My wife and I are considering a home with PV (photovoltaic) panels. What are some questions we should ask and considerations to make as we decide?

Asked by mattstern3, Mechanicsburg, PA Sun Jul 29, 2012

The PV panels may be relatively old (still waiting on the sellers disclosure). My research tells me that they should still work in the long term with some regular cleaning and maintenance and barring any weather damage.

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Steve Quintana’s answer
Steve Quinta…, Agent, Albuquerque, NM
Sat Aug 11, 2012
The sellers disclosure will take you part way to your answer. Your PV system is subject to inspection just like any other system. It is fine to trust the disclosure statement, but then one should verify with a professional inspection.
0 votes
Tara Skinner, Agent, Jackson, TN
Fri Aug 10, 2012
1. How much energy does my house use?

2. What condition is my roof in?

3. How large should my panels be?

(Your solar contractor will be able to determine which panel is the most efficient size for your roof. )

4. What should I look for in a solar contractor?

5. Are warranties available?

6. How can I pay for solar?

7. Can I “sell” solar energy I don’t use?
0 votes
Robert Ernst, Other Pro, Reno, NV
Sun Aug 5, 2012
Some panels are only though to last 20-25 years. If the original installer is still in business have them come out and look at the system. Look at where they are located and see if there is something like a roof under them that may need servicing or replacement. Check the attachment point for leaks. Make sure the wiring and components are in good shape since the sun, weather, and critters can damage components that might not be easy to repair or replace on older systems.. Ensure that trees or a neighbors addition isn't blocking your sun.
0 votes
Brooke 'The…, Agent, Camp Hill, PA
Wed Aug 1, 2012
Is it in the credits program? Is it rented or paid for? Guarantee when installed?
0 votes
The system is fully paid for. It is actually Solar Hot Water not PV. Its a nearly 30 year old system but is in good repair. It is a Grumman system with all copper pipes and a 3 year old tank that is still under warranty for another 3 years. I actually found the company who has been servicing it for the past decade so it answered a lot of questions. I feel much more knowledgeable about this decision.
Flag Wed Aug 1, 2012
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more