Are DIY Solar Panels a Mistake?
News / Are DIY Solar Panels a Mistake?
Many people are attracted to the idea of going solar (who doesn’t want to save money on their electricity bill?) but would rather do it themselves. It’s possible to DIY your own solar panels, but first you need to make sure you weigh the pros and cons. You’ll also need to be careful to avoid common solar panel mistakes. Let’s examine the main reasons why you might be thinking about DIY solar and see if it’s worth it.
Can DIY Solar Save You Money?
For most people, the cost is the biggest issue, and the idea of saving a few bucks on installation makes DIY solar appealing. The internet will definitely tell you that DIY solar panels are cheaper, but a lot of critical information is left out. Are DIY panels actually cheaper?
The answer: maybe.
How much do DIY solar panels cost? It depends on what kind of solar power generation you’re looking for. If you just want to buy and hook up one small panel for a personal science project, then it’ll probably be cheaper to buy it online and set it up yourself. One solar panel runs anywhere from $70-$300.
Count the Costs
If you want to generate enough electricity to power your home, you’ll need to buy:
- Multiple panels (usually around 30-40) with the correct wattage
- Appropriate wiring
- Installation tools
- Mounts for the panels
- An inverter
- A battery backup system
- And more
All of that hardware can add up to a pretty hefty upfront cost.
Keep in mind that solar panels and equipment sold online (for example on eBay) aren’t always from trustworthy suppliers. The panels have fragile glass that can be damaged during shipping or installation, so you might have replacement costs to think about.
Not to mention, if you want to install enough solar to power your home, you’ll actually need to have a permit, among other paperwork. Perhaps the most unfortunate part of all is that you won’t be eligible for a solar tax credit if you DIY your solar panels.
In other words, the cost of DIY Solar panels that you’ll have to pay upfront isn’t cheap—it’s thousands upon thousands of dollars.
Hiring a Solar Company Has Real Benefits
In contrast, some solar companies (including Current Home) offer pricing plans such as 0% down and low monthly payments. So you won’t have to save for months and years to afford it—you can get solar today.
Hiring a professional company may have higher upfront cost, but you’ll be sure that your panels are installed correctly and avoid common solar panel mistakes.
- You won’t have to bother with paperwork.
- You’ll be able to claim that nice tax credit.
- You’ll save tons of time.
If time really is money, as they say, then you’ll definitely come out ahead by hiring a professional.
The Pride of Doing It Yourself
If you love a good DIY project, then you might be thinking that hiring a professional takes all of the fun and satisfaction out of it.
There are lots of YouTube videos out there. How hard can it be, right? Sorry, but not this time.
Solar is Complicated
Installing solar panels isn’t like putting up Christmas lights. It’s dangerous and extremely technical. Not only will you have to get up on the roof, but you’ll also have to solder things together, run and install different types of electrical wiring, install an inverter, and figure out how to position the panels at the correct angle based on your location.
Additionally, doing it yourself can lead to making costly solar panel mistakes. Here are just a few of the most common ones:
- Poorly positioning your panels
- Using the incorrect system size (including the wattage of the panels and the capacity of the battery bank)
- Inadvertently mismatching equipment like the inverter, panels, and wiring types
Mistakes During Solar Installation Can be Dangerous
There have been instances in which homes have caught fire because of solar panel mistakes. In addition to the obvious danger to you and your family, some insurance policies would refuse to cover damages like these.
You also know that you’ll have to get a permit, and you’ll have to worry about getting supplies from reputable suppliers. The hassle isn’t worth it for most homeowners.
Let a pro handle your solar panels so you can spend time on safer, more rewarding DIY projects.
You Don’t Want To Be Taken Advantage Of
You might be hesitant to hire a professional company to install your solar panels because you are worried about being overcharged or about the installers doing a poor job. This is a valid and important point.
You’ll need to do your research to find a solar company you can trust. At Current Home, we offer custom payment plans and custom installation plans. We will work with you to make sure that you have a plan that suits your needs and you are 100% satisfied with our service.
Learn more about why Current Home is the right choice for your California solar needs by contacting a team member today.