Choosing solar for your home is something you’ve thought about for a while. You’ve heard from others who have made the switch, got into buying solar panels, and are eager to experience the same benefits and savings.
While most people can benefit from installing solar panels, there are some factors to consider to ensure your home is a good fit for solar panels. Also, how you can benefit from the savings solar energy brings. These factors will help you make the best decision.

1. How Much Electricity Do You Use?

With a house full of kids, you may find yourself doing loads of laundry every day in the dead heat of summer. Looking at your electric bills for the previous twelve months will help you determine the energy usage trends for your home.
Home energy audits are helpful for pinpointing areas where your home is losing energy. Acting on these results can improve your home’s efficiency. This means that switching over to LED light bulbs or weatherizing your home to decrease how much electricity you need from solar power. When buying solar from ADT Solar, you’ll get 64 LED bulbs, smart strips, and other items to maximize your home efficiency.

2. What is the Condition of  Your Roof?

According to the Department of Energy, nearly one million residential rooftops across the U.S. feature a solar energy system.
Most asphalt roofs last on average twenty years. Solar power systems are super durable and can last thirty years or more. This means your roof needs to be in excellent condition before installing solar panels. You want to avoid additional costs associated with removing panels to replace your roof and then reinstalling those same panels.
You’ll need unobstructed roof space for the panels. Depending on size of panels and the number of panels you install will determine the final layout of the panels on your roof.
Another consideration when going solar is the direction your roof faces. In The United States, it is ideal to have solar panels installed on south-facing roof surfaces to take advantage of the most sunlight hours resulting in highest energy production.

3. What are Your Solar Panel Options?

Traditionally, roof-mounted solar panels are more common. Ground-mounted panels are an option to those with north-facing roofs, too much shade on the roof, or limited space on the roof. While ground-mounted systems may incur additional labor and equipment costs, it can be installed anywhere on your property. Solar panels are commonly installed on pool patio covers, detached garages, shade structures, and outdoor living spaces.
You’ll notice that there are a different types of solar panels available. The ones used most often for home solar panel installations are monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels.
Polycrystalline solar panels are significantly less-efficient and less expensive than mono crystalline panels. Because homeowners understandably want higher efficiency panels that produce the most electricity, monocrystalline solar panels are proven to be the better option.

4. What Is Your Budget for Solar Panels?

As with any investment, homeowners will want to make sure that they have the budget to support their solar project. The real question to ask is how much will it cost if you don’t go solar. If you can afford your electric bill, it’s simply a switch of payment towards your energy independence. See article on 5 solar panels costs to look at. 
With different financing options available, you can choose how to pay for your solar panel system. Paying upfront to purchase your system is generally the simplest and most cost effective way. However, with a small down payment you can spread out your payments monthly with a low interest loan. With the money you are saving combined with the incentives and tax credits, typical homeowners are able to get the return on investment within 4-7 years.

Financing Options

Rebates and tax incentives can significantly reduce the cost of going solar. If you install solar before 2019, you are eligible for the biggest savings opportunity, the 30% Federal Renewable Energy Tax Credi. There are also many different solar incentives based on your location.
Deciding to install solar panels on your home is an easy decision. With the costs of solar decreasing each year, homeowners can now take advantage of solar energy to ensure protection against electricity rate hikes.
Our solar experts can help talk you through additional questions and customize the best solar energy solution for your home. Whether you want your electric bill to be zero or you are looking to reduce it by 25%, we can tailor a solar panel system to fit your needs.
Find out how much you can save with solar by talking to one of our solar energy experts.

Editor's note: This post was originally published May 18, 2017.