Page 14 - Hawaii Renovation - May 31, 2020
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 5 steps to getting started with solar panels
With more Ameri- cans “going green” than ever
before, you’ve probably al- ready started thinking about doing it yourself. Perhaps you’ve increased your recy- cling efforts, started using more Energy Star appliances and light bulbs or upgraded to other greener technology options. Chances are, you also may be thinking about using solar energy to power your home, but don’t know where to start.
It may be easier than you think to have solar panels installed in your home. Ac- cording to residential solar experts, here are the steps involved in going solar.
Because putting solar pan- els on your home involves a roof installation, your first step should be checking the condition of your roof to see if you may need any repairs or if you must replace your roof before installation. Hav- ing a solid foundation for so- lar panels is crucial to avoid problems down the road. The usable life of most solar equipment exceeds 20 years, so proactively making repairs on roofs can save headaches.
Research different solar module technology types and warranties. To the un- trained eye most solar mod- ules look alike, but there are differences in the cells (the engine of the solar mod- ules) that impact efficiency. Depending on your home’s energy usage and the avail- able space you have to install the panels (ideally on an un- shaded south or southwest facing roof), this may influ- ence whether you need high- efficiency solar panels. Also research not just upfront in- stallation costs, but the value
of the energy produced by the array during the life of the system. Saving 5 percent on installation costs today might reduce savings by 10 percent or more over the lifetime of your solar installation.
Research reputable com- panies in your area so you’ll be confident that your in- stallation is done correctly. Be wary of salespeople who show up at your door trying to persuade you to make an instant decision. Reputable installation companies will be registered with organiza- tions such as the Better Busi- ness Bureau, have credentials from third party organiza- tions like NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners), or are certified installer partners of the manufacturers they represent. Get installation quotes from a few compa- nies so you can compare costs. An installer will want to visit your home to assess the state and orientation of your roof and to see how much shade it gets. The in- stallation company will also recommend solar and energy storage products, based on your budget and needs.
Look for efficient, durable solar panels from a company you already know and trust. LG NeON 2 solar panels with Cello Technology have a double-sided solar cell structure, enabling them to capture light and generate energy from both the front and back. When the angle of light is lower during mornings and evenings — times home- owners are most likely to be home — LG NeON 2 solar panels will generate more energy than others that only capture light from the front. These solar panels provide the highest possible value for budget-conscious cus- tomers and are backed by an industry leading 25-year product and performance warranty. High-quality so- lar panels like these are low maintenance and have a very low failure rate.
Most solar installations take one to three days to complete, depending on your situation. Your instal- lation company will ensure that electrical wiring is in- stalled to connect the gen-
eral power system to your electrical panel and will pre- pare your roof so that rack- ing may be attached. Once the panels are set in place, inverters are then connect- ed to the panels. Your solar panel installation may need to be inspected by your local government as well as your electrical company, to be sure that everything is cor- rectly wired and installed to meet electrical codes and ensure the safety of the in-
stallation. Once the inspec- tions are completed (which can take longer depending on your area), your solar sys- tem can go live.
Having solar panels in- stalled may seem like a huge undertaking, but in reality it will be well worth it in terms of the cost savings on your household electricity bills and the positive impact it will have on the environment and will increase the value of your home. A 2019 study by Zillow
shows that homes with solar sell on average 4.1 percent higher than homes without on-site solar.
Make sure you choose an installation company and solar products that are high quality from a brand you trust, and your project will be successful. Then all you need to do is let the sun love your home.
This article is courtesy of Brandpoint.

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