I’ve spent my last few blogs explaining and expounding upon solar technology and how you might go green and save some green in the process. Now, I’d like to take a few minutes to help you examine and explore your property to decide if solar is something you should consider.
Solar can be expensive. And cost is always the first objection people have to solar energy. Scientific advances are reducing the cost of this technology (think thin film!) and making its use realistic. There also are subsidy programs, tax initiatives, and rebate incentives that can reduce the cost of purchasing and installing a residential solar system by more than half!
Another factor you’ll need to consider is location. We’re lucky here in sunny North Carolina, as fog and rain aren’t a problem for green-thinking homeowners here – if you lived in the Pacific Northwest, that’d be another story! Solar panels will still produce power on overcast days but not as much.
Your property also will help you make (or break) the solar decision. If buildings or trees limit your property’s access to the sun, solar is probably not a good choice for you. You’ll also need some space for solar panels (or thin film). Powering a house with solar requires a large, unobstructed area that is relatively flat or angled in a direction where sunlight hits it for five hours per day or more.
You roof is another big factor. Since the roof is where a solar system is most likely to be installed, roof repairs can be more complicated…and more expensive. The best way to avoid roofing expenses is for your roof to be in good repair before installing a solar power system. Many homeowners decide to go solar when roofs need to be replaced – combining two jobs for maximum effect and efficiency. At a minimum, your roof should be in good shape and less than seven years old if you’re considering adding a solar power array.
Some roofing materials adapt better than others to the installation of a solar array, especially when we’re talking about appearance. If you’ve got a beautiful Spanish tile roof, solar is not going to be an option – it’ll be an eyesore. But for traditional asphalt shingle roofs, solar technologies blend well (especially thin film).
So, solar energy is flawless, but it’s an attractive option to consider and it certainly will make any home for sale sand out from the crowd!