Should I get an on-site inspection before buying solar panels?

Solar Trust Centre Team
Solar Trust Centre Team
May 28, 2020

Before you buy solar panels, there are a few things you’ll need to do. One of the most important things is to have an on-site inspection of your property. That will help you be sure your roof can handle the panels, and that they’re being put in the right place. An inspection will also make it easier to understand your energy consumption, and to ensure that any needed upgrades can be done to your switchboard. Here are the main things to consider with your on-site inspection.

Your Roof Needs an Assessment

Before you can get solar panels installed, your roof should be assessed. That’s not something that can be done through photos or over the phone, which is why an on-site inspection is so important. An inspector will look to see whether your roof is in suitable condition for mounted panels. For example, roofing tiles have to be in good condition, and asbestos roofing isn’t suitable at all.

Will Shade Impact Your Roof?

The assessment will also consider the direction your roof is facing, as that can affect the effectiveness of solar panels based on the sun’s angle and how much light the panels receive on a daily basis. Shade’s impact on your roof can be significant. Of course, the angle of the roof itself matters, as well. Metal roofs that are flat or have up to a 25 degree angle are the easiest options when installing solar panels. If there are chimneys or antennas that will be in the way, these also need to be considered.

An installer can look for the ideal position for your panels, the inverter, and the battery. Then they’ll take a look at how they’re going to get the cables from the property to the inverter without a lot of disturbance. If the panels are in a location that gets mostly sunlight from 8am to 5pm, and that isn’t shaded by nearby properties or large trees, they’ll be much more successful in providing power to your home.

The Switchboard May Need an Upgrade

Depending on the age of your house and the type and size of the switchboard you have, you may need an upgrade in order to support your new solar panels. The installer who does the on-site inspection can give you information on that. While they’re taking a look at the roof and the switchboard, they’ll also assess the patterns you have for energy consumption. That will help the installer come up with a complete picture of what’s going to be right for you and any changes that will need to be made to your home before solar panels can be installed.

Put Your Trust in the Right Place

By meeting your installer for an on-site inspection, you can also determine how trustworthy that installer is and get your questions answered. There are warranties that come with solar panels and their installation, as well, and you need to make sure you understand what these are and how they cover you so you can get the right type of protection. It’s a big decision to get solar panels for your home, but it can be well worth doing if you plan it correctly and get a good on-site inspection before installation.

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