Going with a solar panel system does not mean that you will be ripping off your roof. You can always start small by purchasing outdoor lighting that is run off of solar energy. They'll charge up during the day to light all night, with exception of pre-dawn hours during long winter nights.
If you have a pool, don't even think of heating it any other way than solar! This is easily the most efficient use of solar power there is and it will save you a bundle. Solar heating systems cost about the same or less than conventional systems and basically operate themselves so stop wasting your money doing it the old-fashioned way!
In this video, I show you how to hook up a cheap solar panel to the batteries in an RV to trickle charge them.
Make sure to allow for adequate spacing around your solar panels. When overheated, these panels do not work effectively, and this can diminish the amount of energy they create for your family. Allowing for space between and around each panel helps to promote air flow and maximize both the functioning and lifespan of your panels.