Is Your Home a Good Candidate for Solar Panels?
The cost of solar installation has decreased dramatically over the last 10 years—making it a more feasible, energy-efficient option for homeowners. In addition to installation prices going down, solar panel effectiveness has gone up, which means that these panels could pay for themselves in as little as five years. With benefits like customized preferences, improved indoor comfort and increased eco-friendliness, you might be wondering if your home is a good candidate. Our experts at Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Solar have put together five qualifications to see if your home is a good candidate for solar panels, so you can start reaping the benefits of solar energy as soon as possible.
What Is Your Roofing Material?
While expert solar installers can provide solutions for multiple types of roofing materials, some roof types are more suitable for solar than others. The sturdiness of asphalt shingles or corrugated metal roofs are great options, while tile roofs might be more complex to install. Depending on where you are located, a wood shake roof might disqualify you from solar panels.
Is Your Roof Big Enough?
Solar panels can be installed on virtually any single-family home, but the number of solar panels needed will vary from home to home. You need to consider the energy needs of your home and how many solar panels are required to meet these needs. Keep in mind that where your solar panels are placed will also affect the number of panels needed.
What Is Your Roof’s Orientation and Pitch?
A south-facing roof is the optimal location for solar panels, as it will guarantee a large amount of sun exposure throughout the day. However, if you live in California, a west-facing or southwest-facing roof can be effective and produce energy more toward late afternoon.
Your roof’s pitch will also affect the amount of sunlight captured. If your roof has too drastic of an angle, your panels might not capture any sunlight. A 30 degree angle works best, however, a qualified installer can use specialized racks to install panels on roofs ranging from zero to -45 degrees.
Is Your Roof Shaded?
We recommend exposing your solar panels to direct sunlight for at least five hours a day. So, if you have obstructions like trees, hills, buildings or power lines, it can reduce the effectiveness of your solar system. Don’t forget that your solar panels will last well into the future, so keep in mind the potential for future obstructions and plan accordingly.
What Is the Age of Your Roof?
Most solar systems come with a warranty and can last for up to 30 years. If the roof beneath these panels doesn’t have the same lifespan, it won’t disqualify you from getting solar, but it will be a huge hassle when you need to get your roof replaced. You will have to get your solar panels removed before any roof work can begin and then reinstalled after your roof is fixed. Save yourself the headache and take care of any roofing issues you have before reaching out to your local solar panel expert. Along the same line as age, consider how long you plan on occupying this house. It would be a shame to move before your solar panels begin to pay for themselves.
If, after answering these five questions, it looks like your home is a good candidate for solar, contact our qualified, solar installation team at Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Solar!
Give us a call today at (408) 868-5500 or fill out our quick, online form.