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Guide to Home Solar Energy Systems
How Solar Energy Works
The Solar Powered Future

Solar Power Technology

If you've been thinking about switching over to solar energy technology to reduce your home's carbon footprint or to save on your electricity bills, there's never been a better time. Over the past few years, solar power has become more popular in many homes across America while prices have gone down. From the year 2006 through 2013, recent studies indicate a 1,000 percent increase in the number of homes that started using solar power. So how does solar power work?

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), there are three main types of solar – photovoltaics (PV), and solar heating and cooling (SHC), which are primarily used in homes and businesses, and concentrating solar power (CSP), often used by large-scale energy developers. Home solar panels use special batteries to capture and use light from the sun. The light is then converted into energy, which can be used to light your home, heat your water and more. The energy itself is dispersed into your home via an inverter, which transforms it into basic alternating current (AC) electrical power.

A solar-powered home will need solar panels, which are large flat panels made up of individual solar cells, installed onto the home. In some cases, solar panels are installed directly above the ground located within so many feet of the home. Installing a solar roof is much different than adding a regular roof onto a home, and it requires the services of a solar power installation specialist. By acquiring services from a company that specializes in sun solar services, you can have your home running on solar energy in less than a week's time, in most cases.

When hiring professionals to install your solar panels, it's smart to choose a company that offers a carved-in-stone warranty, preferably a warranty spanning at least 20 to 25 years. Additionally, contractors need to install panels that have been manufactured by a company based in the United States; this ensures that your warranty will stay in effect even if the manufacturer were to close its doors. Furthermore, the installation company you hire needs to be both bonded and licensed, and has a good rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Cost to Install Solar Panels

The cost to have solar panels installed on your home will depend on how many panels you need, the manufacturer you purchase them through, the installation provider or company, and the federal and local tax credits that you take advantage of. Other factors that can affect the cost of solar include your available, unshaded roof space, and your current energy usage. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $17,000 to $20,000 for solar panels and the installation.

In addition to buying solar panels and having them installed, there are other options to take advantage of. For starters, some companies will allow you to finance your purchase, which is ideal if you are strapped for cash. Another option is leasing the panels; however, if you take advantage of this option, you won't be able to take advantage of available tax credits, rebates, and other incentives.

Regardless of the reason that you're having solar panels installed, whether it's for environmental reasons or to simply to save on your energy bills, the installation process will only take a few days for an average-size home. If you're interested in switching your home over to solar power, make sure that you use a reputable solar energy provider and installation service, and that you do your due diligence before switching over to solar energy.