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So, you’ve decided to play your part in mitigating climate change, add value to your home, and save on energy costs by installing solar panels. We’re super excited and want to turn your journey toward going solar into a breeze. Keep reading for the top things to consider before purchasing solar panels.

How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

First things first, we have good news for you. Solar panels can last 20 years or more with proper care and maintenance, so they are worth your investment. There are some factors that affect the lifespan of solar panels. Understanding these can help you extend their functioning.

Debris accumulating on the solar panels can lead to breakage, so cleaning your solar panels regularly is essential. Birds and rodents might find your solar panels attractive nesting places, so installing solar panel critter guards could be a great idea as well.

How Do You Choose the Right Type of Solar Panel?

When selecting solar panels, the market offers several choices, including the three most popular ones: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film. While newer alternatives like solar roofing shingles exist, they tend to be more expensive, so focusing on affordable options is practical.

The primary distinction among these panels lies in their manufacturing materials. Monocrystalline panels consist of individual silicone crystals, providing high efficiency and suitability for warm climates like California. Polycrystalline panels, made from various silicon pieces, offer a balanced approach, working well in different climates and accommodating various budgets. Thin film panels, available in silicon-based or cadmium variants, are the cheapest but sacrifice efficiency for their sleek design.

When deciding on the right panel, it’s crucial to consider your specific needs. Monocrystalline panels are an efficient solution if you reside in a warm climate and have high energy demands. Polycrystalline panels strike a reasonable balance between cost and performance for those on a budget. If aesthetics are a priority and energy needs are basic, thin film panels offer an affordable yet visually appealing choice.

Where Should You Install Your Solar Panels?

When it comes to solar panel placement, you have two primary options: your roof or your yard. Here’s a simplified breakdown of the two choices:

1. Rooftop Solar Panels


  • Space Saver: Rooftop panels efficiently use existing space, leaving your yard untouched.
  • Aesthetically Pleasant: They blend with your home’s design, maintaining its visual appeal.
  • Good Sunlight Exposure: Rooftop panels can be positioned for optimal sunlight.


  • Limited Expansion: Your roof has finite space, which can restrict future expansion.
  • Maintenance Challenges: Accessing rooftop panels for repairs can be tricky.

2. Ground-Mounted Solar Panels


  • Scalable: Ground-mounted panels offer scalability, ideal for increasing energy needs.
  • Easy Maintenance: They’re accessible, simplifying maintenance.
  • Eco-Friendly: Preserves rooftop greenery while using solar energy.


  • Yard Space: Ground-mounted panels use yard space, potentially impacting landscaping.

Why Is Professional Installation Important?

When it comes to installing solar panels, you definitely want to stay away from the DIY approach, especially when it comes to rooftop solar. Faulty wiring poses a risk of causing a fire. Also, improperly installed solar panels can lead to leaking problems, requiring costly roof repairs further down the line.

At North Valley Power, our mission is to help you harness the power of solar energy to pursue a more sustainable lifestyle. We offer a wide range of solar panel solutions. With our expert installation services, you won’t need to worry about any problems. We can also help you maintain your solar panels in top-notch condition with regular inspections and servicing. Contact us today!