So, you’ve made the decision to go solar. Great! You’re on your way to lowering your utility bills and improving the environment. Many homeowners are considering putting panels on their home since the cost of solar has decreased and solar technology has become more efficient. But, before you can start saving the world, you have to actually put those solar panels in place. Here are some tips to find out if your home is solar ready and what you might need prior to going solar.
Look at the efficiency of your home
Keeping your home efficient is one of the most effective ways you can reduce your energy bills and save a considerable amount of money. Getting an energy audit prior to the start of the project is not a bad idea to consider. A home energy audit is a great way to spot inefficiencies and identify opportunities to reduce your energy use.
With a home energy audit, you can reduce the size of your solar panel system to cover 100% of your electricity use. As a result, you’ll save up on the upfront cost of installing a solar panel system.
Consider your roof
If you’re interested in a roof top installation, there are a few factors that will impact the solar readiness of your home. One factor to remember is that if your roof will need to be replaced in the next 5-10 years, it’s a good idea to re-roof prior to installation so you can avoid the cost of uninstalling and reinstalling the panels down the line. Solar panels will also help extend the life of the roof by protecting them from the elements.
There are several steps to preparing your roof for installation. Keep these following tips in mind:
- Consider which direction your house faces.
- Contact a building professional to evaluate whether your roof can support the extra weight.
- Consider the pitching of your roof.
- Your roof should allow at least 200 to 400 sq. ft. of space to accommodate a solar power system.
- Be sure there aren’t any vents or other fixtures within that space.
Regardless of your roof’s condition, be sure to call a contractor to look and ensure your roof is a great candidate for solar panels.
Does your roof have access to sunlight?
Solar power systems need full sun to work properly. If your roof has access to unlimited sunlight, it’s probably a good candidate for solar panels. However, shade is going to negatively impact your system’s electricity production. A little shade may not be bad, depending on which direction the panels are facing and whether the shade is going to be present during peak production hours.
For a rooftop system, the pitch of your roof can also impact sun access, although it doesn’t play a dramatic role in access to the sun. Most solar power systems are tilted between 30 to 45 degrees to get the optimal amount of sunlight –ideally, the best angle depends on where you live.
source: Helio Power