Rooftop solar PV systems are becoming more prevalent across residential neighborhoods and generating much public interest. If you are considering installing rooftop solar panels, you have probably already looked into the numerous benefits of solar power. However, before taking advantage of any available tax incentives, green credits, or net metering options, you need to ascertain if your home can support the solar equipment you are planning to install. It is helpful to start by asking a few simple questions in order to get the most accurate answer to "Is my roof ready for solar?". Please remember that it is impossible to provide a definitive answer that covers all possible situations, as no two roofs are identical. That’s why it is necessary to seek out a professional installation service such as SolarQuote in order to make sure your home is completely ready for solar panels.
Consider getting a new roof before installing solar panels, even if you have a warranty. If your roof is over 15 years old, replacement is recommended. Fixing damage a few years later could be considerably more complicated (and expensive) if you work around an installed solar system. On the bright side, installing a new roof and solar system could make you eligible for Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing. PACE loans are a great way to encourage people to make energy-efficient upgrades and install renewable energy systems on existing buildings. If you combine the benefits of solar power with other incentives (like PACE energy programs), you can make your new roof pay for itself within a few years.
Most roofing materials are adequate for solar installation and won’t be damaged by the installation process. The most popular type of roofing material, composition/asphalt shingles, are excellent for solar panels and easy to install. The most appropriate roof type for solar panels is the standing metal roof. The standing seam technology enables quicker, less expensive installations without the need for roof drilling. Slate, lightweight tile and wood roofs are types of roofing that are not suitable for solar power. Solar panel installers are unable to move around on the roof as they normally would since the roofing materials are so fragile. This results in a more challenging installation process that is also more expensive.
The orientation of your roof is a major factor contributing to how much sunlight your solar panels will receive over a day. Homeowners should consider this when opting whether or not to install photovoltaic panels. Install your solar in a location that gets plenty of sunlight throughout the day – usually between the south and west. Even if you cannot install these solar panels in the ideal spot, they can still produce a significant amount of electricity from solar energy. You can try surface-mounted or pole-mounted boards if your roof doesn't face the right direction. Or, you could adjust the angle of inclination of the panels to offset the effects of direction. For example, consider your roof facing 10 degrees west towards the north. You can reduce the tilting of the angles of your panel by 3 degrees. This small change would produce the same electricity as a solar panel facing the true west.
Even though shade can have an impact on the performance and output of your solar panels, you'll need to determine how much shade your roof receives and for how long during the day. Shade can result from other buildings, chimneys, or trees around your house. Your installer can help you to assess the impact of your particular situation. There's little you can do about other buildings or your chimney, but you can look into removing or trimming trees to create less shade.
The roof space needed for solar panels completely varies depending on the type of solar panels and manufacturer, the size of your property, and how much electricity you use on a monthly basis. With an average-sized solar panel, one square foot of roof space can produce about 15 watts of solar energy. Smaller homes may only need 200 square feet of roof space for solar panels, while larger homes will need more solar panels and roughly 1,000 square feet of roof space to keep the lights on. Suppose you have a high energy consumption due to the use of energy-intensive appliances. In that case, you'll need additional roof space to install more solar panels that supply your energy requirements.
Many factors can make your roof less than ideal. For example, the roof might be pitched too steeply or be in a high-wind area. The space may also include a ventilation system, which limits your configuration options. However, don’t let this deter you from getting a solar quote and finding out what your options are- you may be surprised!
If the condition of your roof prevents the installation of a solar panel system, there are other solar choices available, such as:
Having an experienced roof replacement contractor inspect your roof can help you determine whether or not it is ready to go green. Then you can find find the best solar installation solution for your unique circumstances Once your roof is in good shape, you may look into the best solar panel solutions for your home with confidence that your roof is ready to support a solar installation. SolarQuote will assist you in developing the optimal solar plan for your home based on its energy needs, location, roof size, and slope to help you achieve your solar goals.