General Solar FAQs
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ADVANTAGES OF SOLAR POWER?
Solar power has a number of substantial advantages, from economical to environmental:
Readily available. Electricity generated from sunlight is free and limitless.
Significant energy savings. A SunSource® Home Energy System with as few as one solar module can save you money on your monthly utility bills. The U.S. federal government and some states provide tax credit for renewable-energy systems. Depending on where you live, you may also be eligible for incentives through your utility company. To find out what incentives are available in your area, visit dsireusa.org
Virtually no environmental impact. Solar is a fast-developing renewable energy source because it produces no air pollution or hazardous waste. By comparison, electricity generated by power plants produces carbon dioxide emissions that are believed to contribute to climate change and pollution.
Can be expanded over time. The SunSource system gives you the flexibility to start small and add more roof modules at a later date for greater energy savings.
DOES SOLAR WORK IF YOU DON’T LIVE IN THE WEST?
No matter where you live – even if it’s not in Arizona or some other sunny location – you can take advantage of the money-saving benefits of the SunSource® Home Energy System.
DOES SOLAR ADD VALUE TO YOUR HOME?
Significant incentives make solar power a wise home investment that may increase your home’s value. Surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have shown that, for every $1,000 saved per year, $20,000 may be added to a home’s value.
WILL I NEED TO CARRY ANY SPECIAL INSURANCE?
If your electric utility offers “net metering” or any other incentives for installing a renewable-energy system, they will likely require that you enter into an interconnection agreement. A standard homeowners’ insurance policy is usually adequate to meet the utility’s requirements. See your local utility company for details.
WILL I NEED A BUILDING PERMIT?
Yes. You’ll need to obtain building permits to install a SunSource® Home Energy System. Building, electrical and plumbing codes may also apply. Most jurisdictions have building codes that fully accommodate solar energy technology. We will include the price for permits into your cost estimate.
DO I NEED APPROVAL FROM MY HOMEOWNER’S ASSOCIATION?
A Homeowner’s Association’s ability to restrict or prohibit installation of residential solar devices varies. To see if your state has such laws in place visit www.dsireusa.org. If you belong to a homeowner’s association, review your convenants for details.
WHAT DO TERMS LIKE “On-Grid” and “Grid-Tied” MEAN?
On-grid solar systems, also called “grid-tied” systems, are connected to the utility electrical network in your area. SunSource is an on-grid system designed to help you lower your utility operating costs and take advantage of incentives from utility companies. “Off-grid” refers to typically more expensive systems that are not connected to the utility electrical grid.
HOW DO I KNOW IF A SUNSOURCE® HOME ENERGY SYSTEM WILL WORK FOR MY HOME?
SunSource systems are suitable for almost any location in North America and are adaptable to almost any roof type.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO INSTALL A SUNSOURCE® SYSTEM?
A qualified Lennox Home Energy Consultant can install the system in one day once the plans are approved. The system can be running in as little as a few hours, depending on the amount of solar modules installed.
CAN I INSTALL THE SYSTEM MYSELF?
In order to be eligible for government incentives, SunSource® Home Energy Systems must be installed by a qualified solar technician, like us!
Lennox Energy Incentives
WHO PROVIDES ENERGY INCENTIVES?
In the U.S., financial incentives are available at the federal and local level to support the use of renewable energy:
Federal tax credits. The SunSource® Home Energy System meets the requirements for federal tax credits listed under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, covering 30% of the cost of the solar modules, including installation. You can also receive up to a $1,500 credit for the solar-ready heat pump or air conditioner that’s at the heart of the system.
State tax credits. According to www.dsireusa.org, there are about 47 states and 600 electric utilities across the U.S. that provide incentives for renewable-energy systems.
Utility net metering. If your utility company offers net-metering agreements, you may be able to receive a credit for any surplus power generated that’s not used in your home and is fed back to your utility company. To find out if you can get rebates and credits for your excess power generation, check with your local utility company or visit dsireusa.org
Lennox System Performance
HOW DOES THE SYSTEM WORK?
The SunSource® Home Energy System reduces the amount of electricity needed from your utility provider to put you in control of your utility bills. This energy-saving system harnesses solar-energy and uses it first—before using electricity from the utility company—to power your air conditioner or heat pump. The solar power that’s collected can also operate other appliances and electronics when the heating and cooling system is not in use. What’s more, if the SunSource system generates more solar power than is needed, that power will be sent back to the utility company, possibly entitling homeowners to a credit.
For more details on how the different system components work together to lower your utility bills, view our solar house.
WILL THE SYSTEM WORK AT NIGHT AND ON CLOUDY DAYS?
Your system will not work at night because the solar modules need sunlight to produce power. Solar modules will still produce power on cloudy or overcast days, but at a reduced level.
HOW LONG WILL THE SYSTEM LAST?
We stand behind the Lennox name and the quality that has made us a global leader in home comfort. Because the SunSource® Home Energy System is backed by Lennox, you can take comfort knowing it’s built to exacting standards. Our warranties are designed to give you added peace of mind:
Solar-ready heat pumps and air conditioners from the Dave Lennox Signature® Collection include a 10-year limited warranty on the compressor and covered components.
Solar modules include a 5-year limited warranty against defects from faulty workmanship or damage to the surface. The modules have a 12-year limited performance guarantee that covers a power output of less than 90%; a 25-year limited performance guarantee applies to a power output of less than 80%.
Microinverters include a 15-year limited warranty against defects in workmanship and materials.
Some restrictions apply. Contact us for full warranty details.
HOW DO I KNOW MY SYSTEM IS PERFORMING TO ITS FULL POTENTIAL?
The SunSource® Home Energy System comes with a communication module that sends performance data for each module to a website, where you can view systems status, energy production and environmental benefits online, including carbon offsets, in real time.
DO I NEED AN INTERNET CONNECTION TO USE THE COMMUNICATION MODULE?
Yes, an Internet connection is required to receive the full benefits of the online monitoring system, and to view energy production, and environmental benefit information. The monitoring service is provided free for five years.*
*Performance-monitoring website provided by an independent third party, Enphase Energy Inc.
WILL GOING SOLAR COMPROMISE MY COMFORT IN ANY WAY?
At the heart of the SunSource® Home Energy System is a solar-ready heat pump or air conditioner designed to deliver the same optimal comfort and high-efficiency performance offered by other systems from the Dave Lennox Signature® Collection, Lennox’ finest offering of heating and cooling systems.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE POWER GOES OUT?
In the event of a power outage caused by a storm or some other problem, the SunSource system will shut off. Once power is restored by your utility company, the system should turn back on automatically along with lighting, appliances and other household electronics.
Lennox Solar Modules
ARE THE SOLAR MODULES EASILY DAMAGED?
The modules are made of tempered glass and are laminated to a resilient substrate. They are rugged, durable, and weather-and-impact-resistant.
WILL THE MODULES LOOK AWKWARD OR OBTRUSIVE ON MY HOME?
The hardware that mounts the modules to your roof allows them to integrate nearly flush with the surface for a discreet appearance that does not detract from the overall appeal of your house.
HOW MANY MODULES DO I NEED TO PRODUCE ENOUGH ELECTRICITY TO RUN MY HOUSE?
The number of modules you need depends on several factors, including the size of your home, angle of your roof and so on. We have a tool that can help you determine the amount that’s best suited to your requirements.
WILL I NEED A NEW ROOF BEFORE THE MODULES ARE INSTALLED?
The ideal situation for installing solar is to have a roof that’s in good condition. That way, you won’t have to bear the cost of re-installing the solar modules if your roof needs to be replaced or repaired within a few years.
DO THE MODULES NEED TO FACE SOUTH?
Yes, South-facing modules are best to maximize sun exposure. The closer to south the system faces, the greater the electrical output from the solar modules.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE SOLAR MODULES ARE SHADED?
Ideally, the solar modules should be installed in areas where they are free from obstructions that can cause shading, like trees and buildings. But, the unique design of the modules could provide energy savings, despite varying climate and lighting conditions. Unlike typical solar-panel systems, which have one inverter for the complete array, each SunSource module has its own microinverter that converts solar energy into usable electrical power. So any issue that might affect one module, such as cloud cover, doesn’t impact the other modules.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE SOLAR MODULES ARE COVERED BY SNOW?
If it snows, our solar modules are installed at the angle of the roof, which may allow the snow to slide down and melt within a short period of time under normal circumstances. In the event of an extreme accumulation, you may need to brush off the snow to get solar power.
DO I NEED TO CLEAN THE SOLAR MODULES?
In most regions, rain cleans them off automatically. However, if you live in a dusty industrial area, you may see a performance improvement from periodically spraying the modules with water. Please note that detergents and high-pressure hoses should never be used for cleaning.
DO THE SOLAR MODULES NEED TO BE MOUNTED ON MY ROOF?
Modules are typically mounted on the roof, but can also have a pole foundation. Ground installations are best if your house is heavily shaded, or if buildings or other obstructions limit available space on your home’s roof.
Lennox Buying a System
HOW CAN I GET STARTED WITH SOLAR ENERGY?
Contact us, and we will stop by your home to help you decide which Dave Lennox Signature® Collection system best suits your needs, and how many solar modules to add now or over time.