Residential solar panels may all look the same, but they have several features that set them apart. Some features operate better in circumstances than others and some can definitely increase the cost of your panels. However it just means you need to make a smart purchase and to be able to do so you need to first learn about the different features present in residential solar panels. Next determine which features you actually need. For example, you reside in a hot climate, look for panels suited to this type of environment.
At the same time, all solar panels share core features which are guaranteed to save you money on your utility bills while helping make a positive impact on the environment.

Listed below are the best 10 features in residential solar panels:

1. Brand Name

When purchasing a solar panel, opt for a brand name you know. There are certain brands which have garnered quite a favourable reputation in this industry. Some of these are Sanyo, Sunpower, Sun Edison, Yingli, Kyocera, Canadian Solar and Sharp. You are likely to get a quality product with any of these brands. Spend some time learning about each brand and their respective costs.

2. Low Maintenance

Solar panels don’t require much maintenance. After installation, they must be maintained and cleaned at least once per year. In areas that are very dusty, this may be more frequent. Since solar panels have no moving parts, they are durable and require minimal upkeep.

3. Consistent & Constant Power Source

The sun is a constant in our daily lives. We are able to predict with much accuracy, when it will rise and set. Knowing this information can help us determine when there will be sufficient solar energy.

4. Energy Security

Whether your home is completely off the electricity grid or on it, solar panels can deliver energy security. Homes which completely rely on the grid must pay the electricity company for the energy they use. The cost of this can fluctuate significantly. Furthermore, this doesn’t guarantee energy security. In fact, you can face power outages and periodic blackouts.

Harnessing the sun’s energy doesn’t require any payment. It is free of cost and abundant. In case of power outages and blackouts, you will always have energy to rely upon.

5. Independence

Gas and oil are finite resources. These can run out at any time. In addition, their costs are heavily influenced by politics and inter-governmental relationships with other countries. The sun doesn’t have an allegiance nor a political agenda. Harness its energy and you’re energy independent!

6. Silent Operation

Generators, wind turbines, power plants, hydroelectricity devices and heat generators are green technologies albeit quite noisy ones! On the contrary, solar panels are silent operators. They simply capture the sun’s energy and transform it to a usable form and deliver it to your home.

7. Minimal Space Requirements

To opt for a solar panel, you don’t require much roof space. In fact you don’t even need a roof; only an obstruction free area. Most homeowners prefer rooftops because they are an unused space and receive plenty of sunshine. However, solar panels can be mounted on almost anything.

8. Roof Protection

If you install your panels on the roof, you’re actually prolonging the lifespan of your roof as well. The panels offer some protection against the heat, rain and sun. This means your home will be a lot cooler in the summer and you can expect to have a long-lasting roof.

9. Off-the-Grid

Some people prefer to live completely off the grid, either because they live remotely or they want to maintain a distance from modern society. By going completely solar, you will no longer need to rely on electricity from the utility company. Your panels and battery back-up will provide you with sufficient energy.

10. Durability

Solar panels, when maintained and cleaned properly can last up to 25 years! Most panels last longer than the roof. However the inverter has a lifespan of 10 years, but long enough for you to experience its benefits!