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There are many benefits to solar energy. It is free, non-polluting, and renewable.


It’s no wonder solar is one of the fastest-growing alternative energy sources. However, solar energy may not work for every home. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some factors to consider if you are trying to determine whether solar is right for you.


Roof Condition

If your roof is on its last legs, your specialist may recommend replacing it before going solar as placing solar panels on an aging roof could cause structural damage. You will likely have to replace your roof someday, so it makes sense to avoid the headache and replace it before going solar. Otherwise, you will have to remove and reinstall your solar system when you decide to replace your roof.


Roof Size

Determine how much of your roof you are willing to dedicate to solar panels. As a rule of thumb, a five-kilowatt system will require around 280 square feet of space. Take into account how much sunlight the roof space gets. South-facing roofs are ideal for solar panels as they see the most exposure to the sun.


Another thing to consider is the pitch of your roof. Pitch angles between 30 and 45 degrees are ideal. If your roof is flat, use ballast mount systems to tilt your panels toward the sun.


Amount of Ground Space

Ground mounts can be installed in any part of a yard that receives enough sunlight. Though ground-mounted solar systems may provide several advantages over their roof-mounted counterparts, they typically need more space and are more expensive to install.


Electricity Usage

The general rule is that solar makes the most financial sense for households with a monthly electricity bill of at least $75. People who spend less than this might have a long payback period.


Another factor to consider is your electricity rates. The higher your electricity rates, the more you will save with a solar system. That said, going solar could make sense even if you live in an area with moderate or low electricity rates, as free power is better than inexpensive power.


Local Weather

Though solar panels work almost everywhere, they work best in areas that receive ample sunlight. Before you take the plunge, find out your city’s average number of days of sunshine. Have a solar consultant estimate the amount of energy your solar system will produce.

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