3 Most Commonly Asked Questions About Solar Power for Your Home

Many homeowners today are curious about solar power, either to help reduce emissions from power plants or to save on their electric bills, or both. Solar panels are becoming very popular as there are many varieties and options from which to choose, so you're sure to find something that can fit your budget. You may even be eligible for a tax credit or rebate from the government as well. If you're considering solar panels for your home, note a few commonly asked questions about these panels and then discuss your options with a contractor as necessary.

1. How do solar panels works?

Solar panels have a semiconductor material inside such as silicon, boron, and phosphorous. When exposed to the sun, these materials activate electrons inside. The electrons then move to the circuits that are connected to the panels to create electrical power that can be captured. Usually solar panels have a type of converter that converts the power created by electrons to the electricity that is used by your home.

2. What is the difference between panels and integrated photovoltaic products?

Panels are mounted to a building's roof or to a pole; photovoltaic products are those that are integrated right into building materials such as glass, roofing tiles, wallboard, and the like. These products work the same way as panels, activating electrons and then converting their energy into electricity. Some newly constructed homes and buildings are using photovoltaic products so that the building itself works just like a solar panel. If you're thinking of a home remodel, you might be able to find these products to use; however, for most homeowners, panels are the only workable option and are much more affordable than trying to rebuild certain areas of your home just to incorporate these photovoltaic products. 

3. What is the difference between solar panels and solar hot water heaters?

If your home cannot support the size of solar panels or you cannot afford them, you can get a solar system that is connected just to your hot water heater. This usually involves a much smaller panel; the converter for this panel is connected just to the water heater or to a pool heater and not to the home's electrical circuit box. These panels for hot water heaters typically work in the same way as panels meant for your entire home; however, they're typically cheaper. This makes them a viable choice for many homeowners who want to do what they can to reduce their overall consumption of city-provided power.

For more information and details, talk with a solar installation company about the options that would work best for your needs.