you choose the right one for your home installation?

The first step is to look for those who stock the size and type of solar panel you need. Do you want mono-crystalline or thin-film, for example?

You’ll also benefit from taking some time to look at reviews and compare customer satisfaction ratings. Once you’ve narrowed down your options, contact each provider to get a quote for your solar panels. 

When you’re comparing quotes, be sure to ask about the quality of the solar panels being installed, the team’s experience, and the warranty on offer. It’s also important to make sure that the quote includes all permits and fees associated with the solar panel installation itself. By taking the time to do your research, you can be confident that you’re choosing the best solar panel provider for your home installation.

Types of solar panel installation

There are two main types of solar panels: roof-integrated panels and on-roof panels. Roof-integrated panels are considered the easiest to install. 

On-roof panels, on the other hand, require a bit more work. First, you’ll need to install solar panel mounts on your roof. Then, you’ll need to attach the solar panels to the mounts. The biggest advantage of on-roof solar panels is that they’re less likely to be damaged in a severe weather event. However, they do require more initial work to install.

The installation process

It might be tempting to install your solar panels yourself, however, it can be a dangerous process. Instead, it’s best to hire a professional who has the required safety training and accreditation. 

During the installation process, your contractor will:

  1. Erect scaffolding to safely reach the roof
  2. Install solar panel mounts (for on-roof panels), angling them 18 – 36 degrees for maximum sun exposure
  3. Install the solar panels on the mounts
  4. Install the electrical wiring. (It’s vital to turn the property’s electricity supply off during this step).
  5. Install a solar inverter (this changes the direct current (DC) electricity the solar panels capture into alternating current (AC)
  6. Connect the solar inverter to the solar battery
  7. Connect the solar inverter to the consumer unit
  8. Carry out a test run

Solar panel installation

Maintenance

On the whole, solar panels require very little maintenance after installation. However, it’s important to check regularly that there aren’t any leaves, dirt or other debris covering them as this will block the panels from absorbing sunlight properly.

You can wash the panel surfaces with water – just make sure you do so in the morning or evening, not during the middle of the day when they’ll be very hot. Spraying cold water on hot solar panels can damage them.

How long does it take to install solar panels?

The solar panel installation process generally takes two to four days. This timeframe can be affected by a number of factors, such as the size and location of the solar array, weather conditions, and the availability of solar equipment and trained personnel. 

To ensure a smooth and efficient solar panel installation, it is important to work with a reputable solar installer who has experience with your particular solar project. 

Once the solar panels are in place, they will need to be connected to the electrical grid. This process typically takes another one to two days. In total, then, it typically takes between three and six days to install solar panels.

Find affordable solar panels and solar panel installation services with SpotDif

Now you know how to install solar panels at home, why not explore what solar panel providers and installation companies are available in your area? Search with SpotDif to find excellent quality solar panels at competitive prices.

Overview

Luke Sartain is a Specialist in Home & Business Services for Spotdif. He has a passion for finding the best business deals in the UK and helping people save money on their home services. Luke is also a creative writer, and he enjoys writing short stories in his spare time.

He’s also got a wealth of knowledge when it comes to home deals – so if you’re looking for a new property, or want to renovate your current one, Luke is your man! He’s also experienced in business services, so whatever you need help with, he’s your go-to guy.

He has a passion for finding the best business deals in the UK and helping homeowners get the best home deals. Luke is also a creative thinker, and he brings this creativity to his work with Spotdif, where he helps businesses find the best services at the best prices.

Author:

Luke Sartain

Specialist in Home & Business Services

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