Going Solar

Solar panelAre you thinking of installing solar panels on your home?  The trend to go solar is catching on and many homeowners in Seattle and the surrounding area are looking to reduce their energy bills, and their carbon footprint, by installing a solar panel system for their home.  Here are 10 things you should know about choosing solar energy for your home.

Solar panel systems are a great way to reduce your home energy costs and can help to reduce your carbon footprint. Contrary to what a lot of people may believe, Seattle actually gets enough radiant heat energy from the sun to generate solar energy to power most homes.  

Here’s what you should know about installing a solar panel system:

How long do solar panels last?

Generally speaking, a solar panel will last 30 years or more.  Annual maintenance and quick action on any repairs can help your system run smoother, longer and more efficiently.

Will PV panels harm my roof?

The photovoltaic panels will not harm your roof in any way when properly installed. In fact, solar panels can offer protection in the areas located directly beneath them from damage caused by weather, light, and heat. You may even find that the room(s) of your home directly beneath the panel installations will remain cooler in summer and warmer in winter, regardless of the other insulation. 

Does type of roof matter?

The kind of roof you have does matter when it comes to the installation.  Roofs with the standard asphalt shingles are generally straight forward, whereas roofs that have shakes or Spanish tiles are more difficult.  It’s important that a technician evaluate your roof before committing to a bid for the project. 

Is having a south-facing roof required for solar panels?

Ideally, to maximize sun exposure, solar systems should be on the southwest-facing area of your roof.  However, if you do not have a south-facing roof, it’s not a deal breaker.  Positioning the panels to face west or south will work, and even southeast, east, and north-northwest give acceptable results, too.

Will adding solar panels add to my property tax?

No, adding a solar panel system will not cause an increase in your property taxes. Reassessments are triggered by room additions or other construction that increases the square footage of the home. In most states, IF a property assessment is triggered, the addition of solar panels are exempt from property taxes.

What should I do after the installation?

In addition to having your solar panel provider or technician perform annual maintenance on your PV system, general maintenance that you should do includes hosing the panels off a few times during the summer and keeping leaves off them in the fall.  

Also, after installation, contact your homeowner’s insurance company and have your policy amended. You may face a minimal increase on your property insurance, but protecting your system from fires or other damage is critical.

So, if you’re looking to cut down on your energy bills and need a green energy solution to power your home, then a solar panel system is a great option. NW Mechanical specializes in the installation, consultation, and maintenance of Seattle solar panel installation and solutions.  Give us a call! 

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