When it comes to fast-growing industries, the solar realm is a fantastic example, exploding in popularity over the last several years across the country. However, as is often the case with something that becomes extremely popular in a short period of time, a number of unfortunate myths have also sprung up about solar power, often promoted by those who aren’t experts and are getting their information from untrustworthy sources or a game of broken telephone.
At Intermountain Wind & Solar, we’re here to help. Not only do we provide a huge array of residential and commercial solar power in Boise, plus other parts of Idaho in Utah, but also expertise and proper facts on everything you need to know about solar – including the debunking of the common solar myths out there. What are some of the most common such misconceptions floating around, and what are the actual facts in each of these cases? Here are several.
Perhaps the single most common myth about solar power today is this one, and it’s at least understandable: Solar panels and solar power production used to be very expensive, including as recently as about 15 years ago. This was because it was still a relatively new technology and costs of production and installation were high.
Simply put, this is no longer the case today. The cost of manufacturing and installing solar panels has fallen precipitously, and it’s far more affordable today. In addition, the majority of solar power companies offer basic payback services that allow you to continue paying roughly the same amount you’d have spent on your monthly power bill, but instead putting that money toward the cost of your solar panels over several years – and once you’re done with this payback period, your power is completely free.
And of course, this is all without discussing the electricity savings you get. Especially in areas that have high electricity rates, switching to solar will save you incredible amounts of money. There are also tax incentives that are often in play for homeowners who install solar panels. Taken together, there’s no question that solar panels are far more affordable today than in any prior generation.
Is your home located in the North or South Pole? No? In that case, you don’t have anything to worry about when it comes to your climate and the production of solar energy from your panels.
Now, we want to be clear here: It’s true that solar energy production varies through a given year, and will typically be higher in the summer months than in the winter. However, this has nothing to do with the cold temperature – rather, it’s simply due to the lower amounts of time the sun spends in the sky during the winter, and the comparatively longer times it’s out during summer.
But when it comes to solar power needs, there are no issues during winter months, even during shorter days. Panel efficiency is actually higher when panels are cooler, meaning your system will easily be able to make up for the shorter sunlight periods that come in winter.
While solar panel systems do require certain minor areas of maintenance, anyone telling you that you need advanced techniques or expertise here is full of it. Especially for newer solar panel systems, maintenance is extremely limited, usually confined to simple areas like cleaning the panels occasionally, checking their angling and a few other minor tasks. There are some older lead-acid batteries that do require a bit more upkeep than other types, but these are rarer today – the more common option is the lithium-ion battery that has a much longer lifespan, plus requires basically no significant maintenance.
While we aren’t totally sure where some of the other myths in this article came from, we’re well aware with this one: It comes from poor solar installers, who unfortunately do exist in our industry. If your installer doesn’t know what they’re doing, the potential for damage to the roof during installation is absolutely present.
However, if you’re dealing with qualified, reputable solar installation professionals like ours, this simply isn’t a concern. Our installers are all certified to perform installation services, and we back our services up with insurance coverage as well.
In fact, when installed by quality pros, did you realize solar panels might even protect the roof more than normal? They shield its shingles against hail, heavy wind and even UV sun damage, all factors that may even increase the lifespan of your roof once solar panels are installed.
There are some who simply assume that their current homeowners’ insurance policy will not cover solar panels, often without even checking. Again, this is typically false: Nearly every modern policy does cover solar, because it’s considered a permanent improvement to the home. You just have to be sure your coverage is high enough to cover the full cost of system installation, but again, this is usually the case.
Now, it should be noted that even most solar owners will still have an electric bill – it just won’t be anywhere near as high. In fact, in some situations, you’ll only have to continue paying your power company to keep your power meter on, while all your actual power generation will come from your solar panel system. However, anyone telling you that you’ll have no solar bill whatsoever is getting just a bit ahead of themselves.
For more on debunking common solar power myths, or to learn about any of our solar panel installation or other services in Boise and other parts of Idaho or Utah, speak to the staff at Intermountain Wind & Solar today.
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