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How Many Solar Panels to Power a House?

The number of solar panels needed to power a house varies based on energy usage, sunlight availability, and panel efficiency. On average, a typical American home may require 20-25 panels. But every home is unique. Curious about the specifics for your household? Dive deeper with us to explore how to tailor a solar solution that fits your energy needs perfectly.
Editorial Team
Editorial Team

Many people are interested in solar panels – and with good reason. They can save money, reduce your carbon footprint, and be a long-lasting way to add value to your home. One of the concerns, though, is how many solar panels it takes to power a house. There are a number of factors that play a role in that.

How to Determine How Many Solar Panels Your House 

Many people think the number of solar panels is directly related to the amount of square footage. While it is true that larger homes need more solar panels, that is not the primary factor in how many solar panels to purchase.

Rather, the biggest factor in determining solar panel system needs is the amount of annual energy usage you have. That is the amount of energy your home needs to meet your needs. A variety of factors play a role in this, including:

  • Where you live
  • The number of people who live in your home
  • The amount of technology and powered systems present in your home
  • If you want to heat your home with electricity
  • If you want to heat your water with electricity
  • And if you are using fossil fuels for other costs

There are quite a few things that play a role in this process, then according to So, how do you know what solar panel system is right for you? Here is what you need to know.

What’s the Average Number of Solar Panels for a Home?

If you are just looking for the average number of solar panels people need to power their homes, consider this. The average U.S. home of 2000 square feet with moderate energy needs is likely to need 16 to 21 solar panels to meet their everyday needs. That is if the home has a south-facing room that provides good access to direct sunlight during the day each day.

Understanding Your Solar Energy Needs

To determine what your needs are, take a look at your current home electricity bill. On it, you will see the amount of kilowatt hours of power you used in the last month. That is going to give you the starting point. Your utility bill will provide you with the number of kilowatt hours you used in the last month. Often, you will see a chart that provides an estimated number of kilowatts for the last 12 months.

Based on the type of solar panels you purchase for your home and their overall efficiency will give you an idea of the number of panels you need. Look at the power rating on the solar panels, as the more efficient panels are able to generate more electricity with fewer panels.

Solar panel wattage is a big factor, but it can vary based on one system to the next. Your annual energy usage is a good starting point. Then, determine how many kilowatt hours of power each of the panels you are purchasing can provide to you. Divide that into the number of hours you need. That will give you some guidance on installing solar panels.

The good news is you do not have to figure this out on your own. Our team can offer the help you need in determining the number of solar panels to fit your specific needs. You can then use this to determine the solar panel cost associated with your home.

Breaking Down the Details of the Number of Solar Panels for Your Home

Here is a look at some of the factors that contribute to the number of solar panels your home is likely to need:

  • Annual electricity usage: Measured in kilowatt-hours, this is the amount of power your home needs to run – based on the needs of all appliances, lights, water heaters, and other systems. On average, a U.S. home uses 11,000 kWh of electricity annually (according to the Energy Information Administration).
  • Solar panel wattage: The second factor is the amount of power from the solar panels – what can they produce? Most solar panels will get between 250 and 400 watts of power.
  • Production rates: Another factor is the production ratio of the solar panel system. This ratio helps to estimate the energy output of the system over time compared to the actual system size. Most often, this is not 1:1 – because there are varying amounts of sunlight that hit the solar panels, which will play a role in the amount of energy produced.

So how many solar panels do you need? The solar panels you need may be a bit hard to determine – especially if you are unsure about your solar system choices and how much energy your home needs. Our team can help you to determine the best solar array for your situation. Many solar systems can meet your needs without requiring more solar panels.

SmartSolar can help you find the right solar panels in place with the proper solar installation that ensures you get the most out of your system to reduce your utility bills.

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Editorial Team
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