Is Your Roof Solar Ready? (Everything You Need To Know!)
Houses are made equal, some more equal than others.
Before hopping on the sweet rewards of solar energy usage onto your home, we must make sure that your house benefits from installing and using solar panels.
There are a lot of variables that go into making your house solar optimal, such as location, orientation, size, roof, and a few others we will discuss in this page.
You have probably done your own research on solar panels and how they work in your local area, but there are always those hidden factors we miss from time to time. However, you’re not always working with Solur to help you on this journey. When coming to the decision of solar panel systems to be installed into your home, must decide on the previously listed factors being mainly:
When it comes to your own location, we mean it in two different aspects. Your physical location and the financial location of energy in your area. We must address your home’s physical location on the map. We must make sure that your home is an open position where the sun is seen clearly and that there are no obstructions in the way of your roof and the sunlight. There might be trees, cliffs, hills, other bigger houses, and other factors that could block a nice bright sun from reaching the locations where your solar panels will sit on your roof. What does this do? It makes your daily production of solar energy significantly weaker as to what would be produced on a clear area with no obstructions above your roof. In short, we must make sure that your house is in a prime location where it will receive prime sunlight.
Taking care about your house’s location, the type of house you have will also come into play to decide whether a solar panel system will be optimal for your home. When inspecting a home for possible installation, we must confirm that your roof is operable to install one in the first place. Simply put, we must confirm that your roof can be taken apart and put back together without difficulty to install a solar panel system. Roof systems such as wood and slate roofs are brittle, so installation teams can’t simply walk upon the roof while working on the panels. This would require a more expensive and delicate process during installation. Even after installation, there would be the presence of a fire hazard for having such a system installed upon a wooden or slate type roof. However, this isn’t to say that solar panel installations hurt your roofs. Roof types such as metal, shingles, and tiles are known to be highly compatible with solar panels for their simple installation. Another thing we must take note of the roof is the angle of it considering the sun. We do this due to a couple of the following reasons. If a roof is steep enough, installation teams will have a more difficult time setting up the panels and possibly not even be safe enough to have the panels there in the first place. If your roof is flat, there will be a need to install brackets to let the solar panels be at a certain horizontal angle, but that will come at an extra price. Alongside all this, the angle of your roof could also affect how much energy production your solar panels are getting on a daily basis due to how the sunlight is hitting at said angle.
Sunrise and Sunset are important factors when it comes to solar energy. This is simply being to when the sun starts peaking at your panels and when it’s going out of sight for the night. How your house is orientated according to these two factors is important for installing a solar panel system. The first thing that is optimal for a solar panel system is that the house has to be facing true south. How do you check this? Simply go outside to the front of your house, face it’s direction, and pull out a compass device. The reason why south is the best direction is simply due to the geography of the United States. The Sun, by average, will always be shining directly over the Equator all year long. Since the United States of America is in the Northern Hemisphere, we are above the Equator. Therefore, we have to face south to be towards the Equator, towards where the Sun shines, and towards where your future solar panel system will be exposed towards the Sun all year long.
The size of your home is also something to consider when trying to see if solar energy is your way to go. When an inspection happens for your home to see if it is recommended to go solar, our inspectors check your yearly kilowatt consumption to see what kind of system is going to be set up at your roof. To put it into perspective, the average energy needed by a U.S. household is a 6.62-kW solar system to match the 9,000 kWh of average energy usage per year. The typical solar panel makes 320 watts of electricity in ideal sunny conditions. This type of solar system required to sustain an average household in turn requires a minimum of 300 feet of surface area on your roof to be installed. The ideal conditions for a solar panel system would be a large square roof that makes for easy installation, but that doesn’t tell us everything we need since there could be a number of objects that could interrupt your roof such as chimneys, dormers, and other features that would affect the available space.
However, all these factors don’t always have a huge play on a positive result for a solar panel installation and usage. Whether you’re determined and clear out the shading trees, renovating your roof into a compatible type, or simply moving into a house that is a prime candidate for solar panels, it doesn’t hurt to give it a try and see if the change can happen for you.
Don’t know if your roofing system is able to take on solar panels? Call us and we can check it out for you!
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