What to Know Before Installing Solar Panels on Your Roof
Solar Panel Roof
Homeowners who install solar panels on their roofs may benefit from lower utility rates, a lower carbon footprint, and potentially earn tax credits. Before doing so, however, it is crucial to assess your roof, especially if you have an older home.
Very frequently, homeowners who install solar panels before determining the health of their roof will need to have the panels removed and reinstalled by the solar company, typically costing between $1,500 – $4,000.
Here are three things homeowners should consider before installing solar panels.
Make sure solar power is appropriate for your home.
Solar power in some areas, such as our state of Maryland, may be less effective than solar power in warmer, sunnier climates. However, that doesn’t mean you must give up on this option. Panel technology has improved, allowing property owners to extract more energy, even on less sunny days.
Apart from the climate, your home’s particular environment is another thing to analyze. If you have many trees or taller buildings that cast shadows over your roof for a large portion of the day, solar power may not be beneficial. However, if your roof gets a lot of sun exposure, it is a good candidate for solar.
Make sure solar power is appropriate for your budget.
While cost has declined, solar panels are still expensive to install. Look at the benefits of leasing vs. buying solar panels.
If you have not already done so, looking for other ways to make your home energy-efficient may be best before proceeding. Consider low-cost options like using compact fluorescent lights or LED lighting in your home, using appliances sparingly, and installing more efficient windows and doors.
Ensure the roof can support solar panels.
When installing solar power, it’s essential to judge how much sun exposure your roof gets and whether it can support your choice of solar panels. Solar panels usually have 20-25-year warranties, so you should take care of the roof repairs (or replacement) before installing panels if you only expect your roof to last a few more years.
Even if you believe your roof is in good shape or is not very old, have a licensed roofing contractor perform an inspection. A professional can give you a better idea of the health of your roof and whether it can structurally support solar panels.