Things to Know Before Going Solar - 20 Hacks to Build Your Own Affordable Solar Power System - The Ultimate Guide to Solar Power Energy and Lower Bills - Mark Prentice, James Bickel

Solar Power: The Ultimate Guide to Solar Power Energy and Lower Bills: (Off Grid Solar Power Systems, Home Solar Power System) - Mark Prentice, James Bickel (2016)

Book 1. 20 Hacks to Build Your Own Affordable Solar Power System

Chapter 2. Things to Know Before Going Solar

The decision to go solar can be an exciting one but it also means that you’ll have to think differently about your new energy resource.

If you are new to the solar world, you’re probably thinking about the great savings you’re going to have and how you’re reducing your carbon footprint. But there are a few other things you should keep in mind that will be beneficial in smoothing out the bumps when you’re ready to make the big switch.

Your Roof

In most cases, your solar panels will be installed on your rooftop so you need to make sure that your roof is in good condition. Make sure it will be strong enough to support not just the panels but also the racking system needed to secure it in place. In some cases these systems can weigh over a ton.

If your roof is a little old, chances are parts may be brittle and there may be some wear and tear that will have to be taken care of first. When it is time to install the panels, weaker areas may crack and break.

Once the roof is in good condition, it is a good idea to buy extra roofing material so that you can quickly replace broken or weakening areas quickly in the future. Your solar panels will only work well if the roof is able to support it.

Also important is the angle of the roof. If it is flat, you will have to factor in the cost of installing an adjustable tilt frame to make sure that your panels will get maximum solar exposure. This will give you optimal performance.


Your budget will probably be the single most important factor in determining which solar options you will use. Decide ahead of time how much money you want to spend on your system.

Make sure that you allow for solar conversion costs in addition to the total cost of the system. If budgeting is tight, you may be able to find some companies that will offer a payment plan to cover the expense of materials.

Backup System

Solar power is good but during certain times of the year, getting enough energy to keep your home running may be challenging. Depending on where you live, you will inevitably come across a day when you may need more energy than your solar panels can produce.

Unless you plan on living completely off the grid, you’ll need to make some arrangements for a backup power system. That means keeping a generator or battery powered system charged and ready to go or connecting into your local utility company for the extra power you need.

Excess Power

In some cities, solar power systems work so well that you may generate an abundance of power. In those locations, it may be possible to receive credit or to sell your excess power to the local utility company. This arrangement varies from one location to the next so you will have to discuss this with a local expert to find out your options.

Getting solar power in your home can open up exciting opportunities but there is a bit of preparationinvolved. The more you’re sure of these things before you start the fewer delays and challenges you’ll have in installing your system and making the transition to solar.