How Many Solar Panels are Needed to Run a House?

You’re thinking about going solar, but before you do, you want to know exactly how many panels you will need.

Trying to figure out how many panels will be needed depends on specific factors, including the size of your home and your overall goals (reducing your impact on the environment, money savings, etc). The majority of people who want to install solar panels are interested in both saving money and reducing their carbon footprint; however, the size of the house still has to be taken into consideration in order to determine how many solar panels you will need to meet your goals and efficiently power your house.

What You Need to Know

In order to figure out how many solar panels your home will need, you first need to know the following information:

  • How much energy your home uses
  • The amount of usable surface on your roof that can house solar panels
  • The amount of sunlight your roof gets
  • The climate you live in
  • The efficiency and wattage of the solar panels


Image Source: Pixabay

How can you figure each of these things out? Below, we’ll break it down for you.

Energy Use

To figure out how much energy your home uses, take a look at your utility bills. Multiply the hourly energy needs of your house by the hours of peak sunlight in your area, then divide that number by the wattage of the solar panels you are considering using.

Usable Surface

Generally speaking, the flatter your roof is, the more usable surface you will have for your solar panels. However, that’s not to say that you can’t have solar panels installed if your roof has an intricate design. Solar panel experts can come up with pretty creative ways to install solar panels. With that said, however, if your home does have a sloped roof or features a lot of edges and architectural features, you will likely need to have smaller solar panels installed, which will likely mean that you will need to have more panels installed in order to meet the energy needs of your home.

Peak Sunlight and Climate

The amount of peak sunlight your home receives will directly impact the amount of energy you can expect your solar panels to produce. For instance, if you live in an area where there is more direct sunlight and the weather is generally clear, you can expect more output from your solar panels than you would if you lived in an area where your home is obstructed by shade or the hours of sunlight are less. The more direct sunlight your roof receives, the less solar panels you will need.

Efficiency and Wattage

The efficiency and wattage of solar panels differs. Different types of solar panels have great efficiency and higher wattage. The higher the efficiency and the more wattage the panels provide, the less panels you will need to have installed on your home, as they will naturally produce more energy.

Ways to Reduce the Number of Panels Needed

There are ways that you can reduce the amount of solar panels your home will need. For example, if your home gets a lot of shade, you might want to consider trimming trees back or knocking them down to maximize the amount of peak sunlight that hits your roof, and therefore, your solar panels. Additionally, installing high-quality solar panels with a high efficiency and wattage will help to maximize the amount of energy the output, thereby reducing the amount of solar panels you will need to have installed.

Speak to a Reputable Solar Panel Company

Trying to figure out exactly how many solar panels you will need for your home can be a difficult task. If you really want to find out how many panels are needed, your best bet is to speak to a reputable company that specializes in solar panels. They will be able to assess your property, your energy consumption, and the amount and type of solar panels you will need in order to get maximum output from the least amount of panels possible.

Generally speaking, the more sunshine your house gets, the flatter your roof is, and the higher the quality of the solar panels, the fewer panels you will need to install. With that said, it’s still a wise idea to speak to a professional to determine exactly how many solar panels will be needed.

Installing solar panels can be a very worthwhile investment; it can reduce your energy consumption, which will lower your utility bills and reduce your carbon footprint. However, you do want to make sure that you stay within your budget when you have them installed, which is why knowing how many panels you will need for your home is important.

Osho Garg

About Author
Osho is Tech blogger. He contributes to the Blogging, Gadgets, Social Media and Tech News section on TecheHow.