Can My House Actually Support Solar Panels? Here’s How to Find Out

Is My Roof Strong Enough for Solar Power?

By now, you’ve probably heard about all the benefits that solar panels can bring to your home – with financial incentives likely topping that long list. Beyond the savings on your monthly power bill, solar panels can help you save energy, do your part to protect the environment, and put less stress on the power grid.

In many cases, today’s solar panel systems even look great, too. But can your house actually support solar panels? Is your roof the right type, and is it strong enough to hold up all that weight? Do you need to be concerned about anything else before adding solar, especially if your house is older? Here are the right questions to ask so you can find out if your home is ready for solar panels.

What Kind of Roof Do You Have?

You probably know that solar panels typically go on the roof, and while they are not incredibly heavy, you do want your roof to be made of a material that can support a fair amount of weight without experiencing undue stress. A solid rooftop made of ceramic tiles, asphalt shingles, concrete, or metal should be fine. If you’re not sure whether your roof is strong enough to handle solar panel tiles, consult your installer first.

Keep in mind, however, that even if your roof is not suitable for solar panels, you still may be able to have a solar array for your home. Ground mount solar arrays are available, so if you have space in your backyard or front lawn that is accessible to the sun, solar is still an option.

How Is Your Roof Angled?

Solar panels are most effective when your roof is facing south. In fact, the ideal roof angle for solar panels in the United States and throughout North America is a 30-degree angle facing south. This is not a requirement, but the closer your roof is to this position, the more solar energy you will be able to capture.

Are There Obstacles That May Be Blocking the Sun?

If there are large trees or power poles that may get in between your roof and the sun, you may not be a great candidate for solar. Your solar installation expert may be able to organize the panels so that they are in areas that are unblocked, as you do not need to cover the whole roof with solar panels in order to benefit from their properties.

Do You Use a Lot of Electricity?

If you don’t use a lot of electricity, then it may not be worth it for you to invest in solar. However, the standard customer can expect to see solar savings with an average utility bill of $75 a month or greater, so if this describes you, you should be looking into solar energy for your home.

How Old Is Your Roof?

If your roof is 10 or 20 years old, losing shingles, looking dilapidated, or otherwise in a condition where you may have to replace it in a few years, then you may wish to hold off on installing solar panels. The solar panels are going on top of your roof, so if the roof goes, the solar panels do too.

You can expect your solar panels to last for decades, so you don’t want to waste money installing them on a roof that you are going to have to tear downand replace in five years or less.

Solar panels can be a great, money-saving investment for your home, so if you think you are a good candidate based on your responses to the above questions, contact your local solar installer to discuss solar panels for your home today!

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