In recent years, many Americans have considered whether solar panels are the right choice for their home. People want to live greener lifestyles but have to find ways that are practical for them.
Since 2010, solar panels have increased in affordability and efficiency. Their average cost now approximates $20,000. However, there are outlying variables that could affect this price.
One such variable is how many solar panels you’ll need to power a house. Typically, a home solar system contains 20-25 panels. This number may not be enough, though, depending on the size of your home and its location.
So, in this guide, we’ll explain how to determine the number of solar panels to power a house you’ll need. Let’s get started!
How Much Electricity Do You Use?
There are a few numbers you need to calculate how many solar panels you need. First, you’ll need to determine how much electricity you use each day, month, and year. This usage may vary depending on how many people live in your house and how many appliances you run.
To find these numbers, check your previous year’s energy bills. You’ll find this number measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh).
After you’ve found this number, you’ll know the necessary amount of solar power for your home. On average, most American homes require 10,649 kWh each year. Usually, a set of 20-25 solar panels for a 2,000 sq ft home can generate most of this amount.
How Many Solar Panels Do You Need? Using a Solar Panel Calculator
Each solar panel in a system produces a set amount of energy. Companies measure this power in watts. Typically, the average solar panel generates between 250 and 400 watts.
However, certain conditions could affect its performance, such as the amount of sunlight you receive each day. If several trees shade your roof, this could also impact solar panel performance.
To determine how many solar panels you’ll need to power your house, multiply the panel wattage by the hours of sun you receive daily. If the number is equivalent to the number of kilowatts you use each day, then your panel system is large enough.
Bear in mind that solar panels come in different sizes. If a standard set of solar panels doesn’t generate enough power, consider purchasing larger panels. If you need help with a comparison, search for a solar panel size chart online.
How Environment Affects Solar Panels
If you’re not sure whether home solar installation is best for you, consider your environment. Solar panels are most popular in states that receive lots of sunlight, such as California or Arizona.
If you live in a state like Washington, where there is significant cloud cover for much of the year, solar panels may not be wise. The cloud cover weakens your solar panels’ performance.
Find the Best Solar System for Your Home
Once you’ve calculated how many solar panels your home needs, find the best system for you! Eventually, you’ll find these systems pay for themselves.
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