The summer months are blazing on, and there is no better time of year for solar panels to help save you money and energy. More and more Americans are choosing solar panels for their roofs, and it is easy to see why. Environmentally-conscious residents, for example, can minimize their carbon footprint by supplementing their energy needs with solar panels. These offer prime savings on electric bills and benefit everyone involved. As you consider this option, it’s important to ask: is your roof right for solar panels?
Not All Roofs Are Created Equal
Different roofs have different needs. Before you choose to add solar panels to your home, there are three factors you should consider before installing a panel system:
- The condition of your roof
- Orientation and angle of your roof
- Obstacles and shade
There are very few roofs that can’t support solar panels, but some homes may not have the appropriate roof setup for efficient energy generation – meaning that homes in less-than-ideal conditions are less likely to produce real energy savings.
Age, State, and Condition
The age of a roof is a major factor for the viability of solar panels. Solar panels can produce efficient energy for 25 years minimum, some going as far as 40 years. It is better to install solar panels on newer roofs, if only because an older roof that needs to be replaced in a few years will require uninstalling your solar panel setup. It certainly doesn’t preclude solar panels from older roofs, but it is important to note that it may be a money sink to have to install and replace later down the road.
Angle, Pitch, and Orientation
How your roof is lined up matters significantly for the effectiveness of solar panels on your home. A 30-degree angle is considered the best pitch for receiving sunlight. What matters more, however, is the cardinal orientation of your home. Roofs aligned east-west are less efficient, as they will only receive light for half the day. North-south roofs, particularly the south-facing side, is considered the best orientation for efficient energy generation and will translate to more savings for your home.
Look, Feel, and Location
Your roofing material can determine how easy or difficult panel installation will be. The easiest roof to install a solar panel on is asphalt shingles. That said, flat roofs and metal roofs are also effective surfaces for solar panels. Spanish tile or slate, on the other hand, may require extra effort to install a solar panel system, as they are harder to mount panels onto compared with other materials.
Your area’s climate plays a major role in solar panel value. Sunny, southern cities are far more likely to turn over more savings for homeowners than a home in Seattle, for example. Regardless of climate and location, however, it is important to consider your roof’s location relative to obstacles and trees. More shade on your roof means that solar panels are less effective throughout the day. It may be necessary to trim tree branches or remove obstacles in order to provide a clear angle of access if you would like to install solar panels. Sign up to get a free estimate and find out if your roof is ready for solar panels.