Ecowiser

Power Your Home: 7 Solar Panels for Home Energy Solutions

best solar panels for home in 2022

Renewable energy solutions are the best way to transition your home to an eco-friendly one. Solar energy is a popular form of renewable energy, helping us reinvent our lifestyle. Have you ever considered solar panels for home energy?

Several homeowners around the world are considering their options and now wish to install solar panels for home energy solutions.

Coal-based energy is carbon-intensive and stresses the existing stock of non-renewables. Many residents are trying to install solar panels for home energy, so they can power their homes with an abundant source – the sun.

best and the most efficient solar panels for home

Most of the hype around solar panels comes from the realization that we need to shift our energy consumption patterns from non-renewables to renewable sources. Other concerns are that renewables don’t leave wasteful and toxic residue, unlike coal and petroleum.

Currently, around 2% of USA’s energy requirements are met by solar power. While the figure is pretty minuscule, it is still impactful. With approximately 92.7 billion solar panels in use today, we can say that change is around the bend.

But to make it more popular and accessible, we need for homeowners to know about installing a solar power system for the home. Residential solar panels are becoming a new necessity, but it’s still a rookie development.

Several people believe that installing solar panels is a huge compromise on budgetary expenses. When you are already spending a ton of money on flooring, repairs and other bills, installing solar generators for your home might seem like a bank-breaking hassle.

Due to the efforts of the Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO), the cost of solar panels for homes is decreasing. Several companies also offer solar panels that are an efficient way to harness energy safely without inconveniencing the environment.

Thus, we come to you with an expansive 101 about these photovoltaic power systems. Solar panels can be the next big feature of your modern home that sets it apart from the others.

Read on to learn more about solar energy and the best 8 solar panels for your home!

Why Choose Solar Panels for Home Energy

Using solar panels for home energy is one of the best things you can do for your home and the environment. Why do we need to transition? Simple – we’re so done with coal consumption and its impact on our planet. Aren’t you?

What is Coal Power Doing to the World?

image 103

The World Coal Association says that about 41% of the planet’s coal reserves are used to provide electricity. This shouldn’t strike as surprising given how long we have depended on fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum to fulfil our energy requirements.

As you might know till now- the long-term uncontrolled use of fossil fuels depletes their reserves.

Coal and petroleum take thousands of years to replenish. When we extract and exploit these resources rapidly, we run the danger of upending the balance between the replenishment rate and consumption rate.

If coal reserves run dry, the impact will be worse for those who directly depend on coal for fuel and cannot afford it. The sociology of it all is complicated where most of the coal reserves are appropriated by corporations to fulfil and supply energy at a high cost.

Also, what will be left for our future generations when we run out of coal and other non-renewable energy reserves?

Not too long ago, academics projected that the next world war will not be over cultural skirmishes or assassinations. They will be over resources and their ownership.

The possibility of a war over non-renewables is real. And it is happening already.

Coal power also has a high environmental and carbon footprint. The US Energy Information Administration details the disastrous impacts of coal mining and burning.

Coal emissions generate toxic gases such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulates that amount to respiratory illnesses, neurological disorders and smog. The damage isn’t just atmospheric, but the disposal of these pollutants and coal ash in water bodies is also a matter of concern.

While countries are mulling over possibilities to deal with the effects of coal burning, much of these are still in the initial stages of research and experimentation.

In order to move to a residue-free, cleaner energy alternative – renewable energy options like solar power are touted as one of the best ways to harness energy for our own consumption.

Reasons for Installing Residential Solar Panels

image 21

The disasters and damage associated with coal-powered electricity have prompted governments and citizens to consider cleaner ways to derive energy.

With the pleasant turn towards green architecture, architects and homeowners are game about including efficient ways to achieve power generation. Solar power has emerged as one of the foremost renewable energy options.

There are several reasons to opt for these sleek, ultra-efficient panels. Keep reading.

Solar Panels Reduce Carbon Footprint

Using solar power for home energy lowers your carbon footprint.

Unlike coal, solar power does not leave any harmful residue or gases that harm the environment. However, it might need clean water to work wonders for your home. The requirements for a solar panel are also less intensive.

If you live in an area abundant in sunlight, then harnessing solar power is a good alternative.

Solar panels installed on roofs can gather ample sunlight during the daytime, converting it into electricity to power your home for the rest of the day, even when the sun goes down.

You Can Become Electricity Independent

The ongoing Ukraine War and the resultant volatility in energy prices means it will be difficult for Europeans to face the bitter winters. Remember the pair who threw a can of tomato soup at Van Gogh’s famed painting? They were trying to bring attention to this very issue.

International wars and resource scarcity pressurize the energy market.

So, it’s important to be energy independent and survive the volatilities posed by global problems.

Solar power ensures that you are able to do that without fretting about fuel prices shooting up.

Being a proud owner of a solar power system for your home has its own advantages. You won’t need to worry much about power cuts!

Most importantly, the sun will never charge you expensive electricity bills. This is something only corporations and companies do, attempting to literally outshine the sun at its own game.

No Loss of Electricity

We don’t think about how most of the electricity generated is lost due to long transportation networks. Solar panels are energy-efficient because they minimize the loss of charge as they are situated within the location.

Proximity to the location to which electricity needs to be delivered is an important aspect of optimal power systems.

Factors That Impact Residential Solar Panels

image 28

As we mentioned before, solar panels are about efficiently harnessing the best of solar energy. PV panels are an excellent way to derive all your energy requirements in a planet-positive way.

However, matters do not end at merely installing a massive solar panel. As a conscious homeowner, what you should be looking for is maximizing the efficiency of solar power generators.

Make a rough assessment of the following factors as you would need a solar panel that fits your needs. Knowing about these details will help you zero down on choices rather quickly while saving you some bucks.

Location

image 23

Usually, homeowners prefer installing solar panels on the roof where they are exposed to maximum sunlight.

However, it is a myth that solar panels work only during a bright, sunny day when it is directly facing the sun rays.

While solar panels work best during a sunny day, they can also work in natural daylight.

Photovoltaic cells function from the photons in natural lighting – which might not always be blinding sun rays.

Solar power systems also work in shade, but that will impact the amount of electricity generated.

We advise you to install these residential panels, you can choose the roof, over your parking lot, near exterior walls or an open underutilized space such as your backyard.

The location is a significant factor that determines how efficient your solar panel will be.

It also depends on the way your house is planned, laid out and constructed. Another sub-factor to consider is the variability of weather – it’s not every day that the sun will shine on you. Facing rain, sleet, hail and snow during winter can also impact the efficiency of your solar panels.

Make sure you get a professional to help with a solar panel installation for your home.

Direction and Incline

Many experts opine that true south is the best direction for a solar panel. Some even prefer a north-facing roof.

It is all a matter of making the best of your existing geographical location, which is the true essence of sustainable energy.

You should also see that the roof has a considerable incline of between 10 to 30 degrees.

This is to ensure that the solar panel is not hampered by rainwater or snow accumulation. Homeowners should also consider how vigorously tested the solar power system is.

A well-researched and well-planned installation will also result in several optimal benefits.

Make sure that your solar panel is tested to endure extremities and is easy to maintain. A thick layer of snow or poor rainwater drainage can bring down the efficiency of a PV panel by almost 100%.

Type of Solar Panels, Size and Efficiency

Just like how you cannot expect your neighbor’s pants to fit you perfectly, remember that blindly installing a solar panel for a home just like your neighbor did, might backfire.

Let’s leave the trend of imitation behind. There are three types of solar panel systems – monocrystalline solar panels, polycrystalline solar panels, and thin-film solar panels.

These three options differ in efficiency, weight and material.

An average solar panel can convert up to 22% of solar energy into usable power.

Make a cost-benefit assessment of what you have and look for a power system that suits your circumstances.

You should also take into account the size of the installation and the cost of the extra hardware and maintenance. The size of the panel is expressed in Kilowatts per year.

Durability and Cost

Durability is a significant consideration when you are shopping for an extension such as a solar panel.

Solar panels last for an average of about 20-25 years, and with excellent maintenance, even beyond that.

Solar panels should be extensively tested for UV degradation as long-time exposure to UV rays can delaminate them easily.

You should also assess the lifespan of every single solar cell in the wafer to determine its productivity.

Cost also plays a huge role when you are considering an installation. Since solar panels are usually made from crystalline Silicon, they can be somewhat costly. However, with the increasing availability of various materials, the cost of solar panels is decreasing rapidly.

Are Residential Solar Panels Worth the Investment?

If you want clean, no-nonsense, efficient power, using solar panels for home energy will be worth every penny.

Solar power systems are capital-intensive, which means that you will also need to install additional equipment to get the maximum worth out of them.

Remember that solar panels for home energy need considerable thought and planning.

image 24

Most of it depends on what you want to get out of the solar panels, which is why it is important to go for a thorough energy audit of your home.

The investment will give you maximum returns with minimal wastage when you properly map it out according to your requirements.

The various advantages of solar energy make it a cost-viable option for many homeowners. Especially in the US, the popularity of such installations is increasing and gaining traction. Let’s look at some of these advantages!

Earn With Panel Installations!

image 100

Saving the planet with solar power generators also means that you can earn some bucks if you sell that extra power back to the grid. You can do so if your PV system is connected via a net metering connection. Check-in with your local utility provider if they offer this service in your area!

Earning a few bucks on the side will help you get a lot of worth out of your solar panels, and will also motivate you to reduce your own power usage.

Of course, you can choose to go off-grid with solar power, but that would also mean that you will have no other power source to back your requirements. It is a drastic decision and a truly scary possibility for many people.

You can be on-grid too, by staying connected to a main utility grid to sell that excess power to your provider. That way, you can get the best of both worlds – solar power is there as your primary energy source and you won’t be entirely lost without a backup. But this is a more expensive option than staying off-grid.

It also requires extra arrangements like energy storage systems, solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs), power conditioning and safety equipment etc. It is because of these costs that such installations are preferred by companies. If you feel the benefits outweigh the costs here, you can opt for a simple solar power system for homes instead of an elaborate setup.

Tax Breaks and Subsidies

Another return of this investment is availing of tax credits and subsidies provided by the government. You might feel that solar power is more of an itch rather than a productive investment given the costs, but hold up. The US Government usually offers tax credits up to 26% of the installation’s total cost, thanks to Congress. But it might expire by 2024 and is scheduled to dip by 4% in 2023.

As for subsidies and incentives, you can keep a regular tab on the official website of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE), linked here.

Other questions related to investment can be if the expense will be worthwhile, the factors it might depend on, or the returns it might generate in the near future. We have investigated these queries in detail, so you don’t have to.

We won’t really discourage you from doing additional research to satisfy your queries completely, feel free to visit official websites and other forums linked here after you are done reading.

Can a House Be 100% Solar-Powered?

image 26

Yes, it can. Although several people might tell you otherwise, it is doable. Solar panels for home energy can give you long-term returns and prove to be a worthwhile investment.

If you wish to make out the most of solar power and run your home entirely on it, make some calculations to achieve the goal. Remember, this is not another flimsy new year resolution. Making maximum use of solar power needs extensive planning and conscious effort.

In order to make your home 100% solar energy dependent, you need to take the following into perspective.

Energy Use

This is where energy audit and solar installer facilities come in handy. You can also determine and calculate it on your own by looking at your past electricity consumption and expenses.

A customized solar power system for your home will be determined by your requirements, a daily estimate of typical use, the weather and climate of your residential area and a realistic estimate of power generation depending on your location.

Even if you and your neighbour are using the same type of solar power system, the results can have a massive difference depending on the energy consumption levels of every household. This step might require a lot of lifestyle changes to make it succeed.

Location and Property Size

While solar panels work well in natural daylight, it is for a reason that people prefer to install them in a sunlit area.

Residential solar panels give a maximum output when they are exposed to an area with solar abundance. Moreover, it will work better if you have a large underutilized space where you can comfortably install a panel which covers your need for power.

You might need additional panels if you don’t have a south-facing roof to capture sunlight. Or maybe, if you are seeking to pivot the panels accordingly, the ground might be a better location to install the panels. As for the property size, the more expansive it is, the more your energy requirements will be.

If you want to go for a 100% solar-powered home, you can. But that would need some compromises on the way you lead your life. Consulting a home energy auditor or specialist can prove useful as they can guide you on how to adjust your consumption patterns to derive the best solar power at the least expense.

What is the Average Cost of Solar Panels for a Home?

The average cost of solar panels for the home can range anywhere between $3,500 to $16,000 excluding other parts like an energy storage system, batteries, replacements and installation labour.

It might prove too costly for some homeowners. But if you are ready to take the plunge, you should also learn that solar panels do not provide short-term returns like stocks and shares.

Such an investment needs due care and attention and it will provide you with long-term benefits which you might not be able to see now. Also, the average cost of solar panels for homes differs across regions.

You should also consider that solar energy can cut up to 75% of your current bill. Reaching a break-even point is again, variable and dependent on various factors. Someone living in a sunlit area can easily arrive at break-even at 5 years, some take double that to get to that point.

Generators and Solar Panels for Home Energy

image 104

Out of the three we recommended earlier, both monocrystalline and polycrystalline variants are brilliant choices for residential solar panels.

Monocrystalline panels are made from a single silicon source. Polycrystalline panels, they are made of silicon from multiple sources.

With regards to efficiency, monocrystalline panels are better and have a life of up to 40 years.

You can also go for thin film panels if you are looking at lightweight installations and more sustainability on a budget. Monocrystalline panels are slightly more expensive than the other two and are also more wasteful due to their unique shape. Polycrystalline is much better if you are looking for reducing wastage.

Another factor to consider is if you want bifacial panels. These panels make maximum use of the sunlight that hits them, but they are also significantly expensive and might not recover the costs you incur to install them.

The Best Solar Panels for Home Energy

Here’s a list of the best residential solar panels for your home. As we move towards a more vulnerable planet, it is time to take matters into our own hands. We’ve been encouraging you to embrace conscious consumerism. So, what better way than to start with an eco-conscious home?

It is your turn to be an eco-conscious homeowner. Say yes to the sun with these top-notch and efficient solar panels to light up your home when the sun goes down. It’s time for you to rise and shine.

These brands offer residential solar panels and installation services. We’ve linked them for you in our list below. Let’s help you find the best solar panels for your home!

Silfab

image 98

This leading North American PV residential solar panel manufacturer is great for efficiency. Premium quality cells and extensive durability make Silfab PERC solar panels sleek, crisp and overall best if you are looking for time-tested systems with an extended warranty period of 25 years. The price range is just short of premium brands but it gives a better performance guarantee.

Shop Silfab


Canadian Solar

image 30

For homeowners who want to incur less costs but still reap the benefits of clean energy, Canadian Solar panels are the perfect choice. Although they are low on the efficiency quotient, these panels use HJT technology which makes them a good option for low-budget seekers. However, their performance dips in warmer climates, offering a lower efficiency of 22% and a shorter warranty period.

Shop Canadian Solar


LG

image 31

If you have limited roof space, choose LG solar panels for your home. Compact, powerful and built to last, these panels are more affordable than other alternatives and are extremely dependable. The standard warranty period is 25 years for models, but the output rate differs from 92% to even 98.5%. LG solar panels for homes are the best to fit tricky roof designs while giving their best performance.

Shop LG


Trina Solar

If you are looking for durable and lower-budget solar panels for your home, Trina Solar is one of the best options. With a 25-year warranty, these solar panels offer top-tier performance and a higher efficiency standard. Over the years, the manufacturers have remedied the weaknesses and increased the warranty period of their monocrystalline systems.

Shop Trina Solar


Panasonic

Panasonic HIT panels

The company’s panels use the EverVolt technology that can endure excruciatingly hot temperatures without delaminating. It guarantees a 92% output for the mentioned warranty period of 25 years. It is one of the more expensive options but delivers an efficiency rate of 22.2%.

Buy Panasonic


SunPower

sunpower most efficient solar panels for home

SunPower is one of the largest solar panel pioneers by market share. One of the best picks for efficiency, these residential solar panels for homes are simply the best. It comes with a warranty period of 25 years and delivers up to 22.8% of efficiency standards. However, it is still one of the most expensive choices on this list. But the price is worth the investment, we say.

Shop SunPower


Q Cells

qcells solar panels for home

For solid performance and affordability, go for Q Cells panels. An excellent choice for homeowners with smaller budgets, the performance of Q Cells is at par with premium brands such as Tesla. The only con is that some models might not work well for small roofs. Decent efficiency rates, however, make Q Cells a popular choice.

Buy Q Cells


WindyNation

windynation solar panels for home

WindyNation offers one of the most sleek and cost-effective solar panels for homes. These panels are small enough to fit shorter roofs and are well-built. Windy Nation is reviewed as one of the best performance-oriented brands which give a great performance in all weather.

Shop WindyNation


What Do We Think of Solar Power for Home Energy?

While solar panels for homes are quite capital-intensive, they can be worthwhile if installed after careful consideration. It is well known that solar energy is one of the key drivers for the future.

Homeowners who can afford to make this transition can take this positive step. Besides being cleaner and eco-friendly, solar power is also lucrative as it gives long-term returns. High on savings and low on resource stress, it’s time to walk on the sunshine and say hello to the future.

Green architecture doesn’t always have to be the prerogative of artists and corporations. With solar panels, you can make your own home a premier example of how things should be done.

Our take on solar panels is quite realistic – watch out if the costs outweigh the benefits for you. While most reviews sound overwhelmingly positive, solar panels work best when they’re installed taking the big picture into perspective.

If you’re cruising with us and fighting for the right cause, we also encourage you to download our Chrome Extension! It’s your very own, eco-conscious shopping buddy, tailored to give you the greenest product recommendations. It’s pretty awesome to care about the planet, especially when you can make that change one click at a time.

Table of Contents