Energy costs are rising, but that doesn’t mean you have to forfeit comfort or convenience. Solar LED panels offer a variety of benefits for your home, from reducing your energy bills to increasing the value of your property. Here are 10 advantages of solar panels for your home.
- Solar Panels Save You Money
As more people look to solar power as a way to save money, prices have dropped significantly in the last few years. In fact, installing a solar system can actually put money back in your pocket each month by reducing your electric bill. Customers who have switched from traditional sources of energy to solar report savings between $35 and $100 per month on their utility bills. The cost for a typical DIY installation is about $17,000, but could pay for itself in just seven years. As of January 1, 2006, the federal tax credit for solar electric installations offsets 30% of the cost. The federal tax credit will expire in December 2007 unless congress renews it, so if you’re thinking about switching to solar power, make your purchase before year’s end.
- Solar Panels Increase Property Value
One of the biggest benefits is that when you invest in a solar panel system for your home, your property value increases by an average of more than $20,000. Even more importantly, homes with solar panels generally spend less time on the market compared to similar non-solar homes. That means sellers can expect closing prices that are higher on average and buyers save money because they don’t have to worry about absorbing the cost of the solar panels if they happen to be purchasing a home with them installed.
- Solar Panels Are Durable
Solar panel technology is improving all the time. In fact, solar panel output has been doubling every two years for over 30 years! Industry leaders now expect that it will take less than 20 years from now for solar power to become cheaper per kWh than conventional sources of electricity — and they suggest that a tipping point may come even sooner as production ramps up and more homeowners install panels on their roofs. One thing’s for sure: The efficiency and durability of solar panels means you won’t have to worry about buying new ones anytime soon. On average, today’s systems last 25-30 years, which is significantly longer than most people keep their homes.
- Solar Panels Are Safe For The Environment
Conventional power plants which rely on coal, oil, and natural gas release harmful toxins into our air, water, and earth — creating pollution that can have dire effects. Solar technology doesn’t pollute the environment, so your air is cleaner when you install solar panels at home. If everyone in the U.S. switched to solar energy, more than 12 million tons of greenhouse gases per year would be eliminated — that’s more than all of California or Texas emits each year!
- Solar Panels Are Portable
If you want to move within the country or even relocate to another country altogether, it’s easy to take your solar panel system with you because it’s so portable. Unlike conventional power plants, you don’t have to worry about the cost of shuttling solar panels to another location because they can be easily transported. From transport to installation, it only takes a day or two to get your system up and running again somewhere else, which means you can enjoy all of the benefits that go along with using solar energy no matter where you are in the world.
- Solar Panels Work During Blackouts
If commercial power goes out in your neighborhood, you won’t have to worry about losing access to electricity when you depend on your solar panel system for power at home. That’s because most inverter models are equipped with batteries that store backup energy until commercial power returns — ensuring lights will stay on when you need them the most.
- Solar Panels Are Quiet
Another advantage of running your home on solar energy is that you won’t have to listen to a noisy compressor unit outside. The only moving parts in a typical solar panel system are fans — which makes it practically impossible to hear them at work unless you go out specifically to check it out. A photovoltaic cell is about the size of an index card, too, so there’s not much else around them besides a small metal frame and special wiring. In fact, because they’re installed on rooftops where it’s cool and shaded, they operate at optimal temperatures for extracting maximum power from sunlight. That means unlike conventional power plants that use steam or hot oil to turn turbines, solar panels are quiet, so you never have to worry about the noise of a power plant disturbing your family or neighborhood.
- Solar Panels Can Increase Home Value
Solar panel systems are an investment in your home that pays off in increased property value. How much more will you get when selling? That depends on many factors — including market conditions and how long it’s been since you installed solar energy. As mentioned earlier, studies show that homes with solar energy are 7 percent more likely to sell within one year, which means they often take less time on the market compared to non-solar homes. That means sellers can expect closing prices that are higher on average and buyers save money because they don’t have to worry about the cost of solar panels on top of the sale price.
- Solar Panels Can Help Prevent Power Outages
A significant number of power outages are caused by extreme weather, such as snow and rain, so it’s smart to choose a system that provides backup power when bad weather strikes. Although some inverters only operate during day and night, others offer additional features like back-up batteries that store reserve energy in case commercial power goes down — or an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) option for times when you need more than just light at night like inflation of air mattresses before bedtime. Another advantage is that you’ll get instant feedback if commercial power goes out because most inverter units come with status meters that indicate power generation, so you’ll know what’s happening at all times. That means you can even take advantage of temporary outages to take a nap or watch television without worrying about wasting electricity because your solar system will automatically shut off when the grid goes down.
- Solar Panels Are Environmentally Friendly
Solar energy is one of the cleanest forms of power available today because it doesn’t emit greenhouse gases or other pollutants that contribute to climate change or respiratory ailments like some conventional power plants do. Because photovoltaic cells are made from silicon, they don’t contain toxic heavy metals like cadmium and mercury – which are often found in coal-burning power plants.
While there are no emissions associated with generating electricity with solar panel systems, there is the environmental impact that comes with manufacturing. Fortunately, there are recycling programs for solar panels in place to ensure they’re not just thrown away once they stop working. The production of photovoltaic cells uses raw materials like silicon, copper and glass — resources which can all be reused when it’s time to upgrade or replace your solar panel system.