8 Common Mistakes Made During Solar Installation

Are you hoping to take a greener approach to energy use and avoid contributing to air pollution? Then you’re probably looking at installing solar panels. Solar energy is a renewable energy source that can save you money on your utility bills each year while reducing your carbon footprint.

But you’ll need to be cautious when it comes to solar installation. Read on to learn about eight common mistakes!

  • 1. Picking the Wrong Type of Panels

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is going with panels that don’t work for your situation. It pays to have a qualified professional skilled at evaluating your roof for panels first. They can give you a better sense of what will work given your home’s size and your budget.

For instance, they might recommend monocrystalline panels. These panels are a good middle-ground choice for homes. They offer more efficiency than polycrystalline panels, which are slightly cheaper. 

A professional can help you steer clear of cheaper panels that aren’t meant for homes. You’ll also want to research panel size and ask an expert for perspective. And know that you can save money by going with less well-known brands without compromising on quality. 

  • 2. Choosing the Wrong Size

It’s important to choose a solar system that suits the size of your home. If you undersize your selection, for instance, you won’t see the results you’re hoping for. You might not get enough power. 

On the other side of the spectrum, it’s possible to go with a system that’s too big, too. You could end up with more energy than you need. And you might not have a utility company that’s willing to buy the extra solar power.

Always check to ensure that your local company will buy excess energy. Find out if there’s a limit to what they’ll buy, too. If you’re always clocking beyond their limit, that could be a blow to your budget.

  • 3. Failing to Do Electrical Work

Before installing solar panels, you’ll need to do some electrical work. A skilled electrician should handle this since there will be some intricate wiring needs. They’ll choose wires that have the right gauge for the job. 

Electricians will need to set up your system so it can convert direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) electricity. That’s because solar panels produce DC energy. Not doing this properly could lead to electrical problems and inefficient energy production.

  • 4. Not Checking Roof Angles

You’ll need to account for the unique angles of your roof with solar panels. If you don’t do this, it’s easy to end up with panels that don’t fit. Or you won’t be able to fit as many panels on your roof as you originally thought. 

Additionally, you’ll want to install panels on a roof that is in good shape. Consider that solar panels will usually last over two decades. If your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan, you will want to replace or repair it first. 

Weak roofs could lead to damaged panels. Or the roof might not be able to handle the weight of the panels. Make sure you hire a professional who will check your roof’s integrity before moving forward with installation. 

  • 5. Mishandling Solar Panels

Solar panels can be fragile items to install. There’s always a risk of them cracking. So, knowing how to lift them onto the roof is critical. 

Workers should use swing or ladder hoists to lift panels to the roof. Otherwise, cranes that are attached to trucks will work, as well. 

No one should carry solar panels onto a roof by hand using a ladder. This is extremely dangerous.

On windy days, the wind could lift the panels and cause injuries or damage. And it’s too easy for a worker to lose their balance. Steer clear of installation companies that avoid following safety rules. 

  • 6. Using a Distant Installation Company

When it comes to solar panel installation, it’s always best to go local. Choosing an installation company that operates an hour or more away from your home is risky. 

For starters, traveling longer distances with panels increases the risk of damage. Bumpy roads or debris can cause cracks. Try to stick with companies that source their panels from locations that aren’t thousands of miles away.

With a local company, you’ll also be able to schedule maintenance or repairs more easily. And if you ever have questions or need an inspection, it will be much easier to access a local company. Regardless of what company does the installation work, be clear on the warranty terms. 

  • 7. Trying a DIY Installation

Yes, you can often save money by installing things yourself. While this may be doable with towel racks and shelves, it doesn’t apply to solar panels. If anything, you can do more damage when you try to take on this task yourself. 

It’s worth it to pay the labor costs to have a professional company handle the installation. They’ll have the appropriate safety gear and understand what permits are necessary. 

  • 8. Forgetting to Look at Incentives

Finally, when you’re in the market for solar energy, don’t forget to look for incentives. You could trim thousands of dollars off your final cost. 

The Solar Tax Credit enables buyers to get 30% of their installation cost deducted from income taxes. That installation cost also includes things like shipping and labor. This federal tax perk is meant to encourage more people to look into adding solar energy to their homes to help reduce their carbon footprint. 

Some state programs can add to the savings, as well. Even local utility programs may have incentives. It’s always smart to check out all options to help pare down your expenses!

  • Do Solar Installation the Right Way

Solar installation can be an excellent way to trim utility bills while doing something positive for the environment. But be sure to look into different types of solar panels, roof angles, and electrical work before beginning installation. Additionally, check for incentives and utility company energy-buying policies to find out how your finances will be affected. 

Find more ways to make your home eco-friendly. Check back soon for new articles!