Solar power is becoming an increasingly popular option for saving money on utility bills; particularly, given the rapidly decreasing price of the technology over the past few decades. In fact, a recent Pew Research Survey found that nearly half of homeowners have seriously considered investing in solar. However, homeowners still need to take some things into consideration. Here are things you should know before installing rooftop solar panels.
Size and Direction of Your Roof
One of the first things you need to pay attention to is if your roof is a good fit for solar panels. You’ll need to consider your typical electrical usage. Solar panels average 250 to 400 watts per panel. There are many online calculators that can help you determine the total number of panels you’ll need. Next, you’ll want to determine if your roof can accommodate these. Direction also matters. In Massachusetts, solar panels are most efficient when facing south.
Type of Roof
The type of roof you have matters as well as installations will be different depending on structure. Most roofs are asphalt shingles; however, your roof may also be made of tiles, slate, metal, or wood. The angle of your roof also matters as solar panels will need to be angled in a specific manner for optimal efficiency. Some roofs may require additional installation components to angle the panels.
Roofs are designed to effectively drain water. This is important for protecting the roof and making it last. Aspects from solar installations such as racking may change the path of drainage, so keeping this in mind will help you better plan your installation.
Weight Rating of Roof
A solar panel installation will add significant weight to your roof. It is important to ensure that your roof can effectively bear this weight. This is particularly important for older roofs. While most roofs can handle solar panels, it may be useful to have a professional check and ensure the integrity of your roof will allow installation of solar to avoid potential damage.
State of Roof
Finally, an important question to answer is if your roof needs repair or replacement. Modern solar panels operate efficiently for 20 to 30 years. Thus, if your roof needs repairs or replacement, you may want to do this before installing solar to prevent having to remove the panels a few years down the line to fix your roof. This will save money in the long run. Contact Us for a Free No Obligation Inspection and Estimate.
Solar panels are an excellent investment for your home for many reasons including utility savings and improving the value of your home. However, there are a number of things to consider before installing solar panels. If you have any questions regarding the suitability of your roof for installation, checking with your local solar panel vendor can help answer many of your questions.