How Many Solar Panels Do I Need to Power My Home

November 19 2020

System with solar panel wattage that covers household energy consumption

Before you switch to solar you’re going to need to answer one important question: How many solar panels do I need? Many homeowners want to go green to eliminate their energy bills once and for all. To do this, you’ll need to find out what solar panel output you need to reach in order to completely offset your usage.

To calculate solar needs, you’ll have to consider a variety of factors. Luckily, Greenlife Solar is here to help. Our mission is to make residential solar simple and easy for every homeowner.

We’ll go over solar panel sizes and wattage to help you get a better understanding of your options. By the end of this article, you should be able to answer the question, “How many solar panels do I need to power my home?”

Learn how to calculate solar needs for your home today. Let’s get started.

Solar Panel Sizes and Wattage

There are different solar panel sizes and wattages available. The size of a single panel will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but the average panel is about 39 inches wide and 65 inches long. A panel of this size has 60 individual solar cells.

Typical solar panel wattage is between 250 and 350 watts. Of course, solar panel output varies depending on the type of panels you purchase. While it may seem like a no brainer to go for 350-watt panels, it all depends on your specific home and its needs.

The benefit of a system with a high solar panel output is that you need fewer panels to offset your home’s energy consumption. For instance, a 5kW system of 350-watt panels requires about 231 square feet of space. To get the same solar panel output with 250-watt panels, you need 330 square feet.

Compare solar panel sizes and wattage before you buy. Learn more about the different types of solar panels here.

Things That Affect Solar Panel Output

If a solar panel is rated to produce 350 watts of power, that does not mean it always will. There are many factors that affect solar panel output, including shading, orientation, and hours of sunlight. Solar panel wattage simply indicates potential panel production in perfect conditions.

Remember, you’ll likely only get a maximum of five hours of direct sunlight each day. That means one 250-watt solar panel will produce around 456,250 watts (456.25 kilowatts) of power in one year. Higher solar panel wattage will increase this number, however, it’ll still only be enough to power small appliances.

It’ll take a full system to cover all of your household’s electricity usage. Solar panel wattage is an important factor in panel price and individual panel production. However, true panel output will help you answer the question, “How much solar power do I need?”

How Much Solar Power Do I Need?

The average household uses about 10,400 kWh per year. A typical homeowner needs 28-34 panels to fully cover energy consumption. Use past bills to calculate solar needs for your home.

By now, you should be closer to answering our initial question: How many solar panels do I need? Keep in mind that your system doesn’t need to completely eliminate costs. You can take advantage of solar savings regardless of whether or not you invest in a full system.

If you do decide to eliminate your energy bills completely, you’re looking at a fairly large initial investment. Luckily, there are some great tax incentives available. After those tax credits, the average system costs between $11,000 and $14,000. Solar panel wattage and size both affect the price. Calculate solar needs based on how much you want to invest and how much you want to save on electricity.

Four solar installers bringing solar panels onto the roof of a house

Finding a Solar Installer

By now, you should have a better idea of how much solar power your home needs. All that’s left is to find a system that will produce it.

The best way to save money upfront is by comparing your options. Take a look at what each installation company has to offer. After all, solar panels can last over 30 years. You’ll want to invest wisely.

Compare your options with Greenlife Solar. We partner with the best solar installers nationwide. Simply enter some information about your home and we’ll do the work for you. Receive free quotes from a variety of high-quality pre-screened installers near you today.

Compare Free Quotes From Certified Solar Installers in Your Area.