Despite the huge growth in the use of home solar-power, there are still many myths that persist.
This might have kept some people from installing home solar-systems, thus missing some potentially huge benefits.
Here are some of the common solar energy myths around solar that you need to know about and the true solar facts.
Myth: Solar-panels will not produce energy in cold climates
This myth is actually the opposite of the reality. In fact, cold weather ensures that electrical current transmits more efficiently by reducing the resistance of the wires. In fact, it has been estimated that a home solar-system will operate at about 29% more efficiency in cold weather.
It can get too cold for the inverters to turn on but those days are few. In most cases, the temperatures would have to go below negative 40 degrees Celsius for inverters to fail to turn on. This usually happens very few times in a year. Besides that, most inverters are stored indoors and they will never get to such low temperatures.
Myth: Solar-power is supposed to get more efficient, so I should wait to buy or install
This is another one of the solar energy myths being spread to discourage people from purchasing home-solar. However, this is not accurate. In fact, solar-energy has not changed since the 60s. What has changed is the ability to manufacture it more efficiently. As a result, this has somewhat helped to lower the relative cost of purchasing a solar-panel.
Right now, there are many companies working to improve the efficiency of solar-panels. However, those inventions are still many years from getting to the market. Besides that, the net gains from these improvements are quite limited. When they are measured in terms of total dollars saved, they are minimal. Thus, right now is the best time to buy solar-panels. It is especially so due to the tax credit programs being run by most US states.
Myth: My investment in a solar-system for my home won’t be worth it, as I won’t be staying in my current home for long
This is an easy myth to disprove. Depending on where you live, a home solar-system can pay for itself with 6 to 15 years. If you also factor in the tax credit from federal and state programs, you could see a retune on your investment in about 4 years. It is especially so in places where extra power can be sold to the grid.
There is also the fact that the resale value of your home will increase if you have installed a home solar-system. New homeowners are always excited by the possibility of lowering their electricity bill with the aid of solar power. Thus, even if you plan to leave your home before the next 15 years, you will still sell it more easily and at a premium compared to other homes. This could help you afford a much bigger home than you might have expected.
Myth: Solar-panels require additional equipment, like a tracking system, to follow the angle of the sun
Most solar-systems in homes are installed at the optimal angle to ensure that they get the maximum amount of solar-energy. A tracking system is not required most of the time. However, it is a feature that is used in some types of solar-system to make marginal gains. Despite this, almost all current installed solar-capacity works just fine without the need for a tracking system. If you do not have the funds to spare, you will not need to use a tracking system.
Myth: Solar-panels won’t operate in snowy or cloudy conditions
Cloudy and snowy weather can reduce the maximum amount of energy produced by the solar-panels but they will still work in these conditions. If you live in a snowy area, the panel installers will usually place them at an angle. This will ensure that the snow will now accumulate on your solar-panels.
As for rain, it actually helps to clean the panels, making them more efficient when the showers finally stop. In fact, proof that this is a myth is Germany. The nation has a smaller population and surface area. Besides that, it receives half as much sunlight that the sunniest cities in the United States. Despite this, it is a leader in the use of solar-energy globally.
Myth: Solar-panels will look ugly on my roof
The solar facts show that solar-panels do the opposite. They make the homeowner look hip and set a good example for others to protect the environment. If you do not like the traditional solar-panels, you can always opt for think silicon solar-panels that look like roof shingles. They might cost a bit more but if you are worried about looks, there is always another option. However, it is worth noting that there has never been a survey showing people think a house with solar-panels is ugly.
Myth: Solar-panels require constant maintenance
In contrast to this myth, solar-panels require the least amount of effort to maintain. All you need to do is hose down your solar-panels about twice or four times a year to remove dust particles. They do not have any moving parts that can wear out.
The only panels that require a bit more care are those with tracking systems. Even then, they will only require a bit of lubrication occasionally; less care than it takes to maintain your bicycle. In fact, a solar-system can remain working for the next two or three years with zero upgrades or checks made to it. This is especially so for those who live in areas where there are no extremes of weather or temperature that can affect the internal parts. Once you make the initial payment, you will never have to worry about other costly maintenance expenses.
Myth: Solar-panels will damage my roof and cost me more money
A professional installer has the skills to install solar-panels on any type of roof despite the angle, pitch, and its condition. He or she cannot damage the roof due to years of practice and training. In some cases, solar-panels can extend the life of the roof by protecting it from the elements.
Others might worry that with time, the weight of the solar-panels will deform the roof. However, that is unlikely to happen. Solar-panels are quite light and weigh about as much as a second layer of shingles. Roofs are designed to handle more than that. There will be a small space left between the roof and panels to ensure airflow, thus eliminating the chance that dampness will ruin the roof with time.
It is obvious that almost any myth around solar can be proven. Thus far, billions of dollars have gone into the solar-industry. It is unlikely that millions of homeowners would continue to try to use solar-panels if they did not help them reduce reliance on the electricity grid. If you feel that you need solar-panels in your home, contact a professional installer to ensure you get things right.
If you want to get the best results, never try to do the work yourself. For one, you might not get the wiring or the installation right. It will thus increase the amount of time it takes for you to make a return on your investment.