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How to Choose the Right Solar Energy System for Your Home

Published: 04/12/2023

residential solar energy Sarasota

Upgrading your home with solar generation is one of the best ways to improve your property’s value and functionality. It’s also an excellent means of lowering your monthly energy bills, which can be sky high here in Florida.

However, actually going solar requires working out some important details. We’ll explain the main considerations below, and walk you through how to choose the right solar energy system for your home.

Choosing Panels vs. Shingles

Thanks to recent innovations in solar technology, homeowners now have two types of solar systems to choose from: traditional solar panels and solar shingles. Both have their pros and cons.

Solar Panels

Classic solar panels are separate surfaces that are installed over the top of your existing roof. These are typically large rectangular cells, which can stand out from the rest of your rooftop depending on its color and material. There is typically a gap left in between the panels and the roof surface, creating an area where debris can be trapped and harder to clean out. If you have heavy leaf litter accumulations on your rooftop even with proper tree maintenance, this can be quite a nuisance. However, traditional solar panels are usually the more affordable option.

Solar Shingles

Solar shingles are more modern products made to look like traditional roofing shingles, thus offering discreet solar power generation. This also means that solar shingles require removal of the original roofing. If you’re already planning on a roof replacement, this may not be an issue, but if you’ve already updated your rooftop recently, then installing solar shingles will cut the value of that investment. As far as cost goes, the sophistication of solar shingles puts them at the higher end of the spectrum. Shingles are also less efficient than panels, and they can’t be removed or repositioned, but since they’re a rather new technology, we can look forward to much-improved versions in the near future.

Selecting the Right Capacity

In order to get the best ROI out of your solar system, you’ll need to install one of the right capacity – that is, the amount of energy it’s capable of generating. Too little, and your returns will come far slower. Too much, and you may be paying for more than you need.

The average energy consumption of a home of 1500 sq ft would be 633 kWh/month, while a 3000 sq ft home would be 1185 kWh/month. Generally, the capacity that is the right size for your home can be estimated with the following formula: (Daily kWh usage ÷ average sun hours) x panel efficiency factor = DC solar system size. A professional solar contractor can help you make an accurate calculation that accounts for your rooftop’s space, exposure, and your chosen type of system.

Adding Storage Batteries

Solar systems with attached battery storage are quickly becoming a necessity for homeowners who want reliable power. During the power grid failures of hurricane Ian, those who had solar batteries in addition to their generation systems were able to access their own energy even after nightfall.

Solar batteries work by storing away any excess energy the solar system generates during the day. That energy remains untouched until night time, or when a blackout cuts off grid supply. It’s possible to limit that power to just the essential rooms in your home, ensuring your backup power is used efficiently. 

Battery storage will certainly add to the cost of your installation, but it can be well worth it. Additionally, the federal solar incentive tax credit now also covers storage devices that have a capacity rating of 3 kilowatt hours or greater.

Get Help Solarizing Your Rooftop with AKVM

Whether you stil need some guidance or you’re ready to install your ideal solar system, AKVM can help you get it done right. Our expert team will ensure that you get a perfectly-mounted system that is tailored to your unique needs, offering impeccable service and affordability along the way. Contact us to schedule a visit from one of our specialists and get a free quote.