The new homeowner’s complete solar panel buying guide

I wrote this huge solar panel buying guide to help new homeowners make smarter financial decisions and get informed about solar energy technology’s immense financial and ecological benefits.

If the house you just bought has a good roof to install solar, you will usually save tens of thousands of dollars at a minimum. But the most savings I’ve ever quoted someone was nearly $100,000 in energy cost savings over 20 years. You can also build home equity. On average, homes with solar on the roof sell faster- and for more money, than homes without solar.

So, how do you know if you have a great roof?

Simple. I’ll tell you exactly what to look for. However, not every roof will be a good solar roof. If that’s the case, I’ll be honest and tell you. My solar company reputation means way more to me than the value of a quick sale.

Too many good people are also struggling to keep up with the cost of living. Scroll down to learn why you should choose me as your solar installer.

Why choose Maxed Out Solar?

My guide on how to buy solar panels will NEVER tell you how much solar costs upfront. But that’s a good thing. Trust me.

I am an optimizer by trade. I help you get the most out of your roof and the best bang for your buck. I’ll quote you the best price I can offer once we are on a Zoom call and I’ve had a chance to look at your roof and analyze your usage and needs.

I compete by offering high levels of value and service, not the lowest price. My warranty is 30 years, including parts, labor, and gap coverage. It’s also provided through an external third-party provider, ensuring you are covered no matter what. Even if I leave the business, your solar warranty still covers you.

Most solar installers don’t offer that level of value. Working with me ensures you slash your energy costs and gain the peace of mind you deserve at a price you can afford.

No, really, how much do solar panels cost?

Many solar companies quote customers’ prices without asking about your home’s unique needs. But that should immediately raise red flags. How can I quote you a reasonable price if I know nothing about your roof and your unique energy needs?

Solar companies that are more focused on aggressive sales tactics than truly meeting your home energy needs are not solar companies you should do business with. The best and quickest way to buy solar panels is to book a free meeting with me to find out how much solar panels cost and, more importantly, how much money solar panels can save you.

Think about your energy goals

Instead of being pushy and hard-selling prospects at the door, my guide focuses on presenting you with the benefits of solar. I create easy and affordable clean energy solutions that save you money and work around your busy schedule.

I want to make your switch to solar an easy, convenient, and financially savvy decision. All I need from you is a recent electricity bill and a few minutes of your time.

Your switch to solar power helps people and the planet

However, your electricity bill isn’t getting any lower, and neither are carbon emissions. By choosing Maxed Out Solar, you can access a team of environmental activists, former educators, and highly knowledgeable solar professionals.

Formed during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, Maxed Out Solar operates as a distributed solar company across several states and time zones. My goal is to help communities recover economically from the damage of Covid-19 while improving air and water quality.

Maxed Out Solar can handle all aspects of your rooftop solar system installation. From start to finish, your wallet and roof are in good hands here.

Climate activists demonstrate on top of a bridge over traffic.

Don’t forget to follow me on social media, and make sure you add the Maxed Out Solar rooftop installation guide to your bookmarks folder!

What states does Maxed Out Solar install in?

At present, I install home solar panels in select zip codes in the following states:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts
  • Maryland
  • North Carolina
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • Nevada
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Now including rooftop solar panel installation services for Puerto Rico

Do solar panels work?

Of course. If they didn’t, I wouldn’t ask you to spend your hard-earned money. However, solar panel efficiency varies from roof to roof.

My job is to look at your roof’s square meter surface area and analyze how much energy the solar cells will produce. Then I match those calculations to your home’s specific needs.

How much energy do I need?

How much energy you need depends largely on your habits and lifestyle, so I’ll ask some basic questions to determine how many solar panels will be needed. Solar panels work when solar systems are sized appropriately. Each solar panel system’s size depends on how much power you need.

That’s why I ask a few questions on our first 15-minute call to understand how much solar electricity you’ll need. I’m not nosy, and I’ve heard it all. So if you have something that will add to your energy use in the future, let me know so we can plan.

Unlike this solar panel buying guide, more is not always better

Unless your local utility company has awesome local incentives, there are usually no good reasons to stack up PV cells. If solar panels produce significantly more energy than you expect to need, that means the system is costing you more than it’s worth. You can avoid that by working with me.

You may want to plan for the addition of a child, charging an electric vehicle, or expanding your home-based business. There are certain cases where future energy use could be impacted. My job is to get you everything you need and nothing you don’t.

How do solar panels work?

Photovoltaic panels produce solar power whenever the sun emits solar radiation. Solar panels produce clean electricity generated and inverted from DC power to AC power. This creates usable electricity for your home.

How does a solar inverter work?

When sunlight hits your home’s roof, the solar panels absorb it as DC power. DC power is unusable for most American appliances and outlets. Your solar inverter converts DC power to AC power. Your solar inverter is also responsible for managing the flow of electricity to and from the grid.

At times, your home may produce more power than you use. Solar inverters send that extra power to the energy grid, crediting your roof. However, at other times, your home solar panel installation may only produce some of your electricity needs. In this scenario, the solar inverter can ensure the public electric grid can supply your home with uninterrupted power.

Are buying solar panels worth it?

Yes, hands down. As long as you have a good roof for a solar system. The sun is the most powerful, reliable energy source available on earth. If you don’t have a good roof, you might be better off with a different option, such as community solar.

Owning solar panels instead of paying the utility company for fossil fuels provides the most direct benefit to consumers. Local, state, and federal solar power system incentives can help homeowners buy a solar array.

What is an optimal roof for solar?

To have an optimal roof to install solar panels, your home will need ample square footage and surface area. The roof should also be newly installed and structurally secure. If necessary, I’ll help you navigate rooftop replacement options.

Ideally, your roof will be South, West, or East facing.

South-facing roofs perform best, but this is not necessary. My solar panel buying guide recommends you avoid placing solar panels facing North if possible. Your rooftop will likely be an optimal fit.

Installers will optimize solar system mounting angles by latitude location during installation. Your home’s roof should have minimal shade caused by trees or other objects.

Are solar leases worth it?

I wrote my solar panel buying guide with buyers in mind.

It’s often way better for you to buy and own solar panels. This way, you can take advantage of local solar buyer incentives such as solar tax credits and solar battery incentives. For the same reasons why it often makes more financial sense to buy a home instead of rent, the combination of skyrocketing electric bills and a hot residential market for homes with solar electricity.

However, if you lease solar panels, a third party owns the solar system, and you are excluded from eligibility for many incentives and tax credits.

How does a solar loan work?

Solar loans work well for people with good to excellent credit.

This is often an attractive option to build wealth by taking on debt that works for you rather than against you. My solar panel buying guide can help you decide whether or not it’s right for you to apply for a solar loan.

6 fast facts about rooftop solar technology

Solar panels can power your house with the sun’s energy and feed excess solar energy into the electrical grid. Get the facts straight from the Massively Maxed Out rooftop solar panel buying guide.

What happens to my solar panels at night?

Your solar system’s production will shut off at night when solar panels aren’t producing power. In the morning, it’ll kick back on again. When choosing the types of solar equipment and how many solar panels to use, I’ll calculate the amount of solar radiation your roof receives each day on average.

Does rooftop solar let me go fully off-grid?

Not exactly. Unfortunately, you can’t go “off-grid” in the true sense of the word. Only in very limited circumstances are most people allowed to go fully off-grid. This is a hard limit that is outside your solar installer’s control.

Do I need solar batteries?

Maybe, but probably not. It really depends. How often do you experience a power outage lasting more than 48 hours?

My solar panel buying guide generally recommends against home solar batteries unless there’s some seriously compelling reason. Solar batteries are cool, don’t get me wrong. They’re just often an unnecessary and expensive upsell. However, in other situations, having a home battery backup system may be a good solution for your needs.

Who are solar batteries good for?

If you have really important medical equipment and you can’t risk a power outage, that’s a situation where a solar battery backup system might make sense.

In other scenarios, perhaps if you live someplace prone to blizzard conditions or hurricanes, a home battery may help. Additionally, if you run a home-based business, and downtime means big losses, you might consider investing in the cost of a home battery system.

Otherwise, they are very cool but expensive grown-up toys, and their value and usefulness vary case by case.

Does rooftop solar work in adverse weather conditions?

In blizzard conditions, the heat will help the snow melt quickly.

Further, the sunlight will still reach the panels through the snow. If you live in an area with sunny weather, more often than not, you’ll see consistent energy production.

I also offer solar panels designed to withstand gale-force winds during hurricanes. Every solar solution is customized to your unique needs and situation.

How do I clean my solar panels?

My rooftop solar panel buying guide recommends cleaning your solar panels once a year for maxed out solar panel efficiency. A recent study shows you can improve your solar system’s power output by 12% with annual cleanings. For some people, that’s worth it; for others, rain takes care of it, and it’s not a concern.

However, consider if you live in a hot and dry area with a lot of dust building up, such as in a desert region. You may not get much rain during dry seasons. It may be worth hiring a solar panel cleaning service in your area once a year to get Maxed Out Solar output.

One big roof with lots of direct sunlight. See that? That's what you want.
One big roof with lots of direct sunlight. See that? That’s what you want.

5 quick reasons why you should go solar

Remember to bookmark this page. There’s a lot of useful information contained within. Here are the five top reasons why people switch to solar.

Installing solar on your roof saves you money

Electric vehicle drivers can save over $1,000 on gas costs annually by choosing rooftop solar. Installing solar panels on your roof will also add to your home’s value in most places.

Rooftop solar is also one of the best home improvement investments.

On average, our customers will save $26,000 by installing solar panels during the next 20 years. The more we invest in protecting the environment now, the more we can protect and preserve your property values in the future. Installing rooftop solar ensures every community investing in protecting the planet will benefit financially and ecologically.

Solar panels also lower the overall cost of electricity for everyone, not just you. The more people choose solar, and the lower local electricity costs will become overall!

Rooftop solar panel installation lowers carbon emissions

Residential rooftop solar can protect your local air and water quality.

The more solar we install, the less energy we’ll need to draw from other sources. This means your decision to switch can also help prevent oil spills and sea-level rise. By switching to renewable solar power, you can lower your carbon footprint and take meaningful climate action to ensure a livable planet for future generations.

Gain many practical benefits from buying rooftop solar panels

My solar panel buying guide recommends installing solar panels to solve problems before they happen.

You can get your home ready to charge an electric vehicle without waiting in line. You can also ensure the energy used to power your EV is truly renewable.

Installing rooftop solar can help lower electricity costs if you work from home

Usually, home battery backups only make sense in limited scenarios, such as if you run a home-based business and can’t afford outages or if you have medical equipment that can’t ever be shut off.

Your home will be safer from the risk of power outages caused by climate disasters. More solar panels mean fewer climate disasters.

Buying rooftop solar is a smart choice, period

Installing rooftop solar allows you to transform a former expense into an asset designed to produce wealth. Remember, this is money you’d already be spending on the power bill. That power bill has only gone up in the last 20 years. My rooftop solar panel buying guide helps you redirect money to build wealth instead.

The more people switch to solar, the more resilient our grid becomes. Investing in solar panels for your roof is an investment to build and own your renewable energy infrastructure.

Solar panels are a great way to reduce the risks of power outages and mitigate some of the dangers of climate change. Instead of considering solar expensive, think of installing solar as a way to get paid to take climate action.

Going solar has never been more cost-effective

Over the last ten years, the price of solar has decreased by almost 90%.

However, since the early 2000s, the electricity cost has nearly doubled.

Inflation is driving energy costs higher every year. As a result, solar is now the most cost-effective method of electricity generation in history.

Lastly, along with the mass adoption of electric vehicles and all the government incentives being rolled out, there’s never been a better time to switch to solar.

See that? Like it or not, it's going away soon. Get your home ready for electric vehicles with solar.
See that? Like it or not, it’s going away soon. Get your home ready for electric vehicles with solar.

4 myths about solar installation

There’s a good amount of bad information out there. I’ll make sure you have access to good information. Here are four common solar energy myths debunked.

Myth: Solar panel systems cost too much

You might think so, but you might also find that solar power can save you tremendous amounts of money while adding value to your home.

I can help secure your solar energy system financing if you have decent credit. However, you’re likely already paying too much money for electricity. Fossil fuels are more expensive than solar panels, as long as your roof is good!

I don’t know if solar panels can help you financially, but I would like to find out together. After you’re done reading my rooftop solar panel buying guide, give me a call or send me a text. Its easy, quick, and free.

Myth: The government is giving away free solar panels

First of all, no, they aren’t. Sorry.

If you see any advertisements with this messaging, that should raise red flags. Unfortunately, not all ads on social media contain accurate information. The United States government is not giving away free solar panels. If you see ads like that, run the other way.

Myth: Solar panels are bad for the planet

Nope. In fact, we offset all carbon emissions released during solar panel manufacturing to ensure your panels are carbon-neutral and clean on day one.

Additionally, solar panel recycling technology ensures that an already sustainable power source becomes even more sustainable over time. To avoid supply chain issues, we will need to recycle solar panels. So don’t worry. I’m staying on top of it. I’m a climate activist too.

Lastly, solar panel recycling technology is improving tremendously every year. Solar technology is going to create huge numbers of jobs and make a positive impact on our environment. My rooftop solar panel buying guide helps ensure you are doing business with an environmentally ethical solar consultant.

Myth: Solar panel installers will put holes in my roof

Damage due to installing home solar panels is a very infrequent occurrence.

Sure, it may happen now and then, but that’s why I offer the best available solar warranty in the industry.

My warranty includes coverage for rooftop penetration damage. If damage to your roof occurs during installation, I offer a world-class warranty that ensures you are covered no matter what.

Your rooftop solar panel installers are top-notch and trained to do good work.
Your rooftop solar panel installers are top-notch and trained to do good work.

3 rooftop solar panel options and features

I carry high-quality, US-made, tier-one solar panels.

In addition to offering a world-class warranty, our home solar panels come with various configuration options.

Sleek black-on-black, aesthetically pleasing, modern solar panels are in high demand and look awesome. 

Half-cut split solar panels

Solar cells becoming partially shaded is never an issue with this revolutionary new clean energy technology. Half-cut solar cells boost energy output by reducing the size of the cells. This allows more solar cells to fit on the panel.

Additionally, the top half of the solar panel operates independently of the bottom. If one side is covered in shade, the other side won’t be affected.

Our half-cut split solar panels ensure how much power your home energy system generates is minimally affected by shade.

High-output, high-efficiency solar panels

Our premium design and configuration options include high power output and high-efficiency photovoltaic cells guaranteed to produce 90% of their original power after 25 years.

However, most solar panels are only warrantied for 80% in that same time period.

These are some of my favorites. If your goal is Maxed Out Solar power output, I can help you make that happen. These are among the best solar panels money can buy, and I’ve got them.

Hurricane-rated solar panels

If you live in an area increasingly vulnerable to severe hurricane weather, that’s all the more reason why you should go solar. Power outages could become more commonplace as a result.

As I mentioned earlier, I also offer solar panels that withstand powerful gale-force winds during Hurricanes. These solar panels can also help prevent power grid outages from affecting your home during severe weather if paired with a home battery.

These are the best solar panels for emergencies. This is one of those situations where getting a home battery may make more sense for you.

What a view.
What a view.

2 things I need from you now

I’ll start by asking you a few questions about your roof and where you live.

Additionally, I’ll want to know what kind of projected energy use increases you might expect, if any.

Energy usage increases can result from charging an electric vehicle, expanding the family, or having relatives move back in. There are many reasons your use might increase, so let’s discuss it on the phone to ensure all your bases are covered.

Increased energy use may also result from projects like growing veggies or running a business out of the home.

Whatever your situation may be, I will need to know some details. This way, I can design a system that gets you everything you need and nothing you don’t.

Your contact information

I need to be able to contact you. So when you click the orange button, I’ll collect your name, email, and phone number to provide you with top-notch service.

If, for some reason, you decide you no longer want to be contacted, just let me know. I fully respect and value your right to privacy. I don’t want to intrude, I want to help you save money.

Recent electric bills

I need a copy of a recent electric bill. This way, I can design an energy-efficient rooftop solar system that will work for your home’s energy needs.

Your power bill gives me all the necessary energy usage information to design the best system for your needs.

Buying Rooftop Solar from Maxed Out Solar is easy. I offer flexible online meeting options and can work around your schedule and needs.
Buying Rooftop Solar from Maxed Out Solar is easy. I offer flexible online meeting options and can work around your schedule and needs.

1 easy, convenient remote solar design session

I can work around your schedule to accommodate your needs.

However, all household decision-makers should set aside 30-45 minutes for an interactive Zoom session. I provide personalized service during the entire system design process. Start to finish.

I’ll ensure your system is sized appropriately by asking and answering questions and using your feedback. I customize all rooftop solar systems to your specifications and design them for your home’s unique energy needs.

This is what we are not doing. See those trees?
This is what we are not doing. See those trees?

The Installation Process

I make it easy and affordable to make the switch to solar panels.

If you’re ready to switch, here’s how the process works.

Phase 1: Solar panel cost-benefit analysis

  • You are here. Sign up on my website. Just click the orange button.
  • I will contact you via phone, email, or text within 1 business day.
  • Once we have a quick phone call, I’ll take 15 minutes to ask you questions about your home, energy use, and rooftop.
  • If you don’t have a good roof, it’s okay! I’ll be honest and tell you. You can give me a positive referenceand I’ll pay you $1,000 for the honor of helping your friends and families. My reputation is more important to me than any sale.
  • If your roof passes my screening process, congrats! We’ll schedule a follow-up solar Zoom appointment at the end of that call.
  • After receiving your free quote over Zoom, there is no obligation to make a purchase. This quote is provided for free for your convenience and reference.
  • Installing a high-quality and affordable solar system takes 1-3 months. I focus on providing a good experience and saving you lots of money.

Phase 2: Design and installation

If we learn your roof is a good candidate for solar, congratulations!

You’re going to be saving tons of money!

We will set up a time to meet over Zoom to design an affordable and energy-efficient solar panel system.

  • Once the design is complete and all questions have been answered, we’ll discuss payment options.
  • If you like what you see, go ahead and apply for the loan or make a cash deposit.
  • Next, it’s time to get started! Once the loan has been approved or a cash deposit has been made, we will schedule a site survey visit to take rooftop measurements at your home and ensure the system will meet your needs.
  • Installation day! A team of solar technicians will arrive and install your solar panels at your residence. Installation typically takes 1-3 days to complete, although it’s usually completed in one day. Another inspection occurs, and then we receive permission to turn it on from the power company.

Please note: I am happy to make myself available if you require more than one meeting to go solar.

Some of my solar panel brands and manufacturers

Selection may vary based on availability. For solar panel power inverters, I offer either SolarEdge or Enphase, depending on your unique needs.

Enphase

Enphase systems use a microinverter on each solar panel. This is a valuable consideration when deciding how vital decentralization is in the system design. However, with Enphase, no single point of failure would disrupt the entire system in the way a failed central inverter would.

SolarEdge

SolarEdge’s central inverters have an optimizer on each solar panel, which ensures the system’s energy output is fully maxed out. As a result, each solar panel will produce power independently regardless. This technology also adds a boost to solar panel system efficiency.

Our rooftop solar companies and manufacturers

I carry a variety of rooftop solar brands and product options. Here are examples of some of the solar brands in my product lineup.

Mid-grade Tier 1 panels

Mid-Grade Tier One Panels are some of our most affordable and commonly selected options. These panels balance high quality and affordable pricing. So if you’re looking for the best of the best, keep reading.

Some examples of Mid-Grade Tier One Solar Panels: Hanwha Q Cell, Jinko Eagle, Mission Solar

Premium Tier 1 panels

Premium Tier One Panels often contain one or more of the features I listed earlier and are widely regarded as top-of-the-line. The high output warranty of 90% after 25 years sets these solar panels apart.

Some examples of Premium Tier One Solar Panels: Panasonic EverVolt, REC, Canadian Solar

How do I choose the right solar panel?

We discuss your energy needs, goals, budget, and performance expectations. We also discuss the timeline and how soon you can expect the cost of the solar system to pay for itself.

I’ll work with you because you should get exactly what you want, and nothing you don’t, at a price you can afford. However, there are many types of solar. I usually recommend monocrystalline panels instead of polycrystalline panels due to their higher efficiency rate.

If you work with me, we will look into all the options available and make choices based on your preferences once I’ve outlined the pros and cons of each.

Our solar panel warranty

Solar panel warranty coverage lasts 30 years, including solar panels, inverters, and mounting system. Our warranty also covers labor costs and includes gap coverage.

Additionally, rooftop penetration is also covered if damage occurs during solar panel installation. I cover all the bases to make this as easy as possible, prioritizing affordability and total value over price.

Get a world-class rooftop solar panel warranty

The warranty I offer is fully transferable to new homeowners if you sell your home.

I pride myself on putting people and the planet first. The strength of my guarantee reflects my commitment to your financial security and peace of mind.

What to look for in a solar panel warranty

Not all solar warranties are created equal. My solar warranty ensures you’re covered no matter what.

Maxed Out Solar offers an incredible solar panel system warranty

30 years parts

30 years labor/workmanship guarantee

30 years of gap coverage

Warranty transferable, even if you sell your home

No hidden fees, period.

My warranty keeps it simple and puts you first

My warranty is offered through an A-rated third-party insurance company, SolarInsure.

SolarInsure is backed by Lloyd’s of London, a company that has been around longer than the United States of America has.

So no matter what, the world-class warranty has you covered.

Maxed Out Solar company headquarters are in Washington, D.C, but I care about the whole planet, including your community. I wrote this guide with homeowners in the United States in mind.
Maxed Out Solar company headquarters are in Washington, D.C, but I care about the whole planet, including your community. I wrote this guide with homeowners in the United States in mind.

What’s the value of the solar federal tax credit?

I make it a policy not to give solar tax credit advice, and if you want to take advantage of all the best solar tax credits, I highly recommend consulting with a tax advisor.

With that said, the value of the federal solar investment tax credit is set at 30% through 2032. There may be other incentives for installing solar in your area. Your solar consultant can point you toward any local solar incentives and a state tax credit if one exists in your state.

Choose me to install solar panels for you

Want to talk with a human being instead of reading marketing copy?

I’m available. However, you need to act fast. The climate crisis requires urgency, and dirty energy isn’t getting any less expensive.

Email max [at] maxedoutsolar.com to schedule some time to meet. Or call or text the business line listed. If I don’t pick up immediately, text me. I will get back to you fast. Providing high-quality and responsive customer service is important to me.

Refer-A-Friend to install panels with me

I love sharing and building community wealth together.

Of course, I think I do an excellent job. Otherwise, I wouldn’t do what I do.

If you help spread the word, I’ll make it financially worthwhile. Your positive recommendation means a lot to me. $1,000 for every installed system, to be specific. I appreciate your business and want to help your friends and family after I help you.

I want to use the power of solar energy to help you become more financially free. The clean energy revolution must include you and your family too.

Thanks for reading my solar buying guide

I do this for you because I care. Your energy costs are skyrocketing, and the climate crisis is heating up. Everyone is stressed out and wants easy affordable solutions. That’s where I come in.

Time is of the essence in this fast-paced day and age, so I appreciate the time you took to read this. 

Let me handle your rooftop solar panel installation if you are concerned about the climate crisis, your family’s wealth, or both.

Rooftop solar panel installation is one of the best ways to take climate action, secure and stabilize our energy grid, and ensure a prosperous renewable-powered future for you and your families.

By teaming up, we can take climate action and save you money at the same time.
By teaming up, we can take climate action and save you money at the same time.