When you drive by a Orange County, FL property that has solar panels installed, it’s tough to see how they’re attached to the roof. Panels add to a home’s architecture as opposed to hinder it. The racking system isn’t always visible because it blends. Orange County local solar companies such as Solar Energy Specialist secure every solar panel so it lasts several years.
Like the roof, solar panels remain exposed to all the elements year-round. Therefore, the panels require proper installation and maintenance.
The solar industry in Florida has been booming lately. Solar energy system installations saw an increase in 2008 when the United States government offered rebates, tax write-offs, and other incentives such as lower electricity bills. The rebate programs continue through various means and homeowners continue to accept them. However, solar panel installations haven’t hit mainstream status yet.
There are at least 150 million electricity customers in the United States. Satellite images from 2019 showed that 1.47 million solar panels existed across the country. In states like Florida, taking advantage of solar energy’s benefits makes sense. The sun shines throughout the year, so the panels capture power year-round. Solar panels make less sense in areas such as New England where it snows as much as the sun’s out.
fossil fuels have increased in price in recent years as they continue to be used up. Luckily solar power is one of the energy sources that will be around forever. Our company offers many different financing options so that you can pick the price point that’s best for you.
Some homeowners have several questions about solar panels, their installation, and their cost. Keep in mind that there are several resources at your disposal to answer those questions. Solar Energy Specialist Orange County, FL local is one resource.
The following are seven questions that Florida solar companies can answer for you.
How Do Solar Panels Produce Energy?
Chances are high that you’ve seen what a solar panel looks like. It’s an unassuming rectangle that consists of several cells. Each cell produces a kilowatt measure of energy under the sun. Kilowatts range from three to eight. The higher the kW, the more energy it produces. Since the panel with the higher kW produces more energy, it comes with a comparable price tag.
The panels’ cells capture the sun’s light and store it. If you opt for the solar battery, it stores excess energy for one to five days. Each panel’s cell contains mirrors that concentrate the solar radiation. This system is also known as photovoltaic (PV) panels.
Another way to describe the process is in terms of atoms and electrons. When sunlight frees the electrons from the atoms, they flow freely. The free flow is electricity. Each panel captures the electricity and turns it into usable energy in your home.
Every panel converts the sun’s photons into direct currents. The current flows into the inverter. Then it travels to the property’s electric box. Once the electricity finds its way to the electric box, you can use it to power your appliances and the areas of your home that require electricity.
Solar panels have a lifespan between 20 to 25 years. During these years, the panels continue the process.
If you ever notice that your appliances aren’t working correctly, check the light on the panel’s box. During the daytime, it should be lit green. If it’s red or orange, it’s time for maintenance, repair, or replacement.
How Much Does it Cost to Install Solar Panels?
The total cost to install solar panels ranges between $9,000 to $28,000. It depends on the size of the home, the quality of panels, and the kW you desire. If you opt for high-end everything, your installation will run close to $28,000. If you opt for the simple panels and own a small home, you might get close to $9,000 in costs.
Once you understand how the initial costs break down, look for rebates, discounts, and incentives. By 2023, American homeowners who install a solar system can claim the investment tax credit. It offers a 26% tax credit based on the total cost. In 2023, the tax credit is set to decrease to 22%. As of 2021, the program has an expiration date of 2024.
The range to install a solar panel system is $9,000 to $28,000, and the average cost is $18,500. The average figure covers a 6kW system for a home that consists of 1,500 square feet.
Several factors determine the final total cost. A solar panel installation crew that works on a small home won’t accrue several man-hours on the job. A large home, however, will. The shape of the roof plays a role too.
Do Solar Panels Work When the Sun’s Not Out?
Logic dictates that solar technology isn’t as effective when the sun’s not out. On average, Florida weather ranges from 70 degrees to 90 degrees. At night, the weather drops to 52 degrees to 75 degrees on average. It’s safe to say that this is a safe state to invest in solar technology.
It’s a good idea to couple solar panels with a solar battery. The battery stores any excess energy you don’t use in your home daily. It remains in the battery for one to five days. It’s a solar backup storage device that’s great for a literal rainy day.
Solar technology depends on the sun’s light. They’re not going to perform optimally when clouds block the rays. Net metering provides an additional solution for the nighttime hours and cloudy days. Net metering works in conjunction with Florida’s municipal electricity provider.
How Are Solar Panels Attached to My Home?
Orange County, FL local solar companies attach panels to the roof with a racking system. The racking system consists of rails and clamps. Each panel hovers above the roof instead of sitting on it. Installers mount the panels onto the roof and seal them in place with flashing. Bolts hold them in place long-term.
Once installers secure the panels, the panels last 20 to 25 years. Your roof must have 20 to 25 years left in it. Before professional solar panel installers formulate their installation plans, they inspect the roof. Several factors hinder its effectiveness, such as nearby hanging branches, location, and odd roof angles.
Installers know that panels must face south, so south-facing roofs are ideal. These roofs collect the most energy. If you’re aiming to break even promptly, the more energy the panels collect, the sooner that point arrives. Flat roofs make a south-facing installation easier. The installers simply position the panels accordingly.
Before the installers attach the panels, they check for other shading sources, such as your neighbor’s home, buildings, and signage. If you live in the suburbs or a rural area, these shouldn’t be issues.
Since roofs vary, the solar panel attachment equipment varies too. Professional installers formulate the best plan for long-term success. As they inspect your property, if your roof requires repair, they’ll make those recommendations beforehand.
The roof is a vital component of your house. A healthy roof with or without solar panels is important.
What is Community Solar?
Some homes won’t have a conducive environment for solar panels. The homeowner isn’t always alone. To solve this issue, the concept of community solar exists.
Community solar is an approved program by the United States government. It designates an area for several solar panels. The solar panel groups provide energy to nearby residences, businesses, or nonprofits. Even though each property doesn’t have the panels installed on their roof, they can still buy into a solar program.
Third-parties run community solar programs in several American states. The third party maintains the panels and ensures they operate optimally. They invest in the panel system and receive discounts, rebates, and tax benefits associated with the project.
Individuals interested in participating in a nearby community solar program, subscribe. Community solar programs vary by state regulations. It’s a fairly new concept that is still receiving consideration. Albeit, some rural communities have successfully implemented community solar programs without government or third-party interference. It’s their only source of efficient electricity, so they made it work.
A community solar program is similar to a community garden. The goal is to provide a benefit to several members of the community. The members can’t access the benefits individually because they live in an urban area. If you live in a multi-unit building, the property doesn’t belong to you. It’s not part of your property. It’s up to the owner to install the panels or rooftop garden.
Good things happen when community members come together.
Do I Need Insurance to Cover the Solar Panels?
Every homeowner requires a form of homeowner’s insurance. If you financed your home, the lender requires a homeowner’s insurance policy to maintain the mortgage. Insurance protects the lender as much as it protects the homeowner.
Homeowners who live in earthquake-prone areas, serve themselves well to obtain a policy that protects them against the costs caused by earthquake damage. In Florida, you’re more likely to receive high winds and storms that leave behind damage. It’s wise to procure a homeowner’s insurance policy that covers the cost of damage caused by these natural elements.
In terms of solar panels and homeowner’s insurance, most policies cover the addition. In this case, you’re looking to obtain an insurance policy that covers the costs to replace the panels that have damage. The types of damage that occur to a roof, occur to solar panels too. It’s inevitable. Both receive exposure to the elements and there’s no way to protect them.
Rain, wind, debris, and the sun cause damage over extended periods. For example, the sun’s heat causes roof shingles to expand. At night, the shingles contract. Engineers and manufacturers design roof shingles to withstand the expansion and contraction over several decades. But it still causes stress on the material.
For solar panels, exposure to the elements causes similar stress. Plus unexpected acts of chance happen too. For example, there’s not much you can do if flying debris cracks a solar panel cell.
As you research the installation of solar panels on your home’s roof, research homeowner’s insurance policies that cover the cost to replace damaged panels. In many cases, there’s no need to obtain an extra policy that solely covers solar panels. Several include the panels.
Next, read the fine print. Insurance companies pay out claims, but they don’t cover all of them. For insurance companies, some types of damage aren’t covered by the policy. Therefore you won’t see a claim payout.
How Do I Maintain Solar Panels?
Every major appliance and component of your home requires maintenance. Solar panels are not an exception. Your home’s roof requires annual maintenance. During maintenance, roofing professionals remove debris. This includes tree branches, leaves, and mold. They also complete repairs. Roofs require partial replacements and entire replacements, so professional roofers complete them as necessary.
Solar panel maintenance is similar to roof maintenance. The panels require cleaning two to four times a year. Orange County, FL local solar companies clean them with the proper equipment. You can climb up to the roof and clean them yourself with a leaf blower or garden house. However, you don’t want to damage them in the process. Some care is necessary.
If you opted for the solar battery, the solar panel company will test it during maintenance too. The goal is to ensure that the panels reach their expected lifespan. After all, it’s an investment that delivers energy self-sufficiency.
Orange County, FL local solar companies install the energy panels. They double as a resource that helps you understand how the system works, how to maintain it, and how it affects your insurance. To receive more information about setting up a Florida solar installation, call Solar Energy Specialist at 866-407-2047.
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