When you finally purchase that solar panel you’ve been eyeing for months, it can be quite tempting to handle the solar panel installation on your own. After all, logically speaking, taking the DIY route is much cheaper compared to hiring someone to handle the labor.
Not really. See, solar panel installation is not something you should even attempt to do if you don’t have experience. We highly recommend that you work with a professional for it. Here’s why:
1. Permits and Standard Compliance
A residential solar panel installation needs to meet the necessary regulations. A technician can help you handle the complicated details of making sure that your unit and installation is in compliance with all safety, national building, state, and local standards.
In fact, an electrical inspector may even be needed to approve the install. In such cases, a professional solar technician will make sure that all electrical codes are being followed during the process.
City planning departments may also require you to get an approval from them—something that would be much easier to secure with the help of an experienced professional. In short, part of the solar installer’s job is to help you settle all legal matters correctly and conveniently.
2. Risks Involved
Solar panel installation can be dangerous—not only for you, but also the members of your household. Unlike what most people think, it’s not as simple as plugging an appliance in. Aside from some risky roof climbing and expensive equipment carrying, high-voltage wiring is also involved during the installation.
You can be injured if you do the wiring work without proper knowledge and tools. If the wiring is done incorrectly, there is also a bigger risk for you and your home. Strings of solar panels that are hooked up wrong can create a power surge that can blow an inverter up and—in the worst case scenario—potentially burn your house down.
3. Complicated Planning Process
Getting solar panels on the roof is relatively simple but planning and researching every part of your system is a different story. You need to make sure the planning process is done right so that the solar panels work the way you want them to. Of course, only a professional installer can best handle all those essential details.
Before the solar panel installation, you need to ask some important questions such as: what size of solar panel system best fits your energy usage at home? Can your roof carry the load of the panels? Does your roof have enough space at the proper angle?
These are only a few of the technical questions that a good solar installer can answer. A reliable installer should have a long track record, as well as extensive experience with all types of roofs and conditions.
Overall, if you’re not a certified professional, solar panel installation is a job that is just too complicated to do by yourself. Although you could ideally follow a manual or a how-to video, it can be difficult to do everything as well as an experienced technician could. Another thing you should know about solar panels is that small mistakes before, during, or after the installation can lead to thousands in lost savings over the lifespan of your unit.