In this continuing four-part series, we will explore some of the most common myths and misconceptions about residential solar energy systems. Here are three more myths that often lead people to dismiss solar as an option for their home.
Solar panels will ruin or damage my roof.
A common concern among some homeowners is the effect that solar panels might have on the roof of their home. The good news is, that if installed properly, there should be no damage to your roof at all.
That is why it is important to be sure the solar company you work with is licensed and that they stand by their work by offering a comprehensive workmanship guarantee. At Shine, we guarantee that within the first 12 years of your solar installation, if you experience maintenance issues due to a faulty installation, we will return and make any necessary repairs, free of charge. This includes a guarantee against roof leaks, sloppy workmanship, or exposed wiring. Be sure the solar provider you choose offers something similar.
Once you’re comfortable the installer will stand by their work, there are a few things you should know about how solar panels are installed and why it won’t damage your roof. Yes, it’s true that holes must be drilled into the frame of your home to secure the racks. However, once bolted in place, each hole is flashed, filled and sealed to prevent any water leaks from occurring. This method has proven highly effective at guarding against water leaks, which is why it’s important that it is done correctly.
Another concern homeowners have is about the weight of the panels on the roof. In most cases, this is not an issue because the roof is built to withstand more weight than a solar panel system will place on it. However, to be sure, most installers will conduct a professional roof inspection to be sure there is no unseen damage and that it is in good condition. Should that not be the case or you’d prefer not to have solar on your roof, you could elect to have it ground mounted if there is sufficient space on your property that will get the needed sunlight.
Far from being damaging, a solar panel system on your roof also has some advantages. For one, it provides some shade, which makes your home easier to cool. It also provides protection against falling tree limbs or hail, which can easily damage your roof. Together, these two benefits actually work to help make your roof last longer.
Solar panels decrease the value of my home.
Although some homeowner associations may take issue with the aesthetics of solar, the fact is that a solar system on your home does not decrease its value. In fact, it increases its value an average of 4.1% according to a 2019 study conducted by Zillow. This increase may vary from region to region, but the fact is, solar adds value to your home just like remodeling or other home improvements.
Because more and more, many homeowners and first-time home buyers value the energy savings and the environmental friendliness of solar. This is seen as a great benefit and people are willing to pay extra for it according to an 11-year study released in 2015 by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, an affiliate of the Department of Energy. Since then, the added value of solar has either increased in some areas or remained at 3%-4%.
This is just one more reason it pays to go solar.
Solar panels don’t work when it is cloudy or when it snows.
At first glance, this might seem like a logical assumption. However, let’s examine the fact.
First, clouds do not completely block the sun. That is why it is still daylight even during thunderstorms. So, it is not true that a solar panel system does not function during cloudy weather. However, clouds will temporarily prevent it from operating at peak efficiency. During such times, your home will draw more power from the grid than it does from your solar system and you won’t notice any difference in power output. Moreover, the excess power you have produced during sunny days will offset any negative effects this may have on your bill and often still provides you with a credit from your utility.
Snow is different. A light dusting won’t affect your system much. However, if it is heavy and able to accumulate on the panels, your system output will dramatically decrease or cease altogether.
To combat this, you can purchase a roof rake to clear the snow off your system. However, a better solution might be to wait until it melts and rely on power from the grid. As mentioned before, you have probably sold enough energy back to your power company during the spring and summer that you have built a nice cushion to absorb the few days your system may be covered with snow.
Providing your solar panels are clear, snowfall actually helps your system function better because it reflects and intensifies sunlight. Moreover, cold weather provides a better operating environment for solar, as it does with many other electronic devices. This is why you can rest assured that although the days may be shorter, your system is operating at peak efficiency.
So, let it snow and enjoy the benefits of solar all yearlong.
For more information about solar and how it works, visit the Shine Solar website
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