Interested in installing solar panels on the roof of your home, garage, or barn? “Is my roof good for solar?” is one of the first questions to ask. Once installed, those panels will be up there for decades. A free MOXIE solar consultation considers the pros / cons of your roof for quality, uninterrupted solar energy production.
Here are 5 things to think about when considering rooftop solar.
1. What is your roof made of?
Asphalt shingles are common for residential roofs and this type of roof is ideal for roof-mounted solar panels. A metal roof, clay tile roof, or rubber roof will also be able to handle solar panel installation. Generally, we avoid installing solar on wood and slate roofs, but it can be done. If you have a wood or slate roof, consider a ground mount install instead.
2. How old is your roof?
The age of your roof is very important because it doesn’t make sense to install panels on a roof that will soon need replacing. In general, a roof for solar panels needs to be less than 15 years old.
Your home solar system will last for 20 years or more, so you’ll need to have at least 20 good years left on your roof. If your roof needs to be replaced or repaired, it’s best to do so before installing solar, so you don’t have to remove and re-install the panels later on. However, it is possible to do a roof replacement or repairs once you have solar. Another option is to install a solar roof, in that case, the solar roof tiles replace a new roof. Ask MOXIE for a solar roof consult.
3. How much space on your roof?
Most solar panels are about 6.5 feet x 3.25 feet. Whether or not your particular roof has enough space will largely depend on how many solar panels you need to meet your energy goals. After your free MOXIE consultation, you’ll know exactly how many panels are needed. Our engineers can then work on a custom layout design.
Your roof is likely not a perfect rectangle, and there are bound to be obstructions such as dormers, vent pipes, chimneys, or even skylights. We can work around these by splitting the placement of panels up and using every possible part of your roof. If we find there is still not enough space we can discuss the possibility of a rooftop/ground mount split combination or a full ground mount array.
4. What’s the angle and pitch of your roof?
The direction(s) your roof faces and its pitch will affect the amount of sunlight that roof-mounted panels get. Obviously, you want your panels to be placed and angled in such a way that makes the most of each day’s sunshine. Panels that face south will get the most sunshine since the sun is to the south in the Northern hemisphere. Panels can be installed facing other directions, but you must factor in the total sunlight hours they will receive. This may result in needing more panels or simply higher-powered panels.
5. Is your roof shaded?
Shade over your roof will decrease the total number of daily sunlight hours. Shade is commonly caused by trees and in some cases other buildings. The good news is that trees can often be trimmed or removed. Ideally, you want direct sunlight to hit your roof from 9am to 3pm.
Our site survey team uses satellite technology to quickly spot possible shading issues and offer solutions. They determine your property’s winter and summer sunlight exposure potential to understand if there is enough to consistently power your home.
Have an expert determine if your roof is good for solar, for FREE!
Hopefully this information got the wheels turning on how to estimate if your roof is good for solar. Why not take it one step further with a free solar consultation? Even if we find that there isn’t enough space on your roof, you could still offset a portion of your energy consumption and standardize your costs. Either way, with the possibility of saving big on energy bills, it never hurts to find out!
You may also be interested in a solar roof by Ergosun. If you’re in the market for a new roof, it may make financial sense to replace your old, damaged roof with a solar roofing tiles. We wrote about the cheapest roofing option in a previous blog.
What are some other questions to ask before installing solar?