Are you tired of paying your electricity bills every month? You’re not the only one. The current cost of energy is getting tougher to swallow. When you do the math, your energy bill can be over 50% of your monthly budget, not including heating and cooling.
But what can you do? You’ve heard and read all of the positive benefits of solar energy, but getting a solar system installed can be super expensive and difficult to do. Or is it?
Doing a DIY solar panel installation is easier than most people think. If you own your home, and you’re considering taking the solar pledge, you don’t need to hire an installer to get started. In fact, with some basic electrical experience, a few tools, and some research, you can easily install your solar panel system by following a few DIY solar installation tips.
With climate change becoming a pressing issue, more energy providers are investing in renewable energy sources. However, most of the power that we consume today is still generated by gas and coal-burning power plants, which emit greenhouse gases and pollute ground water.
Getting an energy-efficient home can reduce your household’s carbon footprint by using solar energy instead. However, the cost of installing solar energy is often out of reach for the average homeowner. Click here to know about 12 Reasons to Get a Solar Audit for Your Home.
If you’re ready to install your solar panels and save some money while doing it, keep reading for some helpful tips that will make the installation process easier for you.
- Do Your Research
If you’re considering getting a solar system, but don’t know how to install solar panels, the first step is to do your research. Find out what incentives are available in your area, whether your home is a good candidate for solar panels, and the certifications you will need. You will also need to see what solar panels and systems are available and which would be best for your home.
- Get Certified
Before installing your solar panels, ensure that you know the solar installation rules and have the correct certifications for your area. Certificates for Solar Installers are obtained through the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).
You can receive the PV Installer Specialist (PVIS) Board Certification by getting hands-on training, fulfilling the installation experience requirement and passing the certification exam.
- Make Sure Your Roof is in Good Condition
A major factor to consider before your installation is whether your roof is in good condition and if it is suitable for solar panels. Solar panels can be heavy, so it is essential to have a solid foundation where you’re going to install them.
If your roof isn’t structurally sound, we recommend postponing installation until it is fixed. Other roof-related factors like roof orientation, shading, pitch, material, and size need to be anticipated, as well.
- Consider the Orientation of Your Home
Roof orientation refers to the direction in which your roof is facing. Solar panels need to be in a location that will receive direct sunlight, so your roof orientation is a key component to consider when deciding where to install your panels.
A south-facing roof is usually the ideal orientation for a solar panel system because it generates the most electricity from the solar panels. East and west-facing rooftops are also acceptable, but north-facing roof orientations aren’t recommended for solar installations as they are not ideal for solar energy capture.
- Consider the Amount of Energy You Use
Before you begin your installation, you need to determine what size solar system you will need for your household. Solar panels are most effective when used to offset energy consumption. Calculating your electricity consumption for the month and discovering the peak sunlight hours for your property will ensure your solar panels will be able to support your household.
- Make Sure You Have the Right Equipment
Solar panel installation might be easier than you initially thought, but it still requires using the correct tools to get the job done. Essential tools that you should have on hand for the installation process are a digital multimeter, a battery-operated drill, a hack saw, a flat pry bar, a caulk gun, a conduit bender, screwdrivers, a wire stripper, a wire cutter, a tape measure.
Another piece of equipment that may be beneficial is a solar power stand. If you’re not too keen on buying one and don’t mind another DIY, you can also set up a DIY solar panel stand.
- Choose Reputable Manufacturers
If you want the best results for your DIY installation, secure your supplies from a reputable manufacturing company. Licensed and accredited manufacturing companies are the best option, and make sure to read reviews and compare prices and warranties.
- Follow the Instructions
This goes without saying, but following the installation instructions that come with your solar equipment is extremely important. You don’t want to damage your equipment or home by winging it during the installation process.
Read over the instructions before you start to ensure you understand what to do and have all the necessary tools to get the job done.
- Schedule a Professional Inspection
Once your solar panel installation is complete, have a professional inspect the work. While you may be certified regarding solar installation, you’re not privy to the other aspects of a safe and functional solar power system.
Having a board-certified professional inspect your work guarantees the solar system was installed safely and is fully operational. You might even want to look into insurance for your solar panel system, just in case.
Enjoy Your DIY Solar Panel Installation!
The final and, arguably, most important step is to enjoy the fruits of your labor! Nothing beats a job well done while saving money on your energy bills. While a DIY solar panel installation may seem daunting at first, using these tips will guarantee a successful installation and a healthier bank book for the foreseeable future!
For more DIY projects that save you money and add value to your home, check out the rest of our website.