Sun. Jun 26th, 2022
The 7 best solar panels for homes in 2022

Making the transition to solar energy is a costly investment. With an average initial cost of about $11,000, you want to feel confident that you’re installing the best possible solar system for your home. Researching solar panels and brands will give you the information to choose the best solar panels for your home.

To assist you in this process, we at the Home Media reviews team have researched dozens of solar panel brands to compile a list of the top solar panel options. Our evaluations are based on efficiency rating, price, warranty coverage, and other significant factors discussed below.

Best solar panels for homes of 2022

Review our top seven picks for solar panels for homes:

Compare top solar panels

Take a look at the critical comparison points for these top solar panels:

Solar Panel Brand Category What We Like
Silfab Premium Manufactures panels that are close to premium quality but at affordable pricing
SunPower Premium Provides panels with the highest efficiency rating in our review
Panasonic Premium Backed by a multinational conglomerate tech company
LG Premium Offers best options for unique roof designs
Q Cells Value Offers long-term warranty options for product and performance
Canadian Solar Value Provides panels that are an economical alternative for homeowners
Trina Solar Value Offers reasonable value options for homes

1. Silfab

solar panels

  • +Offers a wide variety of efficient PERC monocrystalline panels+Panels cost between $2.85 and $3.05 per watt (W).+Offers a 30-year performance guaranteeCarries a price point closer to premium brandsRequires use of a Silfab-certified installer to get the 25-year extended warrantySilfab offers the following panel selection for residential systems:
    • SIL-330 NL: A small PERC model that generates 330 W at 19.4% efficiency
    • SIL-330 HL: An all-black series producing 330 W at 19.4% efficiency
    • SIL-360 NX: This 66-cell PERC model has an efficiency of 19.7% and provides 360 W
    • Silfab Elite series: Silfab’s highest efficiency panels fall between 20.8% and 21.1% in 370 W, 375 W, and 380 W panels
    • Silfab Prime series: This 120-cell model generates 370 W at an efficiency of 20.2%

    Silfab provides 30-year performance guarantees with all its panels. The company promises an 83% output from its panels for 30 years. If the panels fall below this level, Silfab will take care of their maintenance or repair. Its meetings also include a 12-year artistry warranty, which aligns with the industry standard of 10 to 12 years. However, this warranty can be extended to 25 years if homeowners purchase their panels from a Silfab-certified installer.

    2. SunPower

    solar panels

    • Warranties:25-year product; 25-year performance
    • Efficiency:19.4%–22.8%

    SunPower produces some of the best high-efficiency solar panels on the market today. Although its panels have the highest price point of all of the discussions in our review, an initial investment in the top solar panels will result in future long-term savings.

    Pros and cons of SunPower

    Review key pros and cons for SunPower solar panels:

    +Has one of the highest efficiency ratings in today’s solar panel market+Guarantees panels will produce 92% output for 25 years+Provides 25-year product and performance warrantiesclass-action lawsuit due to significant losses from cracking issues with its connectors

    Offers the most expensive panels on our listLimits the availability of its meetings to approved installers onlyInvolved in aWe contacted SunPower about these cons, and the company responded that “to make high-quality solar mainstream, [it] recently introduced SunPower Financial, an in-house financial services institution designed to make renewable energy affordable for more American homeowners.” Regarding its limited installer providers, SunPower explained that it maintains a smaller network to “ensure [they] meet [SunPower’s] quality and customer service standards.” SunPower also stated that it does not comment on active litigation but that lawsuit in question did not impact residential solar systems.

    SunPower has four monocrystalline options for homeowners:

    • A Series: It’s the most famous line that produces 370 W to 400 W at the high efficiency of 20.9% to 22.5%
    • X Series: Ideal for a smaller roof, these panels generate up to 370 W with a 22.7% efficiency
    • M Series: Newest to the lineup, these panels are available in 420 W and 435 W options with 21.7% to 22.8% efficiencies
    • E Series: Available in 320 W, 327 W, and 435 W offerings, these simple panels offer 19.4% to 20.4% efficiency

    Homeowners looking to invest in the best solar panels available should consider SunPower. Discussions with a higher efficiency rating tend to cost more than the average solar panel. SunPower solar panels start at around $3.30 per watt, much higher than the industry average of $3.

    The company provides a 25-year product and performance warranty, one of the few companies to offer such extended warranties. SunPower also guarantees that its panels will produce at least a 92% output of the initially posted wattage by the 25th year. If your panels fall below this threshold, the company will update your system to restore performance.

    3. Panasonic

solar panels

  • Warranties:25-year product; 25-year performance
  • Efficiency:21.6%–22.2%

Panasonic’s latest panel series, the EverVolt, uses half-cut heterojunction (HJT) solar cell technology to create some of the top energy-efficient panels available. Its meetings are made to withstand extreme temperatures, an excellent choice for homeowners in hot climates.

Pros and cons of Panasonic

Take a look at our top pros and cons for Panasonic solar:

+Performs well in hot climates+Guarantees a 92% output for up to 25 years+Provides a 25-year product warrantyOutsources its panel manufacturing as of March 2022, which could lead to lower-quality productsIs one of the more expensive options for homeowners

We contacted Panasonic about these cons, and although the company did not provide a comment, a representative directed us to this article instead.

Panasonic’s latest line, the EverVolt series, uses HJT technology to produce panels with higher efficiency at lower energy loss levels. The most potent panels within the sequences feature efficiencies between 21.6% and 22.2% in 400 W to 410 W options.

BillGuard and TripleGuard’s 25-year warranty covers EverVolt panels for product, parts, labor, and performance. Panasonic also guarantees at least a 92% output performance from its meetings over 25 years.

4. LG

solar panels

  • Warranties:25-year product; 25-year performance
  • Efficiency:19.4%–20.7%

LG solar panels are ideal for homeowners with complicated roof designs or limited roof space. Since its panels are more powerful but compact, you can buy fewer panels and generate ample power for your home.

Pros and cons of LG

Review LG’s key pros and cons:

+Is one of the most well-known manufacturers of electronics in the world+Fits best with homes that have atypical roof styles+Provides a 25-year product guaranteeHas inconsistent panels pricing within the LG dealer networkCan cost upward of $500 per panel, making them one of the more expensive options

LG offers three options for residential solar systems. The smaller 375 W LG NeON R has an efficiency of 20.7%. The company guarantees the output of the 365 W NeON 2 Black Solar Panel at 90.6% after 25 years. Finally, the 400 W LG NeON 2 BiFacial Solar Panel employs technology that allows sunlight to be absorbed on the top and bottom of the panel. This technology allows the panels to continue to collect energy even on the cloudiest days.

LG backs its panels with a 25-year product warranty. However, the energy production guarantee varies based on each model. For example, LG NeON R panels have a guaranteed output of 98.5% after one year and a minimum of 92.5% in 25 years. On the other hand, the LG NeON 2 series will produce 96.4% of its output in 25 years.

5. Q Cells

solar panels

  • Warranties:25-year product; 25-year performance
  • Efficiency:20.6%–21.4%

Q Cells panels offer an excellent balance of solid performance, high efficiencies, and affordable pricing. The company also provides warranties that exceed industry standards for product and performance protections.

Pros and cons of Q Cells

Here are the top pros and cons to consider for Q Cells:

+Is an excellent option for homeowners with smaller budgets+Offers a 25-year product and performance guarantee+Is known for producing quality panels for other companies (e.g., Tesla)Has decent efficiency rates but not the highest in our solar panel reviewProduces some larger Q Cell models that won’t work well on a smaller roof

Q Cells’ newest selection includes three half-cut, monocrystalline Q.Peak Duo panels models:

  • Q.PEAK DUO BLK-G10+
  • Q.PEAK DUO BLK-G10+/AC
  • Q.PEAK DUO BLK ML-G10+

The Q.Peak Duo generates 20.6% to 21.4% efficiency with 350 W to 415 W panels.

Q Cells backs its panels with a 25-year product and performance guarantee. The company promises that its panels will produce no less than 98% output in the first year. Then, output drops by 0.5% each year after that. After ten years, production will level out at 93%, reducing to at least 86% by 25 years.

6. Canadian Solar

solar panels

  • Warranties:12-, 15- and 25-year product; 25- or 30-year performance
  • Efficiency:15.88%–22%

Canadian Solar provides well-made solar panels that may be a better option for homeowners looking to keep their costs minimum. Although the efficiency of these panels is lower than the mid to premium offerings, they provide a good solution for anyone looking for low-cost options for a home.

Pros and cons of Canadian Solar

Here are a few key pros and cons for Canadian Solar:

+Selection includes polycrystalline and monocrystalline solar panels+Excellent option for colder weather environments where snowfall can accumulate easily+Some models use HJT technology for improved efficiencyShorter product warranties for its basic panel optionsPerformance isn’t as good in warmer environments

Canadian offers three models for homeowners:

  • HiKu line: These models include monocrystalline or polycrystalline solar panels that generate 320 W to 420 W
  • HD line: This monocrystalline line provides 360 W to 385 W and is more affordable than the HiKu line
  • Hiero line: Its new models use HJT technology in the form of 405 W to 430 W options

The HiDM models have a shingled, mono PERC solar design that uses more solar cells in a smaller space, ideal for limited spaces. Although these panels are more cost-effective than the HiKu line, this model suffers from efficiency and durability. The Hiero is Canadian Solar’s most high-efficiency option. These 405 W to 430 W panels have an efficiency of 22%.

The product warranties vary according to the model. The HiKu line provides a 12-year product warranty, whereas the HiDM models have a 15-year product warranty. Both bars include a 25-year performance guarantee. Hiero models have a 25-year product warranty and a 30-year linear power output guarantee.

7. Trina Solar

solar panels

  • Warranties:25-year product; 25-year performance
  • Efficiency:19.9%–20.6%

Trina Solar panels provide the best lower-budget options of all the panels reviewed. Its panels rank above the industry standard but still fall short of the top-tier solar panel options.

Pros and cons of Trina Solar

Check out our key pros and cons for Trina Solar:

+Offers a 25-year performance warranty+Features an efficiency range that is higher than the industry standard of 17%+Increased product warranty from 12 years to 25 yearsHas faced quality issues in the pastLacks high power wattage panel options

Trina offers two new half-cut, monocrystalline models for residential systems:

  • TSM DE06X.05(II): This model generates 355 W to 380 W at 20.6% efficiency.
  • TSM DD06M.05(II): This panel line registers a lower efficiency of 19.9%, with panel options of 310 W to 335 W.

Trina Solar’s newest panel models are backed by a 25-year manufacturer’s warranty and 25-year performance guarantee, exclusively offered in the United States. Since these more extended warranties do not require the use of a Trina installer, homeowners will have these protections in place starting on the date of purchase.

Note: We reached out to each manufacturer on this list for a comment on the cons listed in this article. Unless otherwise noted, we did not receive a response from the brand.

How to choose the best solar panels

Here are essential factors to consider when choosing the best solar panel.

Efficiency

You want to look for solar panels with the best efficiency that you can afford. The better the solar panel efficiency, the better the panels can effectively absorb the sunlight and convert it into energy. If you settle for panels with lower efficiency ratings, you will need more panels to run your home. Despite the expensive up-front cost, an investment in high-performing, efficient solar panels will be a sound investment into an effective solar power system in the long run.

Warranties

Solar panel warranties protect both the panels and their performance. At the bare minimum, your panels should provide the industry standard for coverage: 10 years for the product and 25 years for implementation. According to the Federal Trade Commission, the typical lifespan of solar panels is 20 years. We recommended finding a solar company that provides that minimum coverage to ensure your solar panel system stays protected in the future.

Durability

Because solar panels are exposed to the elements daily, it is essential to consider their durability. Panels with a good temperature coefficient can withstand extreme heat and continue to produce at near-optimal levels. Some panels have been constructed to support the weight of several inches of snowfall. You should select solar panels that work best in your local climate and weather conditions.

Price

Residential solar panel prices will depend on the type of solar panels and their efficiency. Although you may focus on the cost of the solar panels, the price of the solar panel system overall is most important. Residential solar systems can cost between $16,000 and $40,000 on average. With an investment in this site, you want to ensure you get the best return on your investment.

Your best option would be to buy high-efficiency panels to help cut down on the number of panels you will need for your home. Buying cheaper, less efficient panels will cost more overall since you will require more panels to produce the same energy levels that fewer, more efficient panels could achieve.

The bottom line: Which is the best solar panel for your home?

If you are looking for high-efficiency panels that provide the performance of a premium brand without the high price tag, we recommend Silfab panels as your best option. Homeowners looking for solar panels that offer a more budget-friendly price point but high-quality performance should look into Q Cells. Finally, for anyone looking for panel options for a limited budget, Trina Solar has cost-efficient offerings that provide decent power and efficiency options.

Reputable solar panel installers will review your electricity bills and select the best panels that meet your energy needs. We recommend reaching out to at least three solar panel installers to request quotes in your search for the best solar panels for your home.

It would help if you also verified the solar panel companies’ availability to ensure you are in their service area. Some solar panel manufacturers list every state for their coverage area, but, in reality, only service selects ZIP Codes.

Frequently asked questions about the best solar panels for homes

How much does a solar system cost?

With an average initial cost of about $11,000, you want to feel confident that you’re installing the best possible solar system for your home.

What are the benefits of using Sunpower solar panels?

Although its panels have the highest price point of all of our reviews, an initial investment in the top solar panels will result in future long-term savings.

What are the critical points of these top solar panels?

Please take a look at the critical comparison points for these top solar panels: Solar Panel BrandCategoryWhat We LikeSilfabPremiumManufactures panels that are close to premium quality but at affordable pricingSunPowerPremiumProvides conferences with the highest efficiency rating in our reviewPanasonicPremiumBacked by a multinational conglomerate tech companyLGPremiumOffers best options for unique roof designs CellsValueOffers long-term warranty options for product and performance Canadian SolarValueProvides panels that are an economical alternative for homeownersTrina SolarValueOffers reasonable value options for homes.

What are the benefits of using Silfab panels?

+Offers a wide variety of efficient PERC monocrystalline panels+Panels cost between $2.85 and $3.05 per watt (W).+Offers a 30-year performance guarantee–Carries a price point closer to premium brands–Requires use of a Silfab-certified installer to get the 25-year extended warrantySilfab offers the following panel selection for residential systems: SIL-330 NL: A small PERC model that generates 330 W at 19.4% efficiency-330 HL: An all-black series producing 330 W at 19.4% efficiency-360 NX: This 66-cell PERC model has an efficiency of 19.7% and provides 360 WSilfab Elite series: Silfab’s highest efficiency panels fall between 20.8% and 21.1% in 370 W, 375 W and 380 W panelsSilfab Prime series: This 120-cell model generates 370 W at an efficiency of 20.2%Silfab provides 30-year performance guarantees with all its panels.

What are the Pros and Cons of Solar Panels?

Although its panels have the highest price point of all of our reviews, an initial investment in the top solar panels will result in future long-term savings. Pros and cons of SunPowerReview vital pros and cons for SunPower solar panels:+Has one of the highest efficiency ratings in today’s solar panel market+Guarantees panels will produce 92% output for 25 years+Provides 25-year product and performance warrantiesclass-action lawsuit due to significant losses from cracking issues with its connectors –Offers the most expensive panels on our list–Limits the availability of its panels to approved i

What are the Pros and Cons of Solar Panels?

Review critical pros and cons for SunPower solar panels: class-action lawsuit due to significant losses from cracking issues with connectors. We contacted SunPower about these cons, and the company responded that “to make high-quality solar mainstream, [it] recently introduced SunPower Financial, an in-house financial services institution designed to make renewable energy affordable for more American homeowners.” Regarding its limited installer providers, SunPower explained that it maintains a smaller network to “ensure [they] meet [SunPower’s] quality and customer service standards.” SunPower also stated that it does not comment on active litigation but that lawsuit in question did not impact residential solar systems.

What is SunPower?

recently introduced SunPower Financial, an in-house financial services institution designed to make renewable energy affordable for more American homeowners.” Regarding its limited installer providers, SunPower explained that it maintains a smaller network to “ensure [they] meet [SunPower’s] quality and customer service standards.” SunPower also stated that it does not comment on active litigation but that lawsuit in question did not impact residential solar systems.

How much does a solar panel cost?

SunPower solar panels start at around $3.30 per watt, much higher than the industry average of $3.

What warranty does the company offer?

The company provides a 25-year product and performance warranty, one of the few companies to offer such extended warranties.

Methodology: Our system for ranking the best solar companies

We collected data on dozens of solar companies and created a comprehensive rating system to formulate our rankings, grade each company and provide objective findings to our readers. The result of weighing a wide range of factors is a cumulative score for each provider.

We called companies and spoke with representatives to understand their products, services, and solar installation processes. We also reviewed each company’s product, production, and artistry guarantees in detail, and we closely examined customer reviews to understand the customer service experience with each provider.

All company data is monitored on an ongoing basis to keep rankings and information up to date.

Once we gathered all relevant data, we used the following scoring system to grade each moving company on a 100-point scale:

    • Solar services (25 points): Does the company provide in-house solar panel installation and battery back-ups? Can the company also monitor energy production and perform energy-efficiency audits to ensure system performance? The more options available, the higher the score.
    • Warranty Options (15 points): Warranties for products, system output, and artistry and the length of these guarantees are significant factors in residential solar system performance. Warranties vary by company, so we score companies based on the number of options available. The more warranties a company offers, the higher the score it receives.
    • Availability (10 points): Most solar companies are not available nationwide. We award the most points to companies with the most extensive service area and state availability.
    • Experience (10 points): We rate solar companies based on the number of years they have worked within the industry. The more years a company has been in business, the higher the score.
    • Payment options (15 points): For each payment option the company provides, it receives more points. Options include purchase, loan, lease, and Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).
    • Reputation (10 points): We factor in each company’s score on the Business Better Bureau (BBB) and deduct points for any alerts or pending lawsuits.
    • Additional benefits (15 points): We evaluate solar companies based on added features and services such as a mobile app, virtual consultations, electric vehicle chargers, and 24/7 live customer support. The more of these options a company provides, the more points it receives.

Conclusion

As you compare these seven solar panels, we recommend considering efficiency rating, overall durability, and price. Because of our research methodology, it is also pertinent to consider the total cost of ownership when deciding between these leading solar panel options. While some panels may be more efficient than others, you also want to consider their expected lifespan and how often you will need to replace the solar panels themselves. Finally, be sure to consult electricians before choosing a solar panel brand. Many electrician services even offer special discounts for choosing solar energy, which is also something to consider.

 

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