Signs that Your Roof is Right for Solar
You know that solar power saves you money on your energy costs, especially in Florida, and you know that solar has other benefits, too—it can even make you money on the side if you play your cards right—but you might not be sure where to put your solar panels. Some neighborhood associations help with this—sometimes neighborhoods will expect all solar users to put their panels on their roofs, but sometimes the choice is left up to you, the homeowner.
There are particular benefits to installing solar panels on your home’s roof as opposed to elsewhere in your yard or house, but installing solar panels on your roof requires specific conditions to function effectively. The good news is that solar panels work well on most roofing materials, which means many roofs are perfectly suited for solar!
Here are some tell-tale signs that your home’s roof is right for solar:
A good roof for solar already naturally gets a lot of sunlight during the day.
It may seem obvious, but the best way to tell if your roof is going to be good for solar panels is to sit and watch how much sun your roof gets throughout the course of the day. If your roof is sun-soaked, solar panels will work well. If your roof doesn’t typically get too much sun, maybe thanks to dense treelines or your home’s position relative to a taller home or building nearby, no matter how good the rest of your roofing conditions are for solar, installing solar panels on your shady roof will probably not work as well.
A good roof for solar is south-facing.
A south-facing roof will absorb the most sunlight for the longest duration throughout the day, since a south-facing roof will be exposed to sunlight from sunrise to sunset. A roof that faces east or west is also perfectly acceptable for solar panels—an east-facing roof will get a lot of sun in the earlier half of the day (since the sun rises in the east), and a roof that faces west will get a lot of sun in the latter half of the day. If your roof faces north, you might consider installing your solar panels in a place in your yard which gets more consistent sun.
For solar panels to work most effectively, it’s good for your roof to have close to a 30-degree slant.
Your roof’s angle is also important to consider when you’re thinking of installing solar panels. A roof that is totally flat might make solar panel installation easier, but in the long run, solar panels which are installed flat can get damaged in weather and can cause rainwater to pool on your roof, which could lead to damage. Particularly in the Tampa Bay area, given our heavy rainfall, this is something you’ll want to avoid. On the flip side, though, it is difficult to install solar panels if your roof slants too steeply, so you’ll want to take into account how deeply your roof is pitched for this reason, too.
The best roof for solar is large and rectangular, with few vents or chimneys to work around.
Because most solar panels are generally large and rectangular, it makes sense that if your roof is shaped similarly, that means your roof is better suited for solar. The same holds true if your roof has fewer vents or chimneys that you’ll have to work around. But don’t fret—these days, solar panels can be purchased in lots of different shapes and sizes, so odds are good you’ll be able to find the right combination of shapes to work around whatever features your roof already has built in.
A good roof for solar is in good condition—it is structurally sound with no major defects or repairs expected.
Last but not least, it’s important to take into account the current condition of your roof. After you install solar panels, it can make other roof repairs more tricky, time-consuming, and costly. Solar is best suited for well-made, newer roofs, though here at Solar Bear, we are always happy to service any solar panel related roof issues for you after installation.
Solar Bear Tampa
Keeping these five factors in mind will help you decide whether your roof is right for solar. But don’t worry–our Solar Bear experts are always here to help assess your solar needs and assist you in making a decision on where the ideal place for your new solar panels is. Call us today at 813-922-3735!