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Advantages & Disadvantages of Home Solar Power Systems 

July 26, 2022

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Are you considering solar power for your home? If so, consider yourself part of a growing movement of property owners wanting to “go green.” Solar panels are one of the most popular forms of renewable energy for residential properties for a variety of reasons!

However, this doesn’t mean that a solar panel installation is right for everyone. Understanding solar power advantages and disadvantages can help you decide if solar is a good investment for your home. With this in mind, check out some vital information about home solar power systems including their overall pros and cons.

solar panel installation services

The Advantages of Solar Power

First, consider some advantages of solar energy for your home and why solar is so popular with homeowners:

  • Many homeowners choose solar because panels produce electricity without fumes or emissions! In turn, you reduce pollutants created by electric power plants by switching to solar.
  • Solar power is completely renewable, meaning that it can never be “used up” and doesn’t need replenishing.
  • The money you’ll save on energy costs by investing in solar varies according to your array and local weather conditions. However, homeowners can typically expect to save several thousand dollars on their energy bills over a 20-year period. That’s money back in your pocket rather than paid to your local utility provider!
  • A solar panel installation typically increases property values by some 4% or more.
  • Solar panel installation is a very labor-intensive job. Consequently, investing in solar means creating local jobs and stimulating your area’s economy.
  • Solar panel parts are becoming more recyclable, so they don’t end up in landfills once you decide to replace them.
  • A solar array helps protect a roof against storm debris, harsh sunlight, and other damaging weather conditions.

What are the Disadvantages of Using Solar Energy?

There are not many disadvantages of using solar power for your home. However, there are a few drawbacks or considerations to keep in mind before choosing solar, namely:

  • Solar panels don’t necessarily translate to tens of thousands of dollars in savings when you consider installation costs! Many solar arrays average anywhere from $13,000 to over $20,000. So, a $13,000 system that saves you $15,000 on power bills over 20 years means $2,000 or more in your pocket.
  • Typically, solar racking systems need removal before roofers can perform needed repairs, adding several hundred dollars to reroofing costs.
  • Not all homeowners like the look of solar panels on their roofs! Your home might look a bit industrial with a solar installation.
  • Moving without taking your panels with you means losing out on some financial return on your installation investment.

Also, remember that solar panels need sunlight to operate. In turn, a solar array isn’t ideal in areas with lots of cloud cover or long, dark winters. Additionally, homeowners might need to trim back tree branches for their solar panels to operate efficiently. This can add to your installation cost in some cases.

The Biggest Problem with Solar Power

Many solar critics would say that the biggest problem with solar energy is that it’s very intermittent! Solar panels absorb sunlight and convert that into usable electricity. Solar panels need consistent sunlight exposure to produce energy. On the other hand, those panels don’t work quite as effectively on overcast days, at night, during the winter and so on.

This doesn’t mean that only homeowners living in the tropics should invest in solar! Note that solar panels still absorb any sunlight around them. Consequently, they will typically still produce some electricity throughout the day, no matter the weather. However, their efficiency varies greatly depending on their overall sun exposure.

converting solar power

Solar critics might also note the space needed for panels as the second biggest problem with solar. Many homes simply are not big enough to support all the panels needed for an average family’s energy needs. Additionally, large-scale solar installations such as for public energy use can risk disrupting the environment and local wildlife. Some critics might also suggest that the land has better uses, such as for cattle or crop farming.

That being said, solar still offers excellent environmental benefits, especially when compared to other energy sources! Solar means completely renewable energy without pollutants. Moreover, solar panels need no maintenance other than an occasional sweep of their surface. As they don’t even have moving parts, they also rarely need repairs!

What Can Go Wrong with Solar Panels?

As solar panels work without moving parts, they rarely fail or need maintenance, as said. In fact, brushing their surfaces is sometimes not even required since rain and snow across the year cleans them well. However, this doesn’t mean that solar panels never fail or that they work at 100% capacity forever!

The biggest issue you might face with solar panels is that they lose their effectiveness over time. One reason for this is that sun exposure risks corrosion to wires and metallic elements. Two, glass tends to thin over the years so that panel fronts don’t offer the same protection as they age.

This loss of efficiency is one reason why customers often choose to install new panels after 25 or 30 years. Investing in new panels translates into more power produced for your property and lower utility costs. Your solar panel installer can explain more about this efficiency loss and what to expect with your chosen modules.

Other than this loss of effectiveness, residential solar customers rarely report issues with their panels. Their glass surfaces stay strong and resistant to wind, hail, and other risks. Moreover, those racking systems keep panels attached securely! In turn, many homeowners rarely even think about their panels once installed.

Solar Panels After 25 Years

Most solar panels lost about 25% effectiveness after 25 years, as said. In turn, many solar customers decide to replace them about this time, in favor of new, more effective modules. However, this is not a “hard and fast rule” or requirement for homeowners!

Remember that solar panels typically continue to convert sunlight into usable electricity even after decades of use. Consequently, you might decide to keep those older modules and enjoy lower utility costs at home. Even if those panels reduce your energy bills by a few hundred dollars every year, that’s still money in your pocket!

On the other hand, homeowners investing in new panels might decide to donate their older modules. In some areas, you can donate solar panels to schools, libraries, and other such buildings. Some solar companies even volunteer to install them on public structures for free or a reduced cost. Those properties can then reduce their “carbon footprint” and operating expenses with your donated panels!

high electricity bill without solar panels

Why is Solar Energy Not More Popular Worldwide?

With so many advantages to solar power, you might wonder why it’s not more popular for homes and cities. One reason for this is the expense of solar panel installation. Two, some areas simply don’t have the space needed for a solar “farm.”

However, keep in mind that solar panel installation costs are more affordable than ever! Additionally, financial incentives such as tax credits help lower those costs. Also, many homeowners choose solar for environmental reasons, not just their expected energy cost savings.

Moreover, there were still some 2500 solar farms in the United States by December 2021, with more on the way! Solar panel production and installation create jobs as well as clean energy. In turn, solar is increasing in popularity in many cities around the U.S.

Can You Run Your Whole House on Solar Power?

In many cases, it is possible to run your whole house on solar power. A solar installer can help determine your family’s energy needs and panels needed for complete energy independence.

With net metering programs and other utility-backed programs in areas where net metering is not offered, homeowners often get 100% of their power from their solar production. A battery is not required to get you 100% but can help during grid outages to keep your home running smoothly as if nothing is down at all!

Above all, some areas don’t allow residential homes to disconnect from the public grid. If you’re not sure about local regulations for your property, check with a solar installer. He or she should know area regulations and requirements and can ensure your solar array conforms to local codes.

Solar Power Pros Outweigh the Cons

Ultimately, the disadvantages of solar power are outweighed by the advantages! While it's always important to compare the pros and cons, for the majority of homeowners in the US, solar panel installation is absolutely worth the cost. You won't even think about the minor drawbacks when you're enjoying your free solar power!

Alliance Solar is happy to provide you with this information about solar power's advantages and disadvantages. Hopefully, you found it helpful and practical! If you still have questions, contact our expert solar panel installation contractors. We’re happy to answer those questions and schedule your no-cost solar consultation. For more information or to get your property started with clean, green solar energy, call today!


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