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Solar FAQ

Frequently asked questions about solar energy

ADT Solar powers homes and empowers people. We want you to feel empowered to get answers to your solar-related questions.

The FAQs below are a great place to start. And if you still have more questions, one of our Solar Energy Specialists would be happy to answer them.

The basics

How does home solar work?

A rooftop solar panel system collects sunlight and converts it into solar energy that can power appliances in your home. The system collects sunshine during the day, when the sun is out. If you add a battery backup to your solar array, you can store any excess energy your system creates to use at night or during power outages. Learn more about how solar panels work.

What equipment is used in a home solar system?

Each rooftop solar panel system includes several components including solar panels, racking to hold the panels and a micro inverter to convert the energy the panels produce into energy your home can use. You can also add an optional battery backup to store any excess energy created by a solar panel system.

What are the different types of solar panels?

There are three different types of solar panels available on the residential market: monocrystalline, polycrystalline and thin film. Most residential rooftop solar installations on homes use monocrystalline solar panels because of their high efficiency, long lifespan and durability.

How many solar panels do I need?

The answer to this question differs for each homeowner and depends on many factors including how much electricity your home uses, the amount of sunshine your roof gets and how much space is available on your roof for the panels. Learn more about the factors to consider when determining how many solar panels you need. A Solar Energy Specialist can also help you figure out how many panels your home would need.

Deciding whether to go solar

Is my home a good fit for solar?

Solar is wonderful, but like anything else, it’s not for everyone. Before deciding whether to go solar, think about your home’s energy usage on a daily, monthly and yearly basis. Also consider how much money you can afford to spend on a solar energy system as well as the current condition of your roof. One of our Solar Energy Specialists would be happy to help you determine if solar is a good fit for your home.

How much does it cost to go solar?

The cost of going solar will differ for each homeowner. It depends on your family’s energy usage and how many solar panels you need. Financing options as well as any federal, state and local incentives you may qualify for can help make solar more affordable. A Solar Energy Specialist can sit down with you to go over the numbers and help you decide if going solar is within your budget.

What are the financing options for going solar?

When it comes to paying for a solar panel system, you have a few different options. They include buying the equipment outright, getting a loan you can use towards the purchase of the system and making monthly payments by leasing it. Check out our informative guide to going solar for more details on financing.

Will going solar increase my home’s property value?

Chances are good that, yes, going solar could increase the property value of your home. That said, whether they do, and by how much, depends on your individual situation. The housing market plays a major role, too. You can learn more about how rooftop solar panels can affect property value in this blog that explores the subject.

Battery backup

Do I need a battery backup?

If you want to use solar energy at night or during power grid outages, then yes, you’ll need a battery backup. This is because solar panels can’t generate energy at night. And solar energy systems are disconnected from the grid during outages to protect line workers. However, you can still use solar energy during the day without a solar panel battery.

How does a battery backup work during an outage?

A battery backup stores the excess solar energy that your solar panel system might produce during the day. If your area experiences an electricity grid outage, you can use the reserves in the battery backup to power components of your home until the grid is restored.

How many battery backups do I need for my home solar system?

While most homeowners will probably only need one solar panel battery, some might need more. Factors like your family’s energy usage and your goals for your solar energy system will affect the number. A Solar Energy Specialist can help determine the right number of battery backups for your home.

Solar panel performance

Will my solar panel system produce enough energy to power my entire home?

It’s possible to power all the electrical components of your home with solar. However, whether your solar energy system does depends on variables like the number of solar panels in your system, how much sunshine your roof gets and whether you add a battery backup. Discussing your family’s solar goals with a Solar Energy Specialist can help you figure out what kind of set up you’d need to meet all your energy needs.

Do solar panels work at night?

Since solar panels are designed to collect sunshine, they can’t draw power after the sun goes down. That said, if you have a battery backup, you can use any excess solar energy stored between sunset and sunrise.

Do solar panels work on cloudy days?

While they might produce a bit less energy, solar panels can still work well on cloudy days. This is because they absorb sunlight that bounces off surfaces in addition to direct sunlight. Plus, solar panels absorb both visible light and infrared light. The latter can penetrate clouds.

Do solar panels work in winter?

Solar panels are powered by the sun’s light, not the heat it generates. Therefore, a drop in temperature won’t affect their performance. And although the days are shorter, there should still be enough sunshine for solar panels to draw from.

Will solar panels work on a roof that gets shade?

The answer depends on how much shade it gets. Solar panels work best in full, direct sunlight. Yes, your home could be a good candidate for solar even if your roof has shady spots. Along with direct sunlight, solar panels can absorb scattered sunlight. That said, roofs that are fully shaded are probably not a good fit. You can speak with a Solar Energy Specialist to figure out whether your roof is eligible for solar.

How many years will my solar energy system work?

In general, solar panels should stay in good working condition for a minimum of 25 years. Factors like the brand, wear and tear and proper maintenance can affect their longevity. Learn more about how long solar panels last.

What happens if my solar energy system stops working?

If you notice that you’re no longer able to use solar power at home, contact the installers. A reputable, experienced and skilled company like ADT Solar will offer warranties that cover work done on your solar panel system throughout the warranty’s duration.