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Solar panels generate electricity by harnessing the power of sunlight. You can gain a lot of benefits from adding solar panels to your home. For example, solar panels can increase your home’s value. They can also help you save money by decreasing your energy bills and letting you take advantage of the solar tax credit. More importantly, solar panels can help you do something nice for the environment by powering your home with clean energy. If you’re thinking about solar panels, then you may have some questions about your solar panel warranty. Here are the five most important things you should know.
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What is a Solar Power Warranty? How Does a Warranty Work When You Buy or Lease Panels?
A solar power warranty will protect your investment in case something goes wrong. It can also keep you from spending too much money out of pocket in case you need a repair or replacement.
Most people won’t ever use their solar panel warranties. These panels are usually tested against the toughest weather conditions. Some certification standards, such as the IEC 61215 rating, signify your panel has gone through and passed rigorous stress tests.
In most cases, homeowners won’t have to repair or replace their solar panels for at least a couple of decades. Still, you’ll want a guarantee that you’re getting a quality product, and you’ll want to make sure that you’re covered in case something goes wrong.
Two Types of Warranties
You’ll find two types of solar panel warranties when you research product options: a product warranty and a performance warranty.
The product warranty, also called an equipment warranty, covers the solar panels themselves. It covers things that can impact solar panels, including breakage, environmental damage, and similar issues. It also covers anything that might have gone wrong with manufacturing, so if you get a defective product, the warranty will cover the replacement.
Next, there’s the performance warranty, which covers how well the product works. The performance warranty ensures you get your money’s worth out of your solar panel investment. Like any major product, solar panels will lose some of their performance abilities over time. That said, they shouldn’t lose much. For at least 20 or 25 years, your panels should generate enough solar energy to save you a lot of money. You’ll also be able to reduce your impact on the environment.
The performance warranty guarantees they’ll do just that. Many providers will guarantee after ten years, their solar panels will work at least 90% as well as they worked on the day they were installed.
Product warranties and performance warranties are both covered by the solar panel manufacturer. If the performance or condition deteriorates during your warranty period, the manufacturer should send you a new panel or repair the panel that doesn’t work.
Buying vs Leasing
Solar panels have a big upfront cost, but you have a lot of options to save money. One of those options is leasing your solar panels instead of buying them. When you lease your solar panels, you don’t own them, but you still benefit from the energy savings they provide. With a leasing agreement, you can generally keep a set of solar panels for 20 to 25 years. After that, you may have lease renewal options.
So, how does a solar panel warranty work when you lease your panels? If you choose the lease option, you won’t get a warranty like you would get if you bought your panels. However, if your panels break, glitch, or don’t meet energy standards, the leasing company will come to your house and fix the problem.
Buying and leasing both come with pros and cons. Take some time to explore your options before you decide which choice is right for you.
How Long Does a Solar Panel Warranty Last? How Can a Homeowner Get a Longer Warranty?
When you buy solar panels, performance and product warranties can last anywhere from 5 to 25 years. The industry standard is about 10 to 20 years. Other companies, like ONIT Home, offer a 30-year warranty. The longer the warranty, the better. If a company offers a long warranty, it means they’re confident in their product. A long warranty is a sign of a good solar panel.
How to Get a Longer Solar Panel Warranty
Again, your solar panels will probably last for at least 20 years without any major issues. But let’s say you want a longer warranty. If this is the case, you can buy an extended warranty plan after your first warranty runs out. Several companies offer this service. Extended warranties can last for as few as 5 years and as many as 25.
If you lease your solar panels, you can extend your guarantee just by extending your lease. As long as you have a lease agreement, the leasing company must repair or replace any faulty panels.
Solar Panel Insurance
What happens when you reach the end of your solar panel warranty? Don’t worry. Most homeowner’s insurance companies cover solar panels. Solar panel insurance covers the same types of damage that can impact the rest of your home. Check your insurance policy to see what it does and doesn’t cover.
What Protection Should a Homeowner Look For in a Solar Panel Warranty?
Some warranties are better than others, so what makes a warranty a good one? Here are some things you should look for.
Product and Performance
Remember that solar panels have two types of warranties: product and performance. Make sure that you choose a manufacturer that offers both.
Product Defect Coverage
Read your manufacturer’s warranty carefully. The warranty should also cover any product defects that might happen during the manufacturing process. If the company sends you a defective solar panel, the warranty should guarantee that they’ll ship you a new one.
Environmental Wear and Tear
Solar panels are built to withstand a lot of damage. Most solar panels should handle strong winds, hail, rain, and other weather events. Therefore, your warranty should cover damage from these events. If a panel can’t stand up to strong weather, you may have a defective product.
In rare cases, a solar panel can fail. When this happens, it usually won’t impact the rest of the solar panels. Still, the warranty should cover the possibility of product failure.
If your solar panels degrade over time, they should still work at 90% capacity for up to ten years, and they should work at 80% capacity for up to 25 years. Your performance warranty will cover a repair or replacement if your solar panels don’t perform well.
What Protection Does a Solar Panel Warranty Not Provide?
Now you know what a solar panel warranty does cover, but what protection does it not provide? Your warranty will cover a lot of things, but here are a few things it may not cover:
- Labor Costs — In many cases, solar warranties cover the cost of the panel itself, but they don’t cover the labor costs for repair or replacement.
- Shipping Costs — Warranties don’t always cover the costs of shipping a replacement solar panel.
- User Errors — Solar panels come with guidelines for their care and maintenance. If you don’t follow those guidelines, you risk voiding your warranty.
What Types of Protection Does Solar Panel Warranty Provide for Repair, Replacement, or Defects?
If your solar panels get damaged by weather or similar wear and tear, the manufacturer will either repair or replace the affected panel. Whether they repair or replace the panel depends on the extent of the damage. Often, a simple repair is enough to fix the problem. In a few cases, it’s easier to replace the panel completely. The manufacturer may send a contractor to repair or replace the panel. You may be responsible for labor costs and/or shipping, but the warranty will cover the cost of parts. In case of a defective product, the manufacturer will likely send a replacement.
Preventing the Need for Repairs and Replacements
A solar panel warranty can add to your peace of mind. It will guarantee that you get the best experience from your solar panels. However, even though warranties are essential, you ideally won’t ever have to use yours.
So, how can you prevent the need for solar panel repair or solar panel replacement? First, choose an excellent manufacturer. The better your manufacturer, the better the product will be. If you have a great manufacturer, you’re far less likely to deal with product defects.
Next, choose an excellent installation company. With proper installation, you can avoid a lot of damage from things like hail, wind, and more. The right installation company will also make sure that your roof is in the right condition for solar panel installation.
Find experienced, professional installation from the experts at ONIT Home. Not only can we make sure that your roof is in the best condition, we’ll also make your installation process is as simple as possible. We make sure our clients get the excellence they deserve.
Solar energy can bring a lot of positive change to your home, and you want to make sure you get the most out of this. Switch to solar with ONIT Home also means you can enjoy a two-week installation period and a 30-year warranty to protect your investment. Our solar customers also get a FREE whole home water filtration system and security system to make your entire home efficient. Call ONIT Home at 1-833-433-0331 to learn more or contact us online to get your free quote. We can’t wait to help you get the best solar panel experience.