How Many Solar Panels Do I Need For a 1000 Sq Ft Home?

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If you want a solar power for your 1000 sq ft home, the first thing you should do is find out how many solar panels are needed. The easiest way is to contact a solar panel installer, who will conduct an assessment. Another is to look up your monthly electric bill and calculate your energy usage. But if you want a quick estimate, this guide can help.

A 1000 square foot home consumes 300-400kwh a month. so you will need eight 375 watt solar panels. This system is going to produce 3kw a day, which is enough to run all essential appliances.

How Much Solar Power Does a 1000 Sq. Ft. House Need?

The estimate above is based on US national averages for electricity use and occupancy. Depending on the following factors, you may need more or fewer solar panels to meet your energy usage requirements.

The average 1000 sq ft American house uses 300kw to 400kw a month. As mentioned above , 8 x 375W or 9 x 315W solar panels will be enough. But the number o solar panels you need will be different depending on each panel’s wattage output.

For instance, you would only need 5 to 6 solar panels or if they are 400W each instead of 375W or 315W. On the other hand you would need 16 or more if you install 250W panels. Also keep in mind that solar panel ratings are often lower than their output for many reasons, so that’s another factor.

The easiest way to approach this is to contact a solar home installer. They will give you an estimate of how many solar panels are needed and the cost. If you need an 8 x 375W solar array the company will provide. Or you can buy the pieces separately if you prefer the DIY approach.

Our choice for a do it yourself approach is the ACOPOWER 500W Solar Kit Each kit has 500 watts of solar power, so you need about 7 of these for a 1000 square foot house. All the necessary connectors and cables are also included.

If you want to set up an off grid system, there is the Eco Worthy 800W Complete Solar Power System. Each kit has 800 watts of power plus a battery, combiner box, charge controller and other accessories so you can have an off grid home ready to go.

The efficiency of the solar panels is very important. The higher the efficiency rating, the more energy from the sun the panel is able to convert into electricity. Solar panel efficiency ratings above 21% is very good. This is particularly important winter and cloudy skies. All solar panels perform well during the summer, but it is during the fall and winter that you see efficiency come into play. A more efficient solar panel draws more energy even when the sun is at a low angle or there are plenty of clouds.

How to Calculate Solar Power Use in a 1000 Sq. Ft. Home

Depending on where you live, heating will be one of the biggest energy consumers in your home, or air conditioning. Both require a lot of solar panels and batteries and their usage determines how much solar power you need.

If you have a 1000 sq ft house in any of the northern states like North Dakota, Maine, Minnesota or Wyoming, heaters will be used extensively. Most of these homes run their heaters on generators or electric power, but if you are off the grid it’s going to take a lot of solar panel power.

On the other hand, the southeastern and south central regions of the US are home to the hottest states. Texas, Louisiana, Florida and Georgia are always among the top and if you live here, your biggest energy consumer is likely an air conditioner.

The following are the biggest appliance energy consumers on average per month. This is not just for 1000 sq ft houses, but the national average. Your consumption may be higher or lower than the average.

ApplianceKWH Per Month
2 Ton Central Air Conditioner 1450
Water Heater (4 people)310
17-20 cu ft Refrigerator200
Washign Machine9
Lighting (5 rooms)55
Total: 2158kwh of solar power needed each month

This only goes to show how climate affects solar power usage and requirements. Even if there are two houses identical in size, the number of solar panels required – and their output – will vary depending on the location and power consumption.

To find out how many solar panels you need, check your monthly bill. Get the average and add 20% or more, depending on how much reserve power you want. If you live in cold area, high reserve power is recommended. Your power requirements will also be influenced by whether you are on or off the grid.

Grid Tied vs. Off Grid Systems -Which is Better?

Are you going to draw all your power requirements from your solar system? Or will your house still be connected to a power grid?

Most homes in the US are grid tied, meaning they still have access to electricity. This is the ideal setup for many because one, you do not need to buy a battery, and two, you can always access the extra solar power on the grid. You will even get credit for the solar energy you export to the power company.

If you are on the grid, calculate how much power you want to use with solar .You could run the AC unit, well pump or other power hungry appliances on the grid, leaving the rest for your solar panel system. In this case you can reduce the number of solar panels you need.

If you are off the grid, you must have at least 50% more solar power than your monthly or yearly consumption. ideally you should also have a gas generator to power your other appliances. If you have a welder or other power tools, get as much solar power as you can.

An off the grid house also needs a good sized battery bank to store solar power. You must also have an inverter big enough to run all the appliances you use. Bottom line, you need more solar power to run your home off grid than you do when tied to a power grid.

How Installation Affects Solar Panel Production

Solar panel production is affected by where and how it is installed. For the best results, solar panels should be installed on rooftops facing true south. Ground mount installation and a different orientation may lead to lower output.

Once you figure out many solar panels you need, for example a 5kw solar system, you have to determine if you can place them all on the roof. Two houses with the same square footage may not have the same roof space. One house may have a slanted roof, another may be flat.

These and other factors determine how many solar panels you can install. You may have to install a solar panel on your pergola if your house roof is too small. The type of roof could affect how solar panels are set up and its efficiency. If you cannot orient the panels to true south, this might hamper performance. It does not mean you will not get solar energy, only that it will not be as efficient as it could be.

Fortunately a lot of these will be done by your solar panel installer. Following their assessment, you will be informed about what solar panel set up works best for your home.

Solar Panel Requirements by US Region

Solar panel production depends on how much sunlight your city receives. A 1000 sq ft house in Phoenix, Arizona will need fewer solar panels than a 1000 sq ft house in Seattle, Washington. The southwestern United States are sunny while the northwest is cloudy, which affects solar panel performance.

The following is the average monthly energy consumption by US region. This is not just for 1000 sq ft homes, but all homes.

RegionElectricity in Kwh
Pacific West715
Gulf Coast & South Atlantic1160

This does not mean you cannot use solar power in the northwest or other cold regions. It simply means you have to make adjustments to your calculations. All the factors mentioned above need to be considered, and if you have a lot of solar powered appliances, get more power than what your calculation requirements show.

How Much Do Solar Panels For 1000 Sq Ft Home Cost?

A 2.5kw system (8 x 375W) costs around $10,500-$11,000, and after the federal tax credit should be down to about $6,000. This does not account for any other equipment you install, roof considerations or other incentives available for you. Also note that the Federal incentive drops from 26% to 22% in 2021 and will be gone by 2022.

With or without the tax incentive, we can only provide an estimate of how much solar panels cost for a 1000 sq ft house. Cost is based on how much electricity is consumed. Two 1000 sq ft houses may not have have the same energy usage, so their solar power requirements will be different.

Here is an example. A couple lives in a 1000 sq ft house in Seattle They have a heater, large TV, spends hours watching TV and washes clothes every day.

A man lives alone in a 1000 sq ft house in Texas. He goes to work every day and spends most of the day outdoors. He only turns on the AC at night when he goes home.

These are both 1000 sq ft houses but their energy usage differs greatly. It is not just because of the location but the number of occupants and their lifestyle. This is why it is not possible to give a one size fits all answer. Each house, even if the same size, will have unique electricity usage, which determines how much solar power has to be installed.


To recap, the average 1000 sq ft house requires about eight 375W solar panels to meet all of its electricity needs. But that is only for the national average, and your requirement may be higher or lower than that. The best way to find out how many solar panels you need is to contact a solar panel provider or compute your monthly energy usage.