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Tips for Maximizing the Benefits of Solar Panels at Home

Sun exposure, shade, and debris build-up all affect how much energy your solar panels generate.

Laura Leiva
Content Writer
Tips for Maximizing the Benefits of Solar Panels at Home
  •  
Feb 29, 2024
  •  
5 min read

One of the biggest questions homeowners have after switching to solar is this:

“How can I get the most out of my solar panels?”

Whether you’re still shopping around or a homeowner looking to move forward with a Monalee install partner, we want to make the process as straightforward as possible.

Ready to get started on your journey toward solar? Here are a few tips to help you maximize the benefits of solar panels.

Choose the Best Location for Solar Panels

Want to maximize the benefits of your solar panels? Start by choosing a great location.  

With the help of our install partners, you’ll get a comprehensive overview of your roof and electrical system to ensure solar installation is done safely and effectively.

Factors that impact solar panel efficiency

Sun Exposure

How and where your solar panels are installed makes a big difference in how much solar energy the panels capture.

Because you want solar panels to capture the most sunlight, the direction they face and pitch are important. For homes in the United States, the Department of Energy suggests placing panels so they face south, tilted anywhere between 15 and 40 degrees.

Minimizing shade

Shade – caused by trees or tall buildings – impacts the efficiency of your solar power system.

Depending on your landscape, you might consider trimming trees back to keep the panels in full sun; however, if an obstruction is caused by something you can’t move (a building, for example), you might need to explore other solar solutions.

Debris

Shade isn’t the only factor that impacts solar performance. Partial shading caused by debris (bird droppings and leaves, for example) and dust layers reduce solar panels’ efficiency by up to 30 percent.

Maintain Solar Panels to Optimize Benefits

Your solar panels should last between 25 and 30 years with routine maintenance.

While there’s much less work to do with maintaining your solar installation over a traditional electrical system, basic upkeep will keep your home reaping the benefits of solar power over the long term.   

Caring for your solar panel system

Monitoring the performance of solar panels

One huge benefit to having solar panels at home is you have more control over energy usage.

How?

A performance monitor – usually as easy as connecting to an app on your phone – gives you energy usage information in real-time. This allows you to track any trends or patterns where energy consumption is high and look for ways to improve.

Maximize solar panel benefits (and reduce utility reliance) by:

  • Swapping out old appliances for energy-efficient models
  • Running appliances during peak solar power output times
  • Upgrading lighting with smart light bulbs
  • Using only one major appliance at a time

Keeping panels clean

Whether you live in a desert region and deal with dust accumulation or live by the coast and have saltwater buildup, even the thinnest layer of accumulation can reduce solar panel efficiency.

One to two times a year, rinse the solar panels with a hose. For safety reasons, calling in a professional is always recommended if solar panels are hard to reach.

Looking for signs of damage

Solar panels are highly durable but prone to wear and tear. If you notice a decline in efficiency over time, it could be due to several factors, including:

  • Equipment age
  • Cracked panels (usually caused by weather, such as a severe wind or hail storm)
  • Subpar equipment and manufacturing

Invest in High-Quality Equipment and Solar Panels

Monalee uses solar panels made with the highest-quality silicon materials and tempered glass to ensure longevity and reliability. Additionally, the solar installation comes with a 25-year warranty on equipment and panel performance to give homeowners peace of mind when investing in climate technology.

What to look for when shopping for climate technology

High-quality components and panels

Not all solar panels are made equal. Depending on your energy needs, the number of solar panels required to power your home may vary.

If you want to get the most benefit from your solar panels, doing homework first is a helpful way to narrow down the options. Here’s what you want to look for when comparing quotes:

  • Customer reviews
  • Technical specifications – temperature ratings, module efficiency, glass-type
  • Customer support

Warranties

It’s no secret that moving to solar energy takes an up-front investment. Look at the fine print and warranty information to ensure you get the most benefit for your home.

At Monalee, we offer warranties on equipment, performance, and labor for 25 years.

We want to keep going solar stress-free for first-time and established homeowners, so we add an extra layer of protection – $2 million in coverage – above the manufacturer warranty to guarantee 25 years of quality use.

Improve Energy Efficiency With Solar Panels

Solar power usage is so individual. Whether you want to alleviate growing utility bills or move toward living off the grid completely, homeowners might consider battery storage to maximize the benefit of going solar.

A battery has the potential to store solar power during the daytime, so it’s available for nighttime use.

While a battery isn’t essential for homes still connected to the grid, it could be an added benefit for areas that experience frequent power outages, as utility companies don’t allow homes to run on solar power (only batteries or backup generators may be used).

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