Questions you should ask your solar company – part 4

22. Do I need to replace my roof before installing solar?

Depends.  If you are thinking about replacing the roof or you know it needs to be changed in the next 3 years I would seriously consider changing the roof before adding a rooftop solar panel system to your home.  The Solar Panels will actually help to extend the lifespan of your roof by protecting it from weather damage like wind and hail.  You should get a replacement roof option with your solar energy system.  Many Solar Companies will offer this for a small upsell that you can include in your system.  However, the downside of paying it upfront is if the solar company you contracted with goes out of business then you will have to pay someone else to reinstall your system.  Emerald Sun Energy includes a solar panel replacement if you utilize our recommended roofer to do the job.  This only applies to normal roof replacement.  If your roof is damaged during a storm then your insurance company can be billed for the additional charges incurred to reinstall your solar panel system.

23. How long will my solar power system last?

Your solar power system will come with a 25 year performance guarantee, it will actually last 40-50 years.  You will have to replace the inverter at 12 years but solaredge offers an extended warranty on their inverter up to 25 years.  It is a great investment to extend the life of the entire solar energy system to 25 years.

24. What happens if I sell my solar house?

This is one of the most important reasons why it is better to own the system over leasing a system.  When you sell your home you will sell it with the system and receive on average a $20,000 increase in the value of your home.  According to Forbes Magazine, the average home increases its value by over $20,000.  If you are leasing a system when you go to sell your home you will have to require the buyer to assume the lease as well as the leasing company will have to approve the buyer.

26. How do I compare solar quotes?

Comparing solar quotes is not an easy task.  There are many factors that you have to be able to weigh against one another.  Such as quality of Solar panels, inverter, racking systems and wiring used. You will also have to compare company performance, financing options offered by companies(unless you secure your own financing prior to shopping), then you will have to compare add ons like maintenance, roof replacements and others.  Using a third party solar consultant to compare quotes is a great investment. You can usually get someone to compare your quotes for under $400 not a bad investment to protect against a mistake in purchasing $20,000 – $30,000 solar investment.  To find out more on what to look out for when purchasing Solar Energy for your home, read “The Secret Guide to Buying Solar” the most comprehensive solar buying guide on the market.

27. What are the different types of solar panels?

There are many manufacturers of solar panels to choose from.  Make sure the solar manufacturer you are looking at offers at least a 10 year manufacturer warranty and a 25 year performance guarantee. There are two types of solar panels.  Monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels.  Monocrystalline solar panels are more expensive but are more efficient and durable and worth the price difference.

28. What are the different types of power inverters?

There are three main types of inverter systems you can choose from.  First is a string inverter system, micro-inverter system and power optimizer systems.  String inverters are highly inefficient and require a perfect situation to utilize them.  However, they are the best option for large commercial jobs. Micro inverter systems for homeowners will increase the amount of efficiency the system can produce over a string inverter system.  There is a larger increase in maintenance with this system and for commercial use, this system is a virtual maintenance nightmare. The third system is the solaredge power optimizer system.  With this system, you can get the added efficiency of the micro inverter systems with a reduced long term maintenance on your system. This is the most prefered system to use for homes. For commercial it is also a good solution but in many cases, the straight string inverter is going to make the most sense. For more Questions you should ask your solar company check out our ongoing series: Questions You Should Ask Your Solar Company – Part 1 Questions You Should Ask Your Solar Company – Part 2 Questions You Should Ask Your Solar Company – Part 3