Going Solar Pros and Cons: Everything You Need to Know


Is it just you, or are summers getting hotter and rainfall becoming heavier in your area actual occurrences? You may have also noticed the smog getting worse over the years.

You’re not imagining things. Due to climate change, the planet has and continues to become warmer. Air pollution has also worsened in many areas in the U.S. and worldwide.

The good news is that solar, an alternative energy source, can help mitigate the effects of climate change and air pollution. However, it isn’t perfect, so you must still learn about its good and not-so-good sides.

This solar pros and cons guide can help you decide if going solar is right for you, so read on.

Pro: Reduce Your Reliance on Fossil Fuels

Fossil fuels, such as coal, natural gas, and petrol, are primary energy sources. In the U.S. alone, they accounted for over 80% of the primary energy production in 2022. We mainly use them for electricity production, transportation, and heating.

Unfortunately, burning fossil fuels is also the leading cause of climate change. This process is behind nearly 90% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Furthermore, it’s responsible for 75% of worldwide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Thus, reducing the use of fossil fuels is a crucial step to slowing or stopping climate change.

Fortunately, generating power from solar energy doesn’t produce GHGs like CO2. So, by going solar, you’d be able to rely less on fossil fuels. You can minimize your carbon footprint, letting you do your part in countering climate change.

Pro: Help Prevent Air Pollution From Worsening

Aside from planet-warming GHGs, burning fossil fuels also produce air pollutants. These include nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Those pollutants are health detriments, leading to respiratory disorders, strokes, and heart attacks. Experts also associate them with Alzheimer’s disease and autism spectrum disorder. They even found fossil fuel pollution was behind 1 in 5 deaths worldwide in 2018.

In contrast, solar facilities and technologies emit low levels of air pollutants. Therefore, their use could be a vital solution to preventing even worse air pollution.

So, if you want to breathe better and do what you can to help curb air pollution, invest in a solar panel installation for your home.

Pro: Lower or Eliminate Your Electricity Bills

Once you have a solar energy system installed at home, you can start to generate clean electricity. You can use this for lighting, appliances, and electronic gadgets. If you have a big enough system, it could even power your home heater and air conditioner.

If you want your entire home to run on solar, your best bet is to work with professional solar panel experts. They can help determine how many panels you need to satisfy 100% of your household’s energy needs.

Either way, once you produce electricity at home, you’ll rely less on your utility provider. As a result, you’ll “buy” less electricity from them, lowering your bills. An adequately sized system may even reduce your bills to $0 during summer.

Pro: Boost Your Home’s Value

Considering solar’s many benefits, it’s no wonder solar power systems can boost property values. For instance, real estate experts say they can add thousands of dollars to a home’s value. They also note how properties with such systems are 24.7% more likely to sell for a higher asking price.

As a bonus, you may not have to pay more property taxes even if your system increases your home’s value.

That’s if you live in a state with solar property tax incentives. Luckily, these tax breaks are available in over half of U.S. states. Examples include Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Kansas, to name a few.

Con: Requires a Hefty Initial Investment

A solar energy system allows you to enjoy “free” electricity. However, you’d still need to shell out money for its installation and components, including the panels, wiring, and inverter.

The average cost of a 6-kilowatt (kW) solar power system in the U.S. ranges from a little over $14,000 to $21,000. That’s a lot of money to pay for upfront, which is primarily why not everyone has switched to solar yet.

However, that price range doesn’t include the 30% federal tax credit. Neither does it factor in state-specific tax breaks, including credits and exemptions. These incentives can significantly decrease your overall cost of going solar.

Applying for a low-interest solar loan can also make the transition easier for you to afford. You’ll pay your lender interest fees on top of the capital, but it will be in monthly installments.

Con: Dependent on the Sun

Solar panels convert sunlight into usable electricity. So, without sunlight (for example, at night), they won’t be able to produce power.

However, the best solar panels can still generate electricity even when cloudy. They won’t produce as much as they would when it’s sunny, but that’s still better than nothing.

You can also invest in solar batteries, which can act as “backups” when your panels don’t produce enough electricity. These devices store the excess energy your panels generate during very sunny days. You can then use the stored power to energize your home at night or when it’s raining.

Con: Panels Take up Considerable Space

The average solar panel size ranges from 39 inches x 66 inches to 39 inches x 77 inches. That’s big and chunky, so if you need 25 solar panels, they may not all fit on your roof.

Fortunately, solar panels don’t always have to go on the roof to be effective. Your professional installer can also mount them on the wall or the ground. However, these areas must still receive adequate sunlight.

Solar Pros Easily Outweigh Its Cons

From helping combat climate change to reducing energy bills and boosting property values, these are solar pros and perks too good to pass up. Don’t forget that solar is cleaner than fossil fuels, so it can also play a role in decreasing air pollution.

All those benefits outweigh solar’s drawbacks, including its hefty upfront expense. Besides, low-cost loans can help make the initial cost easier to handle. These should be enough reasons for you to make the switch ASAP.

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