By Meghan Belnap
One of the most costly expenses for homeowners is their monthly energy bill. This is especially true for those who live in very hot or cold climates. Thus, it's no surprise why so many homeowners have already transitioned to solar power to meet their energy demands. However, before you fully transition, here are four tips to keep in mind during the shopping process:
Understand Your City/HOA Rules
Before you begin installing solar panels onto your roof, it is critical that you do some research so that you know what you can and cannot do in terms of your city as well as your HOA (if applicable.) The unfortunate reality is that some HOAs may not want people to have solar panels, as they create a distinction between homes.
One of the most common misconceptions regarding solar panels is that you're going to have to purchase them outright. The fact that solar panels are priced anywhere between $25,000 to $50,000 could scare a lot of people off. Fortunately, more and more companies are offering financing options to their customers. This means that after 15 to 20 years, your solar panels will be paid off, and you will have free energy from thereon.
Keep the State of Your Roof in Mind
While every home's roof is different, keeping the state of your roof in mind while shopping is imperative. For example, is your roof strong enough to support multiple solar panels? How about damages to the roof? Is your roof in need of repairs? If so, that is an issue that needs to be taken care of before panels are installed.
Ask for Recommendations
There's no doubt about it, the solar panel industry is booming, and more and more companies are entering the space. However, that does not mean that all of them have your best interests in mind, which is why it is critical that you ask for recommendations from local contractors and friends/family. Then, use that information to narrow your options further before picking a company to retrofit your roof with solar panels.
If you're looking to change the way you receive and pay for your home energy, solar panels are the way to go. However, it is highly recommended to first utilize the information above during the initial shopping phase of the process.
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She finds happiness in researching new topics that help expand her horizons. For more information about potential legal hurdles you're likely to encounter when looking to install solar panels if you're part of an HOA, Belnap recommends visiting the Ask Solar Sandy website.