Articles tagged "homeownership"

← View all articles

Photo of people looking at a bill
I have solar panels installed. Why is my electric bill so high?
Do you already have solar panels on your home? Normally that’s a great thing, but maybe you’re looking at your monthly utility bill and wondering why it’s not lower. For most people, helping the environment is one reason why people go solar, but the top reason according to market research is saving money on your electric bill. This is why it can be so frustrating if you’ve spent thousands of dollars on a solar installation or committed to a 25 year solar lease and you’re looking at a monthly electric bill that’s still pretty high.
Photo of all-black SunPower solar panels.
How do you improve the curb appeal of solar panels?
I personally like the look of solar panels on my house. I think they’re interesting to look at, and they’re often a conversation starter. But my solar panels face the backyard away from the street, so even if I didn’t like how they look, people casually passing by don’t see them. Not everyone has that choice: typically, you want your solar panels pointed south to capture as much sunlight as possible, but doing that might mean facing the panels toward the curb.
Photo of a large house.
How many solar panels are needed to run a 4,000 square foot or larger house?
If you have a very large house, you probably have high electricity usage too, possibly making your home a good candidate for solar. If you’re curious about solar and want to find out how many solar panels you’d need for your home that is 4,000 square feet or larger, the most accurate way to find that out is to get a professional solar installer to perform an analysis. A quick but somewhat less accurate way is to read your monthly electric bill and use our solar calculator to determine what your power generation and estimated system price would be.
Photo of umbrellas.
Are solar panels covered by homeowner's insurance?
You’ve got homeowner’s insurance, right? If you have a mortgage, you almost certainly do, because lenders require it. If you’re thinking of adding solar panels to your home or already have solar, it’s definitely a good idea to pull out your policy documents and get familiar with what is and isn’t covered. Insurance plans are personalized, so the coverage in your neighbor’s plan might not be the same as yours, even if you use the same company.
Cleaning solar panels.
What is the best way to clean my solar panels?
One of the great things about solar panels is that they just sit there, silently turning photons into electricity and making you money. They can essentially be maintenance-free for 25 years. But one question solar homeowners often have is: if my solar panels are dirty, what’s the best way to clean them? The best way to clean your solar panels is with tools you probably already have: a bucket of plain water, a soft brush or cloth, and the kind of extension pole you would use to squeegee your second floor windows.
Hazard sign
Can solar panels interfere with WiFi, TV, or cell phone reception?
It’s pretty darn annoying when the electronics in your life start glitching. Are you having trouble with one of your devices? Have you tried turning the thing off and then on? That usually fixes it for me. But if that doesn’t work, it’s time to track down the source of the problem. If you’re talking about a device that relies on receiving a remote signal, whether that signal is wired or wireless, electromagnetic interference (EMI) is problem that can sometimes occur.