Solar Energy

Best Solar Installers Near Me: Common Myths on Residential Solar

Residential solar energy is quickly gaining popularity among homeowners. As more and more people consider solar energy for their homes, a wave of myths and half-truths have surfaced, creating confusion. 

This blog will address and debunk these myths, ensuring you have correct solar panel installation and usage information. 

Read on as the “best solar installers near me” unravel the secrets of solar energy and brighten the realities behind this sustainable power source.

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Myth #1: “Solar Only Works in Sunny Weather”

Solar panels are designed to generate electricity even on cloudy or rainy days. Here’s a breakdown of how they work under various weather conditions:

Effectiveness in Different Weathers:

WeatherSolar Panel EfficiencyNotes
SunnyHighBest condition for power generation.
CloudyModerate (10-25% capacity)Still works but with lower output.
RainyLowRain cleans panels but reduces light reaching them.

Solar Panel Technology

Solar panels are waterproof, ensuring they aren’t damaged by moisture​​. Even when it’s cloudy or rainy, some sunlight still penetrates the clouds, allowing solar panels to generate electricity​​. 

In areas with net metering policies, excess energy generated on sunny days can offset energy usage at night or on less sunny days​​.

Influencing Factors

  • Temperature – Cooler temperatures during cloudy or rainy days can sometimes enhance solar panel efficiency.
  • Edge-of-Cloud Effect – A phenomenon where the sun’s rays are magnified as they pass through the edges of clouds, potentially increasing power production temporarily​​.
  • Cloud Coverage – The level of cloud coverage can impact the amount of sunlight reaching the panels, thus affecting their efficiency​​.

Myth #2: “Solar Panels Aren’t Efficient”

Solar panel technology has greatly developed, increasing efficiency and lower costs. Key developments include:

  • Cost Reduction

Renogy, a solar provider, shares that solar power costs have dramatically lessened, with the cost per watt dropping from $2.24 in 2015 to $1.25 in 2020. A decade ago, it was $5.79 per watt​​.

  • Efficiency Improvement

Modern solar panels have become more efficient in converting sunlight to electricity, working better in harsh temperatures and cloudy conditions​​.

  • Battery Storage Options

Prices for battery storage, necessary for storing solar energy, have substantially decreased, enhancing the overall efficiency and affordability of solar systems​​.

Comparison of Old and Modern Solar Panels

FeatureOlder Solar Panels (Polycrystalline)Modern Solar Panels (Monocrystalline)
Efficiency13-16%Exceeds 20%
ConstructionMultiple silicon pieces melted togetherCut from a single silicon block
AppearanceBlue appearanceBlack, sleeker, and modern
Weather AdaptationLess efficient in varying weatherBetter performance in various conditions
LifespanShorterTypically 25-30 years

Charge Controller Technology

  • Old Standard (PWM) – Less efficient, capped at a voltage that efficiently charges batteries, resulting in wasted higher voltages.
  • New Standard (MPPT) – Up to 30% more efficient in ideal conditions, adjusts charge profiles in response to panel input changes, maximizes energy capture and conversion​​.

Myth #3: “Solar Panels are Expensive”

Cost ElementInitial InvestmentLong-Term Savings
Solar Panel Purchase

– High upfront cost

– Varies by system size

– Reduced electricity bills

– Long lifespan (20-30 years)

Installation Costs

– Labour costs

– Additional equipment (inverters)

– One-time expense

– Increases property value

Maintenance CostsMinimal initial maintenanceLow ongoing maintenance costs
SubsidiesProvincial and federal incentives available

– Decrease initial cost

– Improve ROI

Tax IncentivesPotential tax credits for installationReduces overall investment cost
Technology CostsDecreasing due to advancementsMore efficient systems available over time

Myth #4: “Solar Panels Are Only Applicable to Residential”

This myth stems from the belief that installing solar panels is only possible for homeowners. Yet, there are certainly doable options for renters who wish to use solar energy:

OptionDescriptionBenefits for Renters
Community Solar ProjectsMany people benefit from single, large solar options. Renters subscribe and get credits on their electricity bill.No installation needed; Access to solar without property changes.
Green Power Plans from Utility ProvidersUtility companies offer plans to source electricity from renewable sources, including solar.Easy switch in energy plan; No physical installation required.
Solar Gardens/Shared Solar FacilitiesShared facilities where renters can purchase or lease part of the solar panels.Direct ownership or lease of solar power; No need for property installation.
Agreements with LandlordsNegotiating with landlords to install solar panels on the rental property.Potential for direct solar installation; Can increase property value and efficiency.
Portable Solar OptionsPortable solar products like chargers or small panels for personal or small-scale use.Completely independent; Usable without altering the rental property.

Myth #5: “Solar Power Are Inefficent During Outages”

This revolves around the misconception that solar panels alone can provide power during electrical outages. 

Many believe installing solar panels means they will have a steady power supply, even when the grid is down. Yet, this is only typically the case with additional equipment. Here’s a breakdown of what’s needed:

Standard Solar Panel Systems

These systems automatically shut down for safety reasons, stopping energy from being fed back into the grid and potentially risking workers fixing the power lines.

Need for Additional Equipment

Solar panel systems require additional equipment to maintain power during an outage, especially solar batteries or a solar-plus-storage system.

Solar Batteries

During an outage, the stored energy in these batteries can be used to power the home. This setup requires a special inverter and battery system to disconnect from the grid and switch to battery power during an outage.

Solar-Plus-Storage Systems

During an outage, they can isolate from the grid (islanding) and provide power only from the stored energy.

Backup Generators

Generators can run on various fuels and provide power when solar energy is lacking, especially during long outages.

Myth #6: “Solar Panels Will Cause Roof Damage”

This myth can be disproved by stressing the importance of proper installation and maintenance. Here’s how professional solar panel installation will prevent roof damage:

Roof WeightCheck roof strength before installation.Ensures roof can hold panels safely.
LeaksUse sealants and proper installation techniques.Keeps water out.
Wear and TearRegular checks and use strong mounts.Keeps the roof and panels in good condition.
Holes in RoofMinimal drilling and sealing any holes made.Prevents leaks where panels are attached.
Temperature ChangesAllow space for panels to expand and contract.Avoids damage from hot or cold weather.
WindStrong mounts to withstand wind.Panels stay secure in strong winds.

Myth #7: “Solar Panel’s Impact on Home Resale Value”

With each kilowatt (1kW) of solar installed, the value of a home could increase by up to $6,000. Solar panels can add up to 3-4% to the value of a home. For example, a property worth $300,000 could increase about $9,000 to $12,000. Also, homes with solar panels tend to sell faster than those without​.

Solar installations could increase a home’s resale value by up to $5,911 for each kilowatt of solar panels installed. Some studies also estimated an overall increase of 4.1% in the home’s value. These figures are averages and can vary depending on the location.

Myth #8: “Coal Is Better Than Solar”

To clarify this comparison, here’s a table highlighting the key differences:

AspectSolar EnergyClean Coal
EfficiencyHigh (around 15-20% and improving).Lower (about 40-45% efficiency).
Environmental ImpactVery low; no emissions during use.Higher; still emits greenhouse gases.
SustainabilitySustainable; uses the sun, a renewable source.Less sustainable; coal is a limited resource.
Long-term ViabilityVery good; improving technology.Lower; environmental and resource concerns.
Costs (Initial/Operating)Initially high but decreasing; low operating costs.High initial and operating costs.

MAG Solar

Install Solar Without Doubts

Busting solar energy myths is important for knowledgeable decision-making. Clearing up misconceptions about cost, efficiency, and installation impacts helps individuals and businesses understand solar power’s real benefits and considerations. Consulting with reputable solar installers is highly recommended for personalized advice and solutions.

Frequently Asked Questions

If your home isn’t suitable for solar panels, there are several alternative options to consider:

  1. Solar Water Heaters – If you’re interested in solar energy for heating purposes, consider installing a solar water heater.
  2. Energy Efficiency Improvements – Focus on reducing energy consumption through energy-efficient appliances, better insulation, LED lighting, and smart home technologies.
  3. Wind Turbines – If your property is suitable, small wind turbines can be an alternative renewable energy source.
  4. Roof Renovation or Repair – If the issue is an old or weak roof, consider renovating or repairing it to make it suitable for solar panels in the future.

To find out if your roof can support solar panels, consider these points:

  • Check if your roof is strong enough and what material it’s made of. Some materials hold up better under the weight of solar panels.
  • Older or damaged roofs might not be strong enough.
  • The angle and design of your roof can affect its ability to hold solar panels.
  • Know how heavy the solar panel system is and if your roof can handle that weight.
  • Make sure installing solar panels meets local building regulations.
  • Have an expert, like a solar installer or structural engineer, inspect your roof.

When choosing a solar panel system for your home, there are several types to consider. Here are the main types and their suitability for different homes:

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