Solar panels are built to last. That is why manufacturers tend to warranty their products for up to 25 years. That is, however, no reason to assume anything about your system’s warranty. For one, it will certainly not include all of the system’s components and, as with any product on today’s market, will safeguard the manufacturer as much as possible. Here are some important items to look for in a warranty and some important items you are unlikely to find.
What to look for...
As I said, most high quality solar panels will have long-term warranties regarding panel function and degradation. This is due to the very makeup of the panels: no moving parts, protective tempered glass, non-corrosive aluminum framing, etc. However, different components will have different warranties. For instance,
- parts and labor typically come with a two-year warranty (although I have seen some as high as ten years…shop around),
- batteries will likely have limited 8-10 year warranties,
- inverters will also have a two-year warranty.
Now, the life span of these components usually far outstrips the warranty period but, nonetheless, these are things to look out for. Also, you will want to make sure that the warranty is included in the installer’s bid for the system and make sure that…
- the warranty covers the removal, shipping, repair and reinstallation of the products.
- you know who is responsible for the warranty (i.e., contractor, manufacturer, etc.)
- you are aware of any safeguards against anyone involved going out of business.
What you are unlikely to find...
Your solar system will not be protected against acts of nature, vandalism and other incidents out of the control of the parties involved. For protection against storms and the like, you will have to work with your home insurance company.
Why you should take your time and not worry...
I reiterate, solar panels are built to last. It is simply one of the inherent advantages to panel production. It is what makes the up-front costs of solar installation a worthwhile investment. Solar manufacturers and installers are quite proud of this fact and love to use it as a selling point. But don’t let that be the end of your investigation into the matter. Take your time, do research and shop around until you find what you want and who you want installing your system.
CalFinder Solar can connect you with local, pre-screened contractors in your area and help you get started quickly and easily.