Solar panels have come a long way in the last 20 years. Since the U.S. Department of Energy announced its goal to cut the costs of solar energy production by 60%, innovations in the construction of solar panels have allowed them to generate more energy relative to their costs than ever before. This means that now is a great time to install solar panels to support your Washington, D.C. home.
One remaining element factoring into the cost of solar installation is the labor, causing many homeowners to consider a DIY installation. Home improvement stores often sell solar panels, and these come with much of the equipment necessary to add solar to your roof on your own.
Here is an overview of why trying to DIY your Washington, D.C. solar installation is not a recommended option and what to do instead to get the best results.
Should You DIY Your Solar Panel Installation?
The short answer is no, you should not attempt to install a solar panel array yourself, whether to support your entire home’s energy needs or as a supplemental option to power the light in your tool shed. While it is true that DIY can help you avoid the labor cost of professional installers, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Legality – One of the biggest issues with DIY solar panel installation is the myriad of legal issues tied to the project. From securing the proper permits to complying with code regulations, homeowners who self-install solar panels often come up short in the legal department. This could result in fines or even needing to redo the installation. DIY does not include the benefit of having professional installers help enroll your home in important programs such as the solar energy credit marketplace.
- Complexity – High-quality, long-lasting solar panels are not a “set it and forget it” type of installation. They require knowledge of safe and secure installation, carpentry, wiring, and more. Few people have sufficient knowledge in all of these areas to safely install panels. Each panel can weigh upwards of 50 pounds, and the arduous task of safely placing that on your roof, moving it into position, and properly securing it could put you at risk of physical harm. Failure to do so properly can also damage your structure, from holes in the roof to the chance of electrical fires.
Advantages of Professional Solar Installers
Unquestionably, professional installation costs money. However, those costs provide the advantages of:
- Strategy – Expert solar installation teams will be able to advise you on how to get the most out of your panels, saving you as much as possible over the long run. They will provide personalized guidance by evaluating your property, identifying the best location and orientation for your panels. By factoring in shade, the direction of the sun, the overall space commitment, and more, professionals will craft a solar plan that is tailored to you and your goals.
- Material Improvement – Solar panel installers typically work directly with suppliers, which means they have access to materials that public consumers may not. This can grant you access to higher-quality panels than what you can buy off the home improvement store shelf.
- Reduced Work – Installers know how to strategically place panels efficiently and effectively. Your installation will likely be completed in a fraction of the time it would have taken you on your own, and the quality of the final product will be superior and safer than your DIY attempt. Experts will also help you connect your panels with the utility service and any applicable credit or rebate programs to help you capitalize on the savings as soon as possible after installation. Reputable installers take charge of securing the permits and abiding by local building codes and regulations. With their initiative, homeowners can avoid overlooking important steps and requirements.
Get Help With Your Solar Panel Installation in Washington, D.C.
Solar panels are becoming higher in quality and more effective than ever, but they still require the expertise of a professional installation team. Ipsun Solar has been working with Washington, D.C. homeowners for years to create personalized solar installations that can help homes become energy independent.
Ipsun Solar is a proud participant in the Amicus Solar Cooperative—a group of solar installers who support each other to stay educated on best practices and better results. Contact Ipsun Solar to discuss your home’s energy goals, how to incorporate solar power, and how to get started with a professional installation that gets the job done right.