Should You Install Solar Panels on Your Roof?
Saving on your energy bill sounds like a great idea…so should you consider installing solar panels on your roof to help with the savings?
Solar panels are becoming more common every day as energy prices climb, tax incentives increase and people are more concerned about the problems of a changing climate. It’s kind of nice thinking that you could decrease the carbon footprint of your household.
But installing solar panels isn’t as easy as 1-2-3, there are a number of things you need to understand and consider before you make the final decision.
Solar Panels on Your Roof Q&A:
- What will it cost? Will the savings outweigh the investment? Until you get an estimate, there is really no way to know what solar panel installation would cost. But there is some information that might be helpful:
- The cost of solar panels has dropped considerably in the last 3-4 years, some say as much as 60%.
- As mentioned before, there are tax credits.
- Some systems have been known to produce more energy each month than the homeowner uses, so except for a minimal yearly fee to remain on the electrical grid, your monthly cost could be zero.
- Will solar panels work your roof? Obviously the type of roof you have and it’s exposure to sun plays a big part in your decision making.
- Ideally your roof should be exposed to full sun for a large portion of the day, especially when the sun is at it’s strongest. Being surrounded by a lot of trees, or in the shadow of mountains or other buildings will make solar panels operate less efficiently.
- Obviously your roof will need to have large enough spaces to host the solar panels.
- The age, type and condition of your roof are also factors to consider.
- Older or damaged roofs are not good candidates for solar panel installation – solar panels are not a substitute for replacing a bad roof.
- Extremely steep roofs make installation more difficult and costly, whereas a flat roof won’t offer the panel the correct angle for efficiency and the panels may need to have racks installed for proper positioning.
- Installing solar panels on tile or shake roofs can be a bit more tricky, because they can be broken easily when walked on, thus more costly.
- Do solar panels work during cold weather or when it’s dark? It is a myth that solar panels won’t work during cold weather. They don’t work off heat, but off the rays of the sun, in fact sometimes they work better when it’s cold than when it’s hot. They are also made durable enough to withstand climate change. Even snow on you panels isn’t typically a problem, because of the sloped positioning, snow is encouraged to slide off and because the panels have been collecting heat, the snow will melt quicker.
Should you install solar panels yourself?
The best idea is to hire a professional. There is a lot to know and understand:
- Proper installation and positioning
- Where your roof can handle the load
- Unless you’re an electrician, the wiring can be very dangerous – many states require electrical certification.
- Understanding all the regulations and getting the proper permits
- Knowing how to qualify for tax breaks and other rebates you might be entitled to
- Understanding good safety practices
We don’t install solar panels, but we are Seattle’s Best Roofing Company!
MasterCraft Roofing is licensed, bonded and insured for your protection.
Give us a call for a reliable and Free estimate.