Pros & Cons of Solar Powered Homes
Powering your home with solar energy, whether fully or in part, is certainly eco-friendly. Most of us are looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint, and switching to solar power will help you achieve great strides toward your goal.
Let’s go over a few pros and cons you may wish to consider as you determine whether converting to solar power is right for you.
1.) Solar is Sustainable
When compared to consuming non-renewable fuels, it’s clear that solar power is infinitely more sustainable. Long after we’ve ceased powering our civilizations with fossil fuels and other combustibles, we will have access to solar, wind, and water power. By switching your home to solar now, you’re helping to move your community toward sustainability.
2.) Solar Panels are Relatively Low Maintenance
Solar panels must be kept free of dust, dirt, and snow in order to work optimally. They may also be damaged during extreme weather events.
Otherwise, though, solar panels are low maintenance. In fact, unless it’s time to hose them down or sweep away snow accumulation, you will likely be able to completely ignore your solar power grid. Once it’s been installed atop your roof, you’ll be good to go.
Keep in mind that if you plan to hire someone to scale your roof and clean your panels, it’s vital that this worker carries insurance that covers them for this kind of work. You can expect to pay a premium for an insured worker, but the alternative is not a safe or financially wise option.
3.) Community Solar Projects: Simple and Beneficial
Are you hesitant to lay out the funds to install solar on your home? Is your home situated in a location that prevents you from installing solar? Perhaps one of the “cons” we’ve listed below has you shying away from making the switch to solar.
The solution may be joining a community solar project. This co-op style of solar plant partners with members of your community and your energy provider to allow you to offset your carbon footprint without taking on the responsibility of owning your own solar panels.
Instead of paying your energy bill, you’ll put the funds toward a community solar project. The power generated by the solar farm will be harnessed by the energy provider, thus reducing the demand for consumable fuel.
This option has all the benefits of solar without the potential cons that homeowners should consider before purchasing their own solar panels.
4.) Solar Can Help You Exit the Grid
On the other hand, you may be interested in solar as a means of exiting the grid entirely. This is a feasible option! However, you’ll need to include batteries for your system that can be charged during sunny days, then provide your home with power overnight and during inclement weather.
A supplemental battery system can increase your up-front cost by as much as double, though. Keep this in mind as you create your budget for getting off the grid.
5.) Solar Homes Attract Green-Focused Buyers
When you put your home on the market, you can attract green-focused buyers by advertising your home’s solar capabilities. This is especially effective when paired with additional green features, and when your home’s solar system has been fully paid for.
1.) Solar is Costly
Despite having existed for decades, high-quality solar energy panels are costly. The materials used in manufacturing and the precision with which they must be assembled contribute to this high cost.
Installing solar costs anywhere from $10,000 to $25,000, depending on your home’s size, and whether or not you want to have battery capability.
Provided you can pay this amount up-front, this may be an acceptable cost, especially if going green is a priority for you.
Avoid funding your solar installation over 10 or 20 years, because interest will nearly double your cost by the time you’ve paid off your investment.
2.) Solar Manufacturing Isn’t Green
Like many other types of manufacturing, solar panels can’t be created without environmental costs. While companies are making progress on this front, the current “energy payback” time required to offset the energy required to manufacture solar panels is between 1 and 4 years of use.
Of course, solar panels are durable, usually lasting between 30 and 40 years.
Over a full lifespan, solar setups benefit the environment far more than they harm it.
3.) Solar Panels May Not Work for Your Home
Ideally, a home within the US should have a south-facing roof to generate the maximum energy from solar panels. West-facing roofs come in second, and east-facing roofs rank third.
If your home has a north-facing roof, solar may not work for your home.
For five hours per day minimum, you’ll want full sun to hit your panels. If your roof is shaded by large trees, or your roof is sharply sloped, you may not be able to benefit from solar panel installation.
4.) Solar Panels May Make Selling More Complicated
A home carrying a financed solar installation, or located in a region where green-focused buyers are rarer, may be more difficult to sell. Before you install a solar power grid on your home, we recommend asking your Parks Realty agent whether there is a pool of green buyers in your area.
Your trusted real estate agent is an invaluable resource when you’re feeling out the market in your region. We encourage you to reach out to your agent as often as you need to—they are always happy to help!
5.) Finding a Truly Reliable Solar Company is Tricky
Because your solar panels will likely come with a long warranty, it’s essential that you choose a company that’s been around for decades to partner with.
Over the last ten years, federal solar incentives have made green energy lucrative. Predictably, a bevy of pop-up businesses has swept in, eager to capitalize on these federal funds.
Unfortunately, these companies are unlikely to exist five years from now. If one of these “new” companies holds your warranty directly, it would be worthless if the company itself was liquidated.
Are Solar Panels Worth It?
For homeowners who will reside in their current home for at least seven years in a home that receives plenty of sunlight from the optimal direction and have sufficient funds to pay a large portion of a solar panel installation up-front, a high-quality system can be a great way to go green!
* Specific loan program availability and requirements may vary. Please get in touch with the mortgage advisor for more information.