Solar panels do more than just make a home eco-friendly. When you become sustainable with solar panel energy, you also cut down on your home energy costs. Find out just how many solar panels you actually need to power up your home based on the square footage. That way you can maximize your building or remodeling budget while getting the most out of your solar panels.
Geolocation and Weather
The first factor you want to consider when installing solar panels is the location of your home. The Solar Energy Industries Association reports that the top states to receive the most solar performance include:
- New Mexico
New Mexico receives 1,800 kW annually compared to Hawaii that gets 1,600 kW a year from the sun. If you live in these states, then you may be more economical in how many you install. However, if you live in one of the states with the least amount of sun—Alaska, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, and Washington—then you will want to look at installing solar panels to adapt to less solar performance.
Additional Factors for Installing Solar Panels
You also need to account for the average sunshine, referred to as insolation, as well as how much electricity your household uses each month and seasonally. Other factors that are at play here are the outside temperature and wind speed. For a home in South Dakota, for example, where there is a lot of direct sun in the summer, there are also shorter days and consistent winds of 20 mph year-round. This would need to be considered when deciding how many solar panels you need for a house in this territory. The side of the house that you install the homes—north, south, east, and west—is also a factor.
Solar Panel Count
The average number of solar panels used to cover homes is 16 panels according to Networx. That is the amount recommended for 1,500 sq. ft. of residential space. This also accounts for a family of four who uses their solar panels for electricity and heating water. If you are looking for solar energy to heat your home, especially in a colder Midwestern or Northern state, you will need to increase that energy input.
Cost Considerations for Solar Panels
When choosing solar panels for your residential project, you want to factor in:
- The initial cost for the solar panels
- Installation costs
- Estimated maintenance and repairs
- Amount of money spent on energy monthly
Accordingly, you can expect to save money each month on your energy expenses. But you must be aware of how much you spend on energy before you install solar panels. This way you can determine if you are truly saving money on electricity or need to upgrade your solar panels to provide more power. You also want to factor in how much it will cost to pay for the installation.
On average, Networx reports you will spend approximately seven years paying for the costs of installation. However, in some cities and states, the energy companies allow you to sell your excess solar energy for credits that can help reduce your electricity expenses. Finally, take advantage of any tax credits or refunds you can get to help cut back on energy costs.
If you have further questions about installing solar panels on your home or business or how you can save money with solar, the best thing you can do is explore your solar power options with a qualified professional. Contact HomePro Solutions today. We have the technical know-how and customer service expertise necessary to ensure that every solar power project is a success.