Renewable energy technologies like solar panels are becoming widely available, allowing more homeowners to adopt environmentally-friendly lifestyles. Before installing new panels, however, you must consider a multitude of factors, including the placement of your home, your typical energy usage and your budget.
If you’re ready to go solar, connect with us at Big Mountain Heating & Air Conditioning! Our team can determine the precise design and positioning that best suits your home. Alternatively, if you’re still uncertain, read on to learn more about when and where solar panels are most effective.
How Do Solar Panels Work?
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, photovoltaic (or PV) cells are the most common solar technology for residential homes. These are the dark blue and white panels you’ve likely seen on neighborhood rooftops.
Though the intricacies of PV energy are quite complex, these cells essentially absorb sunlight to produce an electrical current. This electricity can then enter and power your home.
How Long Do Solar Panels Last?
When properly maintained, solar panels last at least 25 years. In that amount of time, you can potentially save thousands on energy bills! These savings, of course, depending on where you place PV cells.
Though solar panels can function in practically any climate, not all homes are ideally positioned. Panels typically yield the most energy on south-facing roofs away from shade. They may also work on front lawns if a homeowner’s roof is not appropriately sloped.
All that being said, only a professional can determine if PV technology suits your circumstances. If you’re hoping to install solar panels in Sacramento, call a nearby energy technician for personalized advice.
Pros and Cons of Solar Panels
Now that you understand the basics of going solar, there are some advantages and disadvantages you should consider before converting to renewable energy:
Minimal environmental impact: Sunlight is 100% renewable, meaning you’ll no longer rely on more environmentally damaging energy sources. Additionally, panels do not produce air pollution or greenhouse gases when generating power.
Limited maintenance costs: PV cells are fairly easy to keep clean. Only one or two maintenance appointments a year should do the trick. Plus, panels do not have any moving parts, meaning the risk of typical wear-and-tear is greatly reduced.
Long-term energy savings: As previously mentioned, solar panels can save you thousands of dollars over the years. Plus, they’re incredibly durable, meaning you won’t have to reinstall PV cells for at least a few decades.
Boosted resale value: The appeal of renewable energy is growing, meaning solar-equipped houses are more attractive to buyers. In fact, a Berkeley Lab study once found panels can boost a home’s value by $15,000.
Depends on outdoor conditions: Solar energy’s biggest downfall is its reliance on strong lighting and calm weather. A panel system’s effectiveness drops in cloudy conditions and vanishes entirely at nighttime.
Sensitive placement: Only certain homes are appropriately positioned for PV cells. Plus, oftentimes systems are placed on rooftops, meaning your home needs a strong, relatively new roof for panel installation.
Upfront costs: It’s hard to overlook the initial price tag of installation. Solar energy may not be realistic for families working on a low budget. However, it’s important to consider how much money panels can save in the long run.
Requires space: Finally, solar panels demand lots of space. Some homeowners may find bulky PV cells unattractive, especially if they’re clearly visible on their lawn or roof.
Installing Solar Panels in Sacramento
For many California families, the pros of solar energy far outweigh the cons. If you’re ready to begin your renewable energy journey, request a service appointment with Big Mountain Heating & Air Conditioning today.
Our experienced, certified technicians will consider every factor — from your home’s location to your aesthetic preferences — to design the perfect paneling system.