Solar Panels on Your Roof: What You Need to Know

Can I install Solar Panels on my Roof?

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Solar panels can be installed on roofs that do not match the ideal specifications. The best way to maximize an installation's energy generation will differ depending on what the solar installer recommends. You will also be offered recommendations for additional methods for increasing your supply.

Aside from reducing your carbon footprint, solar energy can help you cut energy costs as well. It is crucial that you first determine if your roof is suitable for solar panels before setting up the installation. You can decide whether your roof is ready for solar if you're considering adding solar to your home.

Types of Roofs & Slopes


Solar panels need a certain amount of space to be properly installed. Many homes lack the large rectangular roofs that are ideal for solar installation. These roofs lack any vents or chimneys, which makes installing solar equipment unnecessary. There are a number of roofing configurations, including skylights, dormers, turrets, and chimneys, that are familiar to most professional installers. To accommodate a solar system, drain pipes can even be relocated if necessary.

When it comes to slope, you will want to consult with your installer so that you get the best results. Your array will be less efficient if it's flat, since precipitation runoff will be reduced; if it's steep, panels will receive less energy from the sun. Generally, a twenty- to thirty-degree tilt will do the trick, but if you live further north, you'll need to make the angle steeper.

Condition of the Roof


In comparison with traditional products, most solar arrays come with a warranty that lasts for up to 25 years, and most of them continue to work well even after that time. Be aware that the roof installation may lead to a replacement a few years down the road. A solar system should be installed only after you have upgraded your roof.

The cost of uninstalling and then reinstalling the solar array increases when you replace your roof after it has been installed with solar panels. Solar panels are a good idea if your roof has between ten to fifteen years left before it's due for replacement-otherwise, pay attention to the roof first.

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Materials for Roofs

The installation of solar panels is best done with certain materials. Roof materials such as asphalt shingles are ideal for solar panels. Rubber roofs, corrugated metal, standing seam roofs, clay tiles, and standing seam roofs can also be easily installed. There are fewer roofers who can deal with slate or wood shingles. Sometimes, these materials don't hold up to the weight of installation because they are more brittle.

However, cedar or slate roofs are not a guarantee for traditional power. The array can be mounted using special equipment and mounting elements, just expect a longer and convoluted installation process.

Aspect of the Roof Exposed to Sunlight


For your solar panels to produce the most energy, you need to ensure they get a lot of sunlight. If possible, you should ensure that your roof receives full sun exposure between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. and 3 p.m. all year long. You can get a general idea of how much sun is usually reflected in your area from the insolation maps at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

You should also look at obstructions that create shade around your house in addition to measuring how much direct sunlight it typically gets. Your solar panels can potentially be completely obscured by anything, from trees to buildings to chimneys. During the winter months, shadows are longer, and there are fewer sunny hours. A solar installation company can help you figure out how much sunlight you get in the winter if you're unsure how different your exposure will be.

The Direction of the Roof


The direction your roof faces also has an impact on its suitability for solar panels. When mounted on a true south-facing wall, photovoltaic (PV) panels in the United States are most effective. Because they receive the most solar energy when the sun is at its most intense, south-facing roof panels are most efficient. You can check your house's orientation on Google Maps by searching the address. As a result of this, you will be able to determine how much of a southern exposure your roof has. True south differs from magnetic south.

Despite your roof facing north, you don't have to despair. Solar panels facing southeast, southwest, or even east and west can still produce a satisfactory level of energy.  In spite of this, you should avoid blocking your panels from getting shade if you choose to place them east- or west-facing because you will already be receiving less sunlight than with a south-facing array.

Regulations Pertaining to Roofs and Homes


It's possible that you don't have the final say about what goes on the roof of your condo or townhome if it's governed by a homeowners' association (HOA). The roofs of neighborhood houses are often regulated by homeowners' associations. Make sure you are aware of your HOA's solar panel installation guidelines before signing any contracts.

Renters are also unlikely to be able to decide whether to go solar on their own - the landlord is ultimately responsible for that decision. It would be worth reaching out to your neighbors to see if they are also intrigued by solar energy. It may be possible to make a proposal to the landlord which would allow the installation of solar panels if several tenants agree to it.

Solar Arrangement other than that described above


The most important factor is that your roof can go solar even if it's not perfect. You should also think about installing systems in your garage or shed in addition to the building you're planning on constructing. Solar panel carports are an excellent alternative to garages if you don't have one. As well as protecting your car, this will provide some light to your home as well. Ground mounted solar systems can also be installed if all else fails.

Try to check your city's website for shared solar gardens, community solar installations, or other options if none of these work for you. The benefits of rooftop solar can be achieved without having your own solar array installed on your home if you invest in a community solar project.

Please contact us if you have any other questions.