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Recent research from the Solar Energy Industries Association suggests there’s already enough solar power installed in the US to power 18.6 million homes.
These installations help reduce the harmful environmental effects associated with traditional electricity generation and offer considerable savings on electricity bills for homeowners.
Are you ready to enjoy these solar panel benefits too? If so, keep reading for advice on how you can figure out how many solar panels you need for your home.
How Much do Solar Panels Cost?
Solar panel prices work out to around $2.85 per kW hour. The average solar panel installation costs between $13,000 and $16,000.
Remember to include state and federal incentives in your calculations when you’re working out the cost of installing solar.
Is it Worth Buying Solar Panels?
From an environmental perspective, it’s always worth installing solar panels. Yet, due to the high installation costs of solar panels, investing in solar isn’t the best option for everyone.
If you have very low energy bills due to other energy-saving initiatives, it will take a long time for your solar panels to result in significant savings.
You might want to delay your installation if you’re due for a roof replacement, too. If you have large trees casting shade on your home, or live in a perpetually cloudy area, you’ll need more solar panels to meet your energy needs.
A local solar company can best advise you on the ideal solution and potential savings for your home.
Types of Solar Panels
There are three main types of solar panels, and each offers different levels of efficiency. These are:
- Monocrystalline solar panels
- Polycrystalline solar panels
- Thin-film solar panels
Monocrystalline panels are the most expensive of the three, but they’re also the most efficient. Your solar installer can tell you how much power each type of panel produces.
Calculating How Many Solar Panels You Need
There’s a simple formula that helps you determine the number of panels you need for your home.
To get started, you need to look at your latest energy bill to see how much electricity it takes to run your home every month.
Then, look up the number of daily peak sun hours in your area. You can get this information from the Renewable Resource Data Center.
Divide your monthly electricity usage by the peak sun hours per month in your area. This calculation will tell you what size solar installation you need.
From there, it’s easy to figure out how many panels you need by multiplying the size system you need by 1,000, to get the number of watts needed.
As a final step, divide the size of the system in watts, by the wattage of the solar panels you’re considering. That gives you the number of panels you’ll need to power your house.
Save Energy, Save Money
The amount of energy you use at home is the major factor in figuring out how many solar panels you need.
So, it’s important to consider cutting down your electricity consumption before you install solar. You can do this by replacing your halogen lightbulbs with LED lights, and installing gas-powered appliances where possible.
Would you like some more cost-saving home improvement tips? Explore our website for all the latest information.