Investing in solar energy for your home is probably one of the better ideas you’ve had lately. Go, You! Especially if you live in a state where net-metering is available, you can drastically lower your energy bills while also reducing your carbon footprint on the world. Like any new-to-you thing, there are tips and tricks to get under your belt before jumping head first into a new world of technology. Well, we’re here to help navigate some of the trickier aspects of going Solar with your home with our helpful list of dos and don’ts.

DO! Definitely DO!

Preliminary preparation is the key to success in any field, but even more so in solar. In anticipation of going solar, take a few assessments:

Can you roof support solar? It’s not totally a question of weight (although, that is a factor) the more important aspect of answering this question is whether or not your roof gets enough sunlight to be able to generate electricity from solar panels. If your roof is covered by a giant tree then it’s either “Bye-bye tree” or find another solution. You could pay to cut the tree limbs back so you can have both solar and a hearty carbon eater/oxygen producer in your yard. But that’s going to add to regular overhead costs, and you want to reduce costs with this move. 

If your roof is capable of receiving steady sunlight especially between the peak hours of 10 am and 2 pm, then you’re good to go.

Get an energy audit. It’s almost like having your house appraised before selling or when applying for a home loan. One of the things you need to know prior to ordering and installing a solar system is how much energy your house uses to function on a regular basis. The last thing you want is to throw down some money on panels and then you still have to supplement with regular electricity to keep things up and running.

Do all you can to reduce energy output prior to installing solar. This means upgrading all your appliances to energy efficient models, swapping out light bulbs for LEDs, and so forth. Have as much of this in place well before your energy audit so you have the most accurate reading.

Don’t! Avoid! Avert!

Equally as important to success is avoiding the traps. Here’s what we’ve got and why…

Don’t neglect your research which includes price quotes as well as general information about solar and possible rebate programs available to you. Lack of knowledge will harm you in the long run.

Don’t Cut Corners either with pricing or installation. It’s possible to install solar panels yourself, but not recommended. Cheap products are usually cheap for a reason and the same goes with labor. In this case, you really do get what you paid for. 

Don’t assess your energy needs in a low season. If you’re that neighbor who so thoroughly loves to deck the halls every December with every light under the sun, that’s when you need to schedule your energy audit. It doesn’t do you or your house any good to have an audit under the lightest possible circumstances. Think about holiday dinners, the average temperatures throughout the year, and how you use energy differently depending on the season. It’s better to overshoot than underestimate in this situation.

Solar will reap many benefits for you and the environment. It’s a popular and, now, trusted source of renewable energy. Even though it’s new to you, you can still take the right steps to make all the trouble very worth your while.