Solar panels are relatively new technology, and new things have a strange tendency to pick up myths as they grow in popularity. There are a few myths about solar panels that started over the years. Because solar technology has a tremendous capacity to improve the lives of homeowners, it’s important to debunk these myths. The following are seven of the most popular myths about solar panels and the truth behind the technology.
1. SOLAR PANELS DON’T WORK WHEN IT’S CLOUDY
Some people think solar panels need direct light to produce electricity. The reality is clouds cannot hide sunlight, but they definitely do affect the amount of power your panels can provide. For the most part, they are going to produce between 10 to 25 percent of what they normally produce. Now, this doesn’t sound like much, but it should be more than enough for most everyday needs.
2. SOLAR PANELS REQUIRE A LOT OF MAINTENANCE
Another myth some people have linked to solar panels is that they require a lot of work. This is not the case. Solar panels were made to resist sunlight, so they are quite durable and can last up to 30 years. Now, there is some maintenance involved, but all you have to do is wash the dirt and dust off about four times a year — though some people can get away with doing it twice a year. This can be easily done with your garden hose.
3. SOLAR PANELS WILL DAMAGE THE ROOF
Solar panels are not going to damage your roof. These panels were designed to fit on your roof and are relatively light. This is yet another myth, but you should keep in mind that solar panels need to be installed by a professional. Only a licensed and qualified installer knows how to place panels safely without damaging the panel itself or reducing the integrity of your roof.
4. SOLAR PANELS WILL LOOK UNATTRACTIVE
Now, this one is a little strange to answer because it is a personal opinion. Solar panels may seem out of place, but that was early on when the first panels were placed on roofs. Nowadays, solar panels are everywhere — especially in California. You have probably seen many homes with them installed. While some may fear that solar panels reduce curb appeal, the reality is that many buyers prefer to buy homes with solar panels.
5. SOLAR PANELS ARE TOO EXPENSIVE
Solar panels and installation can cost you thousands of dollars, but there are a few additional factors to take into account. For one, there are a number of financing options available for solar panel installation. Studies show that fully financed solar panel systems cost less than the current utility rates in most large cities throughout the country.This holds especially true in California where utility rates are high throughout the state.
6. EXCESS ENERGY GETS STORED
Many believe that they will be able to store excess solar energy in a battery. In truth, most homeowners are connected to the power grid using net metering. Rather than storing energy in your own battery system, excess energy will be sent to the grid. Homeowners are then given credits based on the amount of additional solar energy their home produces. The grid functions in a similar way to a battery — since it will supply you with energy when you need it at night or during the darker months of winter.
7. IT’S BETTER TO WAIT TO INSTALL SOLAR PANELS
This is not a good idea. It’s true that solar panel prices have decreased over the last decade. Many may think it’s better to wait to install solar panels in the hopes that prices will drop further. While this may be tempting, it’s better to install your solar panels sooner than later.
Solar panels continue to grow in popularity. At some point, they are going to become the norm. At the moment, there are certain tax credits and incentives that may expire if you wait too long to install. You want to take advantage of those financial incentives and deals now rather than later. More importantly, there is no real reason to put off saving money, and that is what this installation is going to end up doing for you.
Hopefully, now that you know a little more about solar panels, you can see the value of them without worrying about those pesky myths surrounding them. There may be other myths circulating about solar panels. If you come across one, get on the internet to debunk it or talk to a solar panel specialist to find out the truth. That way you can move forward with solar panel installation equipped with greater knowledge and peace of mind.