Solar Pensacola
Panama City Beach Solar Residential

What Makes a Solar Warranty Good?

You’ve done the math and know that solar is a good investment for you so now you’re ready to select a contractor and get your solar photovoltaic (PV) system installed. Before diving in head first, it’s important to know a few things about your solar warranty, since this is one of the most overlooked (and important) things about your purchase. So, how do you know if your warranty is any good?

Look for warranties of at least twenty years. The average lifetime of residential solar PV system is more than 40 years and most solar PV manufacturers will guarantee their product for at least 20 years. Anything under twenty years should be a red flag to you.

Look for warranties that mean something. It doesn’t matter if a panel has a 50 year warranty if the manufacturer will be out of business tomorrow. Look for manufacturers that have been around a long time and/or have third-party insurance on their warranty so you can have absolute peace of mind that your investment is sound and well-protected.

Consider the inverter warranty. Your solar PV system is made up of many parts, including a solar inverter that enables you to connect with the grid. While warranties for solar PV systems tend to start at 20 years, warranties for string inverters typically last only 10 years. Although micro-inverters cost more upfront, they are warrantied for 25 years and they maximize design flexibility to fit any roof.

Get a warranty on your contractor’s work. A good contractor stands by his work and will offer warranty coverage on their installation, often for a period of one to five years. This typically involves a guarantee that they didn’t make holes in your roof or cause other damage that would impact you down the road.

Find a contractor that provides maintenance. While solar PV systems don’t typically require a lot of maintenance throughout the course of their lifetime, it’s much more convenient for you to work through your solar contractor for troubleshooting than it is to go directly to the manufacturer for maintenance, repairs, or replacement. As such, it’s wise to choose a contractor that performs service or replacement calls on behalf of the manufacturer.

Choose a contractor that works with quality products. Beyond the warranty itself, it’s important to work with a contractor that has quality in mind. Do your research on the internet to determine which manufacturers are producing the highest quality solar PV systems and then select a contractor that works with these companies. This is a good sign that your contractor know what he/she is doing.

Get insurance coverage. Although damage to your PV system is unlikely, be sure to have your solar PV system covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy – coverage is often included in your current policy but it’s a good idea to make sure your investment is protected in the case of damage due to unforeseen events like a fire or extreme weather.