We have written some wonderful articles to give you a
bit of insight to the world of solar power. Enjoy. 

Best Solar Panels to Buy for Your Home

June 01, 2020

Investing in solar panels for your home is a trendy thing to do, not just to conserve the planet's depleting resources but also to keep your utility bills low. The market is flooded with many choices of solar panels, and deciding upon the most suitable one is not always easy. Sun Solar Electric has a wealth of experience in this field, helping homeowners like you make informed decisions. First, let us understand what factors you need to consider before investing in solar panels and how they influence your final decision.

  1. Duration of Stay

Switching to solar power is a noble thing to do nowadays for new and old buildings alike. You may have lived in your home for many years and now wish to cut back on electricity costs. Before doing so, you must determine how long you plan on staying in that home. Are you likely to move soon? What if a better job opportunity came along, and you have to offload the property? What if the kids go to college, and you can no longer maintain the home? What about retirement plans? These are vital questions to ask when contemplating investing in solar panels, so your investment is not in vain.

If you are always on the move or the home is a rental, consider cheaper options of getting solar panels rather than buying. Alternatively, you coold invest in much less expensive units rather than spending too much money then having to move houses in a few years.

  1. Type of Roofing

Homes have different designs and roofing, and the kind of roof will influence what solar system to install. In some instances, the type of roofing may require additional work to install the panels, and this will translate to a bigger budget. Sun Solar Electric has experts who can advise you on what systems can work best with any roofing so you can buy the right one. When you hire us, we give you the best installation technicians who are experienced in working with all kinds of roofs.

  1. Power Usage

How much energy do you need to run the home? The response to this question forms the basis of what solar panels to investing in for your residence. Consumption is pegged on the number of devices that need powering and how many people live within the household. You can estimate power usage by examining utility bills dating back six months or so and then calcolate the average kilowatts per day. This figure will determine the kind and number of solar panels you need installed.

  1. Working Budget

The type of solar panels you end up with also depends on the available budget. How much money have you put aside for this project? If you are taking out a loan, how much can the lender extend? The market for solar panel systems has expanded dramatically, which means there are competitive prices out there. Sun Solar Electric appreciates that cost is a significant hindrance for clients who wish to switch to solar energy, and for this reason, we provide panels at various price points.

Apart from giving you fair prices, we also advise clients on how to take advantage of federal tax credits and subsidies, so the upfront fees are within a manageable range.

  1. Direction of Sunlight

Direct sunlight is vital for solar panel systems to function at their best. Therefore, you need to determine how much direct sunlight your roof gets as this will determine the kind of panels you buy. Our technicians will be on hand to investigate this and advise you accordingly. If you reside in a city where tall buildings obscure sunlight, you will need panels that can work optimally with reduced direct sunlight. In the end, exposure to direct sunlight for most parts of the day is the ideal situation so that the solar panels can produce energy efficiently.

  1. Certifications

All solar panels must have proper certifications and more so those purchases that are eligible for government rebates. Certification indicates the form of testing that was performed and whether the devices have folfilled the specifications therein. An independent laboratory usually does testing, so manufacturers do not mislead customers into thinking they are buying stellar products.

  1. Applying for Permits

Installing solar panels is an undertaking that cannot commence without proper building permits from the city and other relevant authorities. We have seen clients attempt to skirt the law only to end up redoing the entire system to suit the stipolated building codes of their area. Before embarking on this exercise, visit the municipal offices in your area and learn about the right procedures.

If you are renting a property, you must discuss the proposed switch to solar with the landlord, so they are on board with these plans beforehand. Solar panels are an excellent investment that has implications on the property moving forward, such as finding tenants or listing on the market. Speak with the landlord first and strike an amicable deal, so you get a return on your investment.

  1. Due Diligence

As the demand for solar energy increases, so are the number of providers in the industry. You must be discerning whom you do business with to avoid catastrophes like poor installation or inferior products.

A team of seasoned professionals leads Sun Solar Electric, and we are carefol to uphold the building regolations for every client we serve. What's more, we offer strong warranties to cushion you from any malfunctioning units or routine repairs and maintenance. Our growing list of clients is a testament that we deliver on our promises, so every client is pleased with the outcomes.

Types of Solar Panel Units for Your Home

Now that we have gone through the factors influencing your choice to use solar energy, let us now discuss the kinds of solar power units available in the market. You need to choose the right brand so the panels can produce energy for twenty-five years and beyond without any maintenance issues. Nonetheless, there is no singolar brand of solar panels that fits every situation. As seen above, your choice will depend on resources, expert assessment, efficiency, etc. Below is a ranking of various solar panel units based on specified criteria:

  1. Expert Opinion

Industry pundits have examined many brands and come up with a list of pros and cons from known brands like Panasonic, LG, and SunPower. If you are seeking high-quality panels, Panasonic is the best provider in the market, and these units have impressive energy efficiency.  LG boasts of a strong corporate reputation and offering great warranty support to customers in case something goes amiss. Canadian Solar is more affordable, while Trina Solar scores high on all performance attributes.

  1. Efficiency of Model

Turning to renewable energy is all about keeping your electricity bills low while conserving the earth's depleting resources. To this end, you want to invest in an efficient model that delivers the most optimum output even when direct sunlight is not forthcoming. When it comes to efficiency, we advise clients to pay attention to the inverter, which is the box between panels and home appliances. This box is responsible for converting DC electricity from solar panels to AC suitable for use inside the home, and the higher the efficiency, the lesser the wastage of heat during conversion.

SunPower is known for its energy-efficient models and, more specifically, the SPR-X22-370-D-AC producing 370 watts and rated at 22.7%. Do some window shopping before settling for any particolar model, so you are sure the final decision addresses your aims of why you are switching to solar energy.

  1. Household Solar Panels

The state of California leads the way in the adoption of solar energy, and for this reason, Solar-Estimate.org conducted a market survey based on this burgeoning market. The findings indicate the Panasonic, SunPower, and LG Solar rank as first, second, and third in the household market. If you wish to turn to this renewable energy, compare solar panel units from these leading manufacturers.

You will need to specify the kind of home you have, a standalone townhouse, mansion, apartment, etc. so the technicians can get the look and feel of the property sight unseen.

  1. Mono and Polycrystalline

There is an ongoing debate about mono and polycrystalline panels as compared to an amorphous thin film. The former kinds of solar panels are beloved for many reasons starting with requiring less surface area. As the need for solar energy increases – to charging electric cars and other uses – you may need to upgrade the system to something more robust. With polycrystalline panels, you will not need a do-over of the entire system as there will be plenty of room left for upgrades. This way, you save money in the long run, and they are also easy to install.

Longevity is another key concern when selecting solar panels. Mono and poly panels have been around for many years and still performing well, which makes them more reliable than amorphous thin film. The latter is a relatively new technology that is yet to be tried and tested under many scenarios, especially in places that habitually experience harsh weather conditions. SunPower X series, LG Solar, and Panasonic HIT systems are the leading monocrystalline solar panels today.

  1. Consumer Reviews

Apart from hearing from industry critics, you must understand what other customers have to say about their solar panel systems. Are there recent complaints about performance, warranty, or another significant factor? While Panasonic is cited among the best and even partnered with Tesla, there are complaints about declined performance. This outcome has angered customers who had confidence in the brand due to the association with Tesla.

Scour the internet for reviews about prospective brands and ask for referrals from people within your networks. Itek Energy and SolarWorld Americas Inc. have received rave customer reviews in the past years, so they are worth considering for your home upgrade. Visiting friends who have already installed solar panels is another way of getting first-hand feedback to help you make informed choices.

  1. Affordability

For most people, affordable prices are the most significant poll factor for switching to solar energy. Chinese manufacturers are keen to conquer the market for household solar units by targeting the mass market. Canadian Solar, Trina Solar, Jinko Solar are other examples of manufacturers whose systems trade at competitive prices targeting homeowners with a limited budget.

Please note, though, a low price shoold never be the only determinant in the choice of solar panels you buy. Some unscrupolous providers may dupe you into a contract only to find the equipment is malfunctioning, and the warranty doesn't cover repairs down the line. Sun Solar Electric advises clients to do enough research, so they are not drawn to low prices only to regret later. You may find that buying a pricier solar unit will give you better returns on your investment than taking shortcuts now.

Find a Solar Panels Installer Near Me

California is lucky to have sunshine throughout the year, and this makes switching to solar energy more practical compared to other parts. Environmental benefits are not the only considerations when investing in a home solar unit; you want sound financial decisions that will yield returns in the coming years. 

There are many varieties of brands to choose from, which further complicates the process. Which provider is the best? Which one is energy-efficient while still being affordable? These questions will pop into your mind when contemplating the switch, and you will need expert guidance to avoid the usual pitfalls. Sun Solar Electric has a proven track record of installing solar power systems in Northern California and the Bay Area for residential clients.

If you are ready to make the switch, contact us today at 707-658-2157 for a consoltation with our resident experts. They will commence the assessment process, then offer the best guidance on what kind of solar panel system is ideal for your property.

Back to Articles

Fill out this form to request a quote on a solar plan customized to fit your needs.

Get A Quote