If you want to play your part in sustainable living and reduce your reliance on the aging electrical grid, switching to solar energy is a great place to start. But even though residential solar energy systems have fallen dramatically in price in recent years, the upfront investment can still be substantial. It makes sense to look for ways to save where you can.
Installing solar panels yourself is an option that can save you money on installation and labor. But just how much will you save, and what are the risks?
We’re here to answer that question and help you navigate the path ahead.
Here’s how much it costs to install solar panels yourself.
What Is the Average Cost to Install Solar Panels Yourself?
Solar energy use is on the rise. Even still, the United States only harnesses 0.03% of the available solar resource to use as electricity. For many homeowners, the initial cost is a considerable factor impacting the decision not to go solar.
DIY solar panel installation can help you save. Installing your own solar panels can drastically reduce the bill you’d pay for labor with a professional installation. On average, professional solar panel installation costs $2.95 per watt. For a standard 5kWh system, the total amounts to approximately $14,750 for parts and the labor for installation.
If you have the knowledge, ability, and time to install your own solar system, it’s well worth doing when it comes to saving money.
But is it worth the risk?
What Are the Pros and Cons of DIY Solar Panel Installation?
Should you install your panels or call in the professionals? Here are the pros and cons of DIY panel installation to help inform your decision.
The obvious benefit of installing solar panels yourself is the financial savings. Cost-savings are the number one reason people purchase DIY kits and tackle the project without a professional.
Self-installation could save thousands of dollars. When you combine that with the savings on energy bills you get from pairing solar panels with solar generators, the financial savings are likely worth the extra effort.
When considering your solar system budget, check to see if you qualify for the solar tax credit. You could save 30% of the total installation and equipment costs! Your state or city may offer additional incentives, so research before purchasing.
Learn a New Skill
There’s something profoundly empowering about completing a project on your own. That’s especially true if that project offers the direct payoff of being able to harness your own renewable electricity supply!
Instead of just leaving it up to someone else, installing your own solar panels and balance of system requires you to educate yourself in a way that’s fulfilling and allows you to speak knowledgeably about an increasingly important subject.
Plus, with so many resources, it’s easier than ever to learn how to install your panels! Look for online solar panel user manuals, tutorials, guides, and success stories from other DIY-ers.
DIY installation will better equip you to troubleshoot, identify issues, and make any fixes if something goes wrong. After all, you’ll already be familiar with the equipment and how it fits together!
This can save you even more money on maintenance costs in the long run.
Installation on Your Time
With solar installation in such high demand, it can be tricky to get the job done as soon as you want if you opt to hire a professional company. But if you choose to install your own panels, you can start and finish the job on your schedule.
Many manufacturers are also simplifying the installation process for permanent installations, like EcoFlow’s 400W Rigid Solar Panels. The sooner your solar power system is up and running, the sooner you can start saving!
Installation can be time-consuming if you opt for a rooftop solar array. You’ll need to familiarize yourself with the technology, ensure you have all the necessary tools, test the roof, build a frame, etc. You’ll need to dedicate hours, sometimes days, to install the system correctly.
In today’s busy world, time is a scarce resource. Before deciding if you want to install your own panels, consider if the time you’ll need to invest is worth it. Self-installation will save you money, but what you lose in time may not be a worthwhile exchange.
Do you have experience working with electrical systems? If not, installing solar panels on your own could be dangerous.
You also need to consider where you’re trying to install the system. Do you need to climb onto the roof or use a tall ladder for installation? If so, there are risks involved that could lead to physical harm if an accident occurs.
If you aren’t 100% confident in your abilities to work with electricity and scale buildings, call in a professional company for installation support.
Possible Property Damage
One key consideration many first-time buyers overlook is that installation can lead to potential property damage. You may need to drill the panels into your roof for installation. You could damage your house if you don’t understand how to do this properly. Over time, these damages could cost you far more than paying for professional installation upfront.
If you’re wary of drilling holes into your home, RV, or camper roof, an alternative is to consider flexible solar panels. They’re not as high-capacity as rigid rooftop arrays, but all you need to attach them is some adhesive. Portable solar panels are also installation-free and ideal for many applications.
Harder to Pursue Warranty Claims
If you employ the services of a professional solar system installation company, you can take advantage of incentives and deals that could save you money. On top of that, many companies will help their clients navigate filing warranty claims in case of faulty equipment or damage. If panels become damaged during installation, you’re off the hook. However, if you choose to install your system by yourself, you don’t have the support of the company to file warranty claims. There’s typically no protection against damage that you accidentally cause during a DIY installation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Getting started in the world of solar energy technology can be daunting. Here are the answer to some common questions to help demystify the solar panel installation process.
Can You Buy Solar Panels and Install Them Yourself?
Yes, you can install solar panels by yourself. If you’re working your way up to a Smart Home Ecosystem by purchasing solar panels, power station, and other components, it makes sense to spread out the purchases. You might find it more affordable to buy a few solar panels at a time and install them yourself.
To install solar panels on a home roof, you’ll typically need the ability to drive lag bolts and navigate assembling prefabricated parts. You’ll also need safe access to where you want the panels installed, which likely means getting onto your roof. If these steps sound manageable and you’ve got a day or two to spare, self-installation is well within reach.
How Hard Is It To Install Your Own Solar Panels?
While installing solar panels isn’t the hardest DIY project out there, it is a complex process requiring keen attention to detail, patience, and self-education. Because there is electrical wiring involved, it’s crucial for the efficacy of the system and your safety that you’re knowledgeable about working with electricity. This is particularly true if you’re building your solar power system from scratch rather than buying an all-in-one solution from a single manufacturer. Otherwise, it’s best to call in a professional.
One workaround that is a safer alternative to a DIY rooftop solar array is to consider portable solar panels. For example, EcoFlow’s Portable Solar Panels don’t require any permanent installation, making them incredibly easy and fast to set up.
Installing solar panels takes time, focus, and some technical skills. But if you’re willing to invest in these areas, the financial savings could be substantial! Whether you do it yourself or call in the pros, both the planet and your wallet will be grateful.
Ready to switch to solar today? Shop EcoFlow for all your solar energy needs.