5 Things to Consider Before Installing New Solar Panels

June 20, 2024

installing solar panels on roof

In Nevada, the sun shines bright for more than two-thirds of the year, making it ideal for harvesting solar energy. The state gets nearly one-fourth of its energy supply from solar, enough to power 1,337,657 homes, and was ranked sixth in 2024 for using solar power.

Installing solar panels on the roof is a great way to ensure a clean energy supply for your home. It can also cut down your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint.

But like other Reno homeowners, if you are thinking of installing solar panels on your roof, you will need to consider a few things.

What are these factors exactly? 

We’ll tell you in this post:

Roof Inspection

Check if your roof is ready for installing solar panels.

There are three critical factors you will need to consider:

Size and Shape

How big is your roof, and what’s its shape like?

Roofs come in different shapes and sizes. Make sure your roof can fit the new solar panels without significant structural changes. If the roof is small in size or oddly shaped, you may not get the best return on your solar investment.


Ideally, your roof should face south with a slope between 15 and 40 degrees to receive maximum sunlight. This is because the sun is in the southern half of the sky year-round in the northern hemisphere.


Your roof must support the weight of the solar panels, especially during hailstorms and heavy snowfalls, which are common in Nevada. If you are unsure how strong your roof is or when it is due for a replacement, have it checked by a Reno roofing company.

The Number of Solar Panels You Need

There is no one-size-fits-all answer for how many solar panels you need.

Every home is different, and you will need to calculate your energy needs to understand how many solar panels you need.

Usually, a quick look at your energy bill can tell you how many kWh you use every month. But you can also use online calculators like Solar Estimate to determine how many solar panels you need and the potential cost and savings.

Another factor you should consider is solar panel efficiency. Panels with high-efficiency solar cells can generate more electricity from the same amount of sunlight. If you have limited space, investing in more efficient solar panels can help you meet your energy needs with fewer panels and lower costs.

Depending on your energy usage, roof size, solar panel efficiency, and budget, you can choose to go completely off-grid or continue to get a part of your supply from the grid.

Solar PV System Costs

Although prices have fallen 43% over the last ten years, the upfront cost can be high. But this initial cost is offset by long-term energy savings, free supply of clean electricity, and government incentives.

The federal solar tax credit allows you to use a part of your solar installation cost to offset your income tax. Solar PV systems installed between 2022 and 2032 can claim a 30% tax credit. That means if installed in 2024, a new system costing $10,000 is eligible for a $3,000 tax credit.

Overall, Uncle Sam wants you to really invest in solar systems. But you will still need to know how much it will cost.

When installing solar panels in Reno, NV, you will need to pay for:

  • Panels and wiring
  • Inverter and battery
  • Labor for installation
  • Any additional roofing work required during the installation

Warranties and Maintenance

While it’s tempting to go for cheaper solar PV systems, they rarely translate into long-term benefits. On the other hand, leading brands like Tesla solar roof, offer highly efficient residential solar panels with a 25-year warranty, an overall 10-year warranty for the system, and need minimal maintenance.

When shopping around for a solar PV system, you should consider:

  • Panel warranty for which the solar industry standard is 25-30 years.  
  • Inverter warranty, which is usually 5-10 years, depending on the brand.
  • Installation warranty that ranges from 2-10 years and may cover labor, replacing defective parts, and repairs.

DIY or Professional Installation

Think if a DIY solar panel installation is really worth it.

We recommend leaving the installation process to the professionals. Solar PV systems are complicated and require intricate knowledge of electrical wiring and roofing.

If you try to install solar panels on your own, you might have:

  • A damaged and leaky roof.
  • Faulty wiring that can lead to shocks and potential fire hazards.
  • Lack of compliance with local building codes, which may attract steep fines.
  • Frequent breakdowns and repair. 

Some companies may not offer warranties unless the solar system is installed by a licensed professional. If there is a problem with the system, you might not receive any replacements or compensation for the damage or defect.

But unlike DIY, professionals take care of everything from installing rooftop solar panels to repairs, offering you peace of mind. And since they stand behind their work, a solar company will be there to help – whether it’s solar panel repairs or routine maintenance.

The Bottom Line

Investing in a solar PV system is a great way to lower your energy bills and carbon footprint. It also comes with minimal maintenance, tax credits, and a lifelong source of free, renewable energy. But first, inspect your roof and consider your energy needs, associated costs, maintenance, and warranties. And for a reliable, personalized solution, hire a licensed, experienced contractor.

Want to install solar panels on your roof? We can help. At Mountain Vista Roof Systems, we specialize in installing solar roof systems. 

Give us a call today to know more.