Is Your Home Solar Compatible?

Is Your Home Solar Compatible?

A home with solar panels installed on it

If there’s a time to be considering going solar it’s right now. With tax incentives readily available, gas prices at an all-time high, and the popularity of solar rising as a means to produce cleaner energy now is better than ever to start your research. 

Luckily you are in the right place. We’re a certified Tesla Solar Roof installer and offer other solar packages like GAF’s Timberline Solar Roof or GAF’s DecoTech Solar Panels.

There are a handful of factors that come into play when deciding on which solar energy system is the right fit for your wallet and your home. The most important compatibility factors are obstructions, the specifications of your roof, and relative sunlight available. 

Let’s start with one of the most overlooked factors when it comes to going solar.

Obstructions

It’s happened before and it’ll happen again, the homeowners have done their due diligence and are ready to start looking at what solar options fit their needs, an inspector comes out and within minutes is the bearer of bad news. Trees, adjacent homes, skylights, and other obstructions can all get in the way and impact your home’s compatibility with solar. 

The most common obstructions would be tree coverage. It sounds simple but the PV cells in solar panels and shingles need readily available unobstructed sunlight to produce energy. If you live on a property with a handful of large trees providing shade coverage on your roof, your energy production is going to be drastically lower than if you lived in the middle of a cornfield. 

This can easily be resolved by trimming and when necessary removing trees from the surrounding areas. Opening up more space on your roof for solar cells to be placed and produce energy. However, it is possible to place active panels in areas where sunlight is more present, although reducing your overall potential energy production. 

The second form of obstruction can be found throughout your roof. Pipes, vents, skylights, and other protruding elements can make it difficult for traditional panel installation without re-routing ventilation and pipes.

This is where the functionality of a solar roofing system like Tesla’s Solar Roof or GAF’s Timberline Solar Shingles comes in. The smaller footprint solar shingles and tiles have compared to traditional panels allows solar shingles and tiles to be placed strategically around obstructions. This mitigates the need to remove obstructing pipes or vents adding additional costs to your installation bill. Or miss out on available energy-producing space.

Roof Specifications

The next biggest consideration should be your existing roof. The angle of the roof needs to be at 30-40 degrees or a 7:12-10:12 pitch for optimal solar generation, any roof that’s too steep or too flat will hinder the performance of energy production. This is different for each home and its relative position to the path of sunlight. 

Roof pitch slope and span for solar panels and solar roof

Additionally, the health of your roof is a major factor when making the jump to solar. We highly recommend considering a solar roof when the condition of your existing roof is nearing the end of its life span (roughly 10 years for most asphalt roofs). As a solar roof offers a complete roofing solution, unlike solar panels. 

Solar Panels are great as well, however installing a panel and rack system on an existing roof that is older than 10 years can accelerate damage to your roof. As noted in Solar Panels VS Solar Roof, panels and a traditional rack system create a gap between the roof and panels. This gap is subjected to an intense heating and cooling cycle from the panels generating energy, leading to weak and damaged shingles and wood sheathing underneath the panel system. 

We best recommend that if you are to consider Solar Panels you should consider a roof replacement as well, or ask about possible solar roof options like Tesla’s Solar Roof and GAF’s Timberline Solar Shingles. As they both consist of a brand new roof and solar package in one installation.

If you have any questions feel free to contact us today and talk to one of our solar experts!