How Many Solar Panels Do I Need? Picking the Right Number for Your Home

Solar energy has been on the tip of everyone’s tongue for a few years now. If you are looking into solar energy for your home, one big question has been on your mind. How many solar panels do I need?

The answer to that question won’t be an exact number. Instead, it will be a deeper look into your needs and what solar can provide for you. 

Let’s break down the details and see how you can find the right number of solar panels for your home. 

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need?

The number of solar panels for any given house depends on how much energy you use, the types of solar panels you use, and how much consistent sun you have in your area.

The average household hovers between 20 to 30 solar panels, but your usage may be different. 

1. Calculating the Amount of Energy You Use

You can measure the amount of energy your house needs to power all your usual appliances and electronics in Kilowatt-hours or kWh. While some appliances and items show how much power they use, most do not.

One of the easiest ways to check your power consumption is to look at your current energy bill. Most energy companies provide a month-by-month breakdown of your energy usage.

2. Understanding the Quality of Your Solar Panels

Solar panels do not come in only one size. More efficient solar panels can take in more energy and generate more power but are often more expensive because of this.

While there are lower efficiency panels, you should avoid them if you can. The average solar panel today is in the 320 Watt range.

Each solar panel will have a label that designates how many Watts each panel is capable of producing. 

As well, southern facing panels will often generate more electricity than east and west-facing panels, due to how the sun faces in any given day. Avoiding shade is also another factor.

The last factor for the physical solar panels is how much room you have. Given a preference for side and lack of shade, your house might only fit a certain number of panels. This might force you to look into more efficient panels. 

3. Figuring Your Region Into the Equation

Not every region is equal for their solar output. Regions that tend to be sunnier overall, such as California, often need fewer panels than regions with frequent overcast.

Balancing for your region’s sunshine often means more panels. Even a home in Anchorage, Alaska would only need about 50% more panels than a similar home in Tallahassee, Florida. And due to weather patterns, Kansas City gets approximately the same solar resource- measured in Peak Sun Hours (PSH)- as Tallahassee.

Getting an Expert Opinion

With this article, we hope you have a better understanding of how to answer that burning question. When you ask how many solar panels do I need, you’ll know right away what you are looking for. 

If you are in the Kansas City area and looking to install solar panels in your home, Browning Electric is eager to help. Contact us today for more information! 

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