How to Install a Solar System: The Complete Guide for Homeowners

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Residential and commercial solar adoption has been ramping up quickly over the past few years. This year, renewable energy systems were responsible for producing a record 20% of all electricity in the USA.

With panels cheaper than ever, there’s never been a better time to install a solar system.

Of course, it’s not as simple as buying a couple of panels and bolting them to your roof. A residential solar system requires installation by an expert so the panels are stable and in the correct position. You also need to have enough energy storage capacity for your needs.

Read on for quick-look step-by-step guide to solar installation.

Step 1: Do Your Research

Before you even look at hiring a solar installer, you must work out a few things about your energy requirements.

First, investigate how energy efficient your home currently is. Work out how much energy you use and then spend a period trying to reduce it using methods like switching to energy-efficient LEDs, reducing the number of appliances you use, and upgrading your heating and cooling systems.

Other things to investigate in advance of solar panel purchase include auditing your home’s solar potential (how much solar energy you can collect at your site) and narrowing down your list of local installers to find the best solar installation service.

Don’t forget to consider your solar system budget, too. How many and what kind of panels can you afford?

Step 2: Prepare the Site

You’ve signed the contract with your preferred solar installer. The next step in your solar project is to get a site survey and obtain the necessary permits. 

The company will send an engineer to your home to assess your current electrical wiring and the structure of your roof. They may recommend changes to either if they believe they cannot adequately cater to solar panels.

The solar installer will also apply for any permits required from your local municipality. This ensures your solar panel designs are legal.

Step 3: Install Time

The workers arrive on-site and begin preparing your roof for installation. First, they will check the condition of the roof and the pre-defined area where the panels will site. Then, they will erect the mounts, securing them to your rooftop.

Finally, once the panels are installed, they will run the wires that connect your panel’s electrical system to that of your home. They’ll also set up your battery bank, which allows you to store any excess energy generated.

Step 4: Flick That Switch!

Now, all that’s left to do is test that your system works as planned. The installer will run a few tests on your system to ensure everything is working as intended.

It’s also a good idea to schedule your first solar system maintenance appointment at installation. It would be best if you got your panels checked and serviced yearly to ensure your get the most out of their long lifespan.

Install a Solar System Today

You can’t go wrong if you follow these basic steps to install a solar system for your home. Solar isn’t cheap initially, but once you’ve got the capacity right, you can expect to see significant savings in your utility bills. Just be sure to shop around to find the best solar installation company in your area.

For more advice on living the green life, browse the other articles on our blog.

Comments (2)

Jim Paulson
Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) - Boise, ID

I had a solar system installed on my home here in Idaho.  We have a "net meter" system where any excess power is credited to future billing cycles.  One thing I didn't know, is that since my system is hooked up to to the gride, that if it goes down, so does my system.  For example, clear blue sky day at 100 degrees in the summer with full solar panels won't help me a bit if our grid goes down.  However, if I install a battery back up or a generator, I can still kick start my system if I can disconnect it from the grid first.

Jun 30, 2022 11:57 PM
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Platinum - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great information.   Thanks for sharing and enjoy your day!

Jul 01, 2022 07:31 AM