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The Pros and Cons of Installing Solar Panels on Your Home

As energy costs continue to rise, more and more homeowners are exploring the benefits of installing solar panels on their homes. Before you decide if solar panels are the right choice for you, it's important to consider the benefits and drawbacks. While installing solar panels can certainly reduce your monthly energy bill, it comes with a few costly expenses of its own.

To help you make the choice, let's look at both the pros and cons of installing solar panels on your home.

View of solar panels on the roof of a house with the sun glare in the distance.

The Pros of Solar Panels

1. They Reduce Your Energy Bill

Reducing energy costs is the primary reason most people choose to install solar panels, and it's certainly true that solar panels can save you money in the long run. Over the lifetime of the average solar panel system, homeowners can expect to save anywhere between $25,500 to $33,000.

2. They Can Increase Your Home's Value

According to a study led by a team of researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkley Laboratory, homeowners have consistently shown that they are willing to pay more for homes that come with solar panel systems. The study found in 2015 that installing a solar panel system increased the value of a home by an average of $5,000 for every kilowatt (kW) of solar installed.

3. They're Great for the Environment

If you are an eco-conscious consumer, installing solar panels can be a great way to help reduce your home's carbon footprint. While the process of manufacturing solar panels does release a lot of carbon into the atmosphere itself, it is estimated that a residential solar panel will become carbon-neutral after just three years of use. From that point forward, every watt of energy that your panels produce will be one less watt that has to be produced by burning fossil fuels.

The Cons of Solar Panels

1. They're Expensive

Factoring in both the cost of the system and installation, installing a solar panel system on your home will set you back anywhere between $15,000-$25,000. While most solar panel systems will earn this money back plus some over the course of their life cycle, their upfront cost can still be difficult to stomach.

2. They Don't Work at Night

Solar panels convert the sun's rays into electricity ━ something they cannot do when the sun isn't shining. This means that solar households will still have to either rely on the power grid or use a battery storage system to power their homes at night or when clouds obscure the sun.

3. They Aren't Always Attractive

Older solar panel systems with their bulky silver frames and large profiles used to be a serious eyesore. Today's homeowners have a lot more options when it comes to choosing sleeker and more attractive-looking panels, with options for matching the color of your roof and designs that are meant to sit flush with its surface. Nevertheless, the solar panels on top of your home will still be noticeable. Whether this bothers you or not is a matter of personal preference.

Final Thoughts

Like the decision to make any addition or improvement to your home, there are a lot of important factors to consider before you decide to install solar panels. Regardless of whether your home's future is solar, though, we at Encompass Insurance would love to help you secure your home and all the property within. To see if we can help you save on your homeowner's insurance premiums, feel free to contact us today!

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