You’ve done the homework and, like a growing number of North American homeowners, reached the conclusion that solar power for your home is a smart move. The next step is to take a look at your roof and determine if a solar installation is feasible. What are the best roof types for solar panels? Let’s answer this question and several other important ones.
Best types of roofs
Shingled roofs with asphalt shingles are ideal for installing solar panels, and coincidentally it’s the most common type of roof on homes in our region of the world. Panels install fairly simply on flat roofs, although a little more work may be required to angle them in the direction of the sun. Most tile and metal roofs can accept solar panels. For other types of roofs, consult with a professional installer.
Roof age can be a factor
Installation of solar panels is best on roofs that still have about 10 to 15 years of life left in them. With an older roof that needs to be replaced now or soon, installation can be problematic and result in damage. Removing solar panels during a re-roofing project will increase the bill. If your roof is nearing the need for replacement, it might be best to do both jobs at the same time.
Talk with a solar contractor about this. He or she can determine if your roof is suitable for an installation at the present time. If a roof replacement is necessary in order to install the panels, it’s possible that this expense will fall under the federal solar Investment Tax Credit.
Direction of the roof
The section of your roof where panels are installed should face a direction in which optimal sunlight can be absorbed. Typically south-facing roofs are exposed to the most sun hours every day. East- and west-facing roofs also can work. This is another point to discuss with a contractor, who will be able to see your home in person and offer practical advice.
In a perfect solar world, every roof would have ample, unobstructed space for laying down solar panels. In the real world, obstructions such as skylights and vents can complicate the process. The overall size of the roof is a factor, as well. Once again, consult with a professional to determine how well your roof is suited to a solar installation.
There are many great reasons homeowners are converting to solar power. Beyond the obvious reduction in utility bills, solar panels are friendly to the environment, add value to your home and get their energy from the most renewable source of all: the sun.
The experts at North American Solar Stores are ready to help with information and professional solar installation for your home. Use our handy store locator to find a NASS member store near you.