If you want lower bills, an extra source of income, or do your bit for the environment, you should consider going solar. Having a solar system also increases the overall value of your house. It is a highly efficient, clean, and renewable energy source.

A significant number of people decide to get solar panels installed on their roofs. The process is straightforward and does not take a lot of time.

However, before you can go ahead, there are some questions that you should ask your company or the ones entrusted with the task of installation. What are some of those things you should ask beforehand? Read on.

Is your roof suitable for solar panels?

Perhaps the first question and the most obvious one you should be asking the company is whether your roof is suited for panels. That is specifically important if you have had maintenance work on the top recently.

Two factors that determine its suitability are the age and shape of the roof. If the roof is too old, it might not be able to support the weight. The design also plays a role since not all tops are gable-shaped. Other shapes commonly found are mansard, hip, flat, and shed.

There should be sufficient space to allow for the correct positioning of the cells. Ground-mounted solar panels are the best option for large properties, while those with smaller houses and backyards can opt for roof-mounted panels.

What is the warranty available?

You can trust a solar company if it offers you at least a 25 years warranty. The warranty time should be uniform regardless of the kind of panel being used.

During your warranty period, the company should provide efficient service whenever the need arises. Another question you should ask your solar company is: what happens if the manufacturer of that product runs out of business or stops producing them? Does the warranty become null and void in that case?

The number of solar panels required

The precise number of panels required for your house will depend on a wide variety of factors. Some of these include existing weather conditions, the shape and size of the roof, the direction your roof faces, how much electricity you consume, and panel efficiency.

Places that receive less sunshine throughout the year will need more panels than those that receive plenty of sunlight. Houses located in sunny areas will need anywhere between 20-25 boards to offset their utility bills.

Will the cells need to be cleaned frequently?

It can be a severe problem if you often have to get on the roof and wash your panels. Ask your company in advance if you need to clean the cells regularly.

Usually, once the system has been fitted, it should not require any maintenance for the first ten years. However, if there is rainfall throughout the year, you will need to clean it at regular intervals. It is best to ask the professionals what kind of materials should be used to clean the cells.

How long will the entire process take?

Getting a solar system for your house takes some time. There are several processes involved, with installation being just one of them.

Before the cells can be installed, you have to get a solar permit, which will be submitted on your behalf by the company installing the panels. That may take anywhere between a few days to a month. Once the permit has been approved, the installation process will begin, which should take two days at the most.

How will the installation process take place?

Solar installations involve a few basic steps. Holes are drilled into the rafters, which will support the mount strongly. Then the braces are placed by keeping some space between each of them. Steel bolts are fastened to ensure they are secure, following which the panels are placed on top.

Different roof types will require different types of installation, and the duration of those may also vary. Prepare yourself in advance by cleaning your yard, moving your valuables away from the area below your roof, removing any objects close to walls, and indicating any valuable things in the garden utilizing signs.

What happens in case of a power outage?

Ask your solar company if you will be able to use your solar system in case of a power outage. The chances are that you won’t be connected to the utility grid or the main electricity board during power outages.

Enquire if they have provisions for emergency backup like solar batteries. If they do, ask them if they come with a blackout mode.

Solar panels will benefit both you and the environment. Since it is such a crucial investment, you should always ask these questions before making a decision.