Due to the many benefits of solar panels, the U.S. has seen an unprecedented rate of growth of solar power: are you ready to jump on the sunshine-driven bandwagon? Adding solar panels to your home can make it possible to save money. You save money doing what you need to do every day: cook dinner, do the laundry, heat and cool your home, turn on the lights. There are many benefits of solar panels. They make it possible to create energy at a greater rate than we use it. This makes it easy and convenient to reduce your carbon footprint.
While you may have seen solar panels on the roofs of some homes, and you may know that these panels generate power from the sun, have you ever wondered how solar panels work? Here’s a quick step-by-step summary of the process:
- The sun’s photons are collected by solar panels.
- When photons hit the solar panels, it creates a direct current (DC) electric field.
- An inverter converts direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). This allows appliances and home systems to use the power.
- The alternating current (AC) routes through the home’s switchboard to supply electricity.
- If there is excess electricity, it is exported to the electrical grid, or stored in batteries connected to the system for future use.
- If there isn’t enough solar powered energy to power the home, electricity is imported from the electrical grid, or the solar system pulls stored power from batteries.
Now that you know how solar panels work, let’s look at some of the benefits of solar panels and installing a solar energy system in your home.
Instant Savings on Your Electric Bill
When you install solar panels on your home, you will see savings on your electric bill immediately. Typically, homeowners save well above $100 monthly, which translates to over $30,000 over 20 years—less than the length of a warranty. The amount saved varies depending on where you live and how many panels you install. But no matter how many solar panels you install, you will have smaller monthly bills. If you install enough panels, you may see your electric bill disappear entirely.
While utility rates fluctuate over time, the sun is a consistent source of free energy. With each passing year, you will see larger returns on your investment.
Instead of a Bill, You Might Get a Check
It’s possible, especially in states that offer generous renewable energy incentives, to generate passive income by installing solar panels. In this case, the utility company pays you for the clean energy your solar panels produce. You may get cash or credits on your bill—but whatever the case, your electric bill is now practically non-existent.
Sound like a dream come true? You can find out if you qualify for these incentives in the state where you live before you install your solar panels. There is a huge benefit in doing your homework before you make your decision. It doesn’t cost anything but time. In the long run you may be setting yourself up for a more prosperous retirement in the future.
Solar Panels are Low Maintenance
What’s especially nice about the high financial returns of installing solar panels is that they won’t cost you time or money to maintain them. Because they have no moving parts, nothing can damage them very easily. Solar panels require very little maintenance after the initial installation. Just a basic yearly maintenance and cleaning will keep them in good working order for 25 years or more.
Increase Your Home’s Value
Homes with solar panels sell faster and for more money, because realtors and homebuyers know that the home will have lower electricity costs, without the initial cost of the installation. Research shows that most home owners will see a $5,911 resale value increase per installed kilowatt. That means if you install a 3.1 kilowatt system, you could improve your home’s resale value by nearly $18,000.
Protect Your Roof
Solar panels are most commonly installed on the roof where it is easiest to get sunshine. They are take up very little space and can be added to any size home.
While it is important for your roof to be in good condition prior to installing your solar panels, it’s also a way of protecting that roof over the long run. Solar panels cover the roof from heat, sun, wind, and rain—and may even offer additional insulation to keep temps in your home more consistent.
Help Create a Cleaner, Quieter, More Sustainable Future
There are many benefits of solar panels. There are also many reasons why they are better for the environment than other sources of energy. Here are a few:
- Solar power is a renewable resource: We won’t run out.
- The sun can power the world: When properly harnessed and stored, just one hour of energy from the sun could power the entire global population for a year.
- Renewable energy improves public health: Coal and natural gas plants produce air and water pollution that is harmful to human health.
- Solar power protects natural resources: While fossil fuel production, particularly hydraulic fracking, requires significant water resources and causes water pollution, solar energy requires little to no water to operate.
- It works during drought or heat wave: Coal, natural gas, and nuclear power use large amounts of water for cooling.
- Solar power creates jobs in clean energy: Fossil fuel technologies often rely primarily on mechanical components, but creating solar energy is more labor intensive and requires more human energy which means more jobs.
Solar is Easier than Ever
Installing solar panels on your home was a long process before. There were a limited number of companies that offered solar installation and it was difficult to find the best deal.
Now, with so many more solar companies on the market and the wealth of information available online, homeowners have an easier time than ever installing solar on their homes so they can save money right away. Another option for homeowners who may have limited resources available is the pay-as-you-go system for solar.
With all the benefits of solar panels, it makes great sense to check out a solar installation for your home. You won’t regret harnessing the sun’s powerful energy for your daily needs and saving yourself money in the process.