How To Check Your Roof For Solar
Most have already heard homeowners can save thousands of dollars with solar panels, however every roof is different. Not all homeowners qualify for solar energy, that’s why it is important to check you roof before considering solar. Here’s how to check your roof without the aid of a salesman at your door.
Check Roof Direction & Angle
Do you have an open, southern facing roof? That is one of the first questions to ask yourself. Solar power output is highest for roofs with either a southern, southwest, or southeast facing roof. If parts of your roof are oriented in southern directions, you could be in luck.
If your roof does not face in southern directions, there are still ground mount options. Solar is installed within the property instead of the rooftop in certain cases. Ideally, the panels will be placed where output is highest.
In addition, panels don’t necessarily need to be bunched together on one part of the roof. They can be evenly dispersed over different areas.
You will also want to make sure that the roof has an appropriate angle. The tilt of your roof can have a large impact on the ability of the panels to capture the sun’s rays. If the tilt of your roof is between 30-45 degrees, panels can be placed there. If the tilt is greater than 45 degrees, you will want to think of placing them elsewhere. Ask for a free roof analysis from our team, and we’ll make sure your roof tilt checks out with a free assessment.
Check For Shading
Although the roof direction is important, there will be no point to go solar if the roof is under too much shade. Many factors such as trees, chimneys, or other structures nearby can cast shade to parts of your roof throughout the day. Check particularly on sections of your roof that face southern directions, as north facing sections generally are not a concern. If the majority of the roof receives sunlight throughout the day, your home might be ideal for solar.
Is there tree shade? It might be a good idea to trim back trees casting shade onto your roof. Many homeowners trim limbs or cut in order to prevent damage to the home from high winds or storms. Plus, cleaning out the gutters won’t be nearly as difficult.
If you are not sure how much shade is casted on your roof during the day, try using a free tool by Google called Project Sunroof. Most homeowners can check their address for the amount of sunlight hours the roof receives each year in 30 seconds. Check to make sure the roof receives more than 1100 hours of sunlight per year.
How many panels?
Once your roof has been checked out for shading, direction, and angle, it’s time to see how many solar panels your home needs. This is all dependent upon how much power usage your home typically uses. The easiest way to find this number is usually located at the bottom of your power bill.
Look on your bill for the annual kilowatt usage. This shows how much power your home uses for the last 12 months. Once you have this number, then it’s time for an installer to estimate the savings your roof is eligible for!
Savings vary based on a variety of factors, such as federal tax credit eligibility, electricity usage, and more. That’s why a proffessional should always do the number crunching for you.
If you feel your roof is ready to be checked for savings, feel free to contact us and schedule a roof analysis. In each analysis, the roof is checked, along with your savings. Plus, they’re free!
Calculate the number of panels needed let’s break down another quick equation.
Let’s say on a good day, you average 5 hours of direct sunlight. Multiply 5 hours of sunlight x 290 watts from a solar panel = 1,450 watts or roughly 1.5 kilowatt hours per day. That’s about 500-550 kilowatt hours of energy per year from each panel on your roof.4 How does that compare to your annual energy usage?
After considering your options here is some stuff that I don’t really know what to say my mind is shutting of slowly.
Use a simple formula to estimate the average savings you can expect with solar.
If the average US household The average energy needs of a U.S. household is a 6.62-kW solar system to match the 9,000 kWh of average energy usage by U.S. households each year. And, the typical solar panel makes 320 watts of electricity in ideal sunny conditions. Here’s how many solar panels that equals.
Divide 6.62 kW (the system size) by .320 kW (the wattage per panel) = 20.69—rounded up that’s 21 panels. While your home is far from average, this is how you can calculate your own rough estimate.