Choosing the right panels and inverters for your solar energy system is important, but so is making sure those components are warranted properly. If they stop working for some reason or you have other problems with them, you want them to be covered. But there is a bit of a catch to the warranty on these items, in that there are actually four separate warranties to be considered. Here is what you need to know about the most common warranties for these products.
Panel Performance Warranty
The performance warranty on solar panels is generally for 25 years, although some manufacturers raise this warranty to 30 years, instead. When an installation company talks about the warranty on solar panels being for 25 years, it is generally on the performance only and does not cover other aspects of the system or the panels themselves.
Panel Product Warranty
Typically, the panel product warranty is between five and 10 years, depending on the company that installs the panels and what they’re offering. This is far different — and far shorter — than the panel performance warranty. However, many people incorrectly assume that the panel product warranty is the same as the panel performance warranty. That could lead them to thinking they have more coverage than they actually do, and for a longer period of time, as well.
The Inverter warranty is almost always for five years, but there are sometimes upgrade options that can push this warranty to 10 years or longer. These upgrades are generally not free, and may be offered at the time of the sale or the time of the installation. Additional warranties can provide good value if they are low in cost, but it is important to understand how much the price will rise.
The warranty for the installation is provided by the installer, not the manufacturer of the solar panels or other system components. Usually this warranty is for one or two years. In some cases, installation warranties can be 10 years long, but this is not common. Asking your installer about the length of their warranty is vital to having the knowledge you need about your system.
What Should You Ask Your Installer About Warranties?
Before choosing an installation company for your solar panels and inverters, make sure to ask that company about their warranties. The installer may say there is a 25 year warranty, but it is important to understand that does not cover everything. While it may cover the panel performance, other aspects of the job have warranties that are much shorter. It is very important to understand exactly what you are getting.
Who Should You Speak to About Product Issues or Safety Risks?
If you have product issues or you see something you believe is a safety risk, contacting your installer is the first step. They are knowledgeable about the job they completed for you, and have all the information about the manufacturers of the products they installed, as well. Whether or not your panels or inverters are still under warranty, it is very important that you address safety risks and other problems promptly. With care and proper maintenance, your solar panels and inverters can provide good value and last a long time.