Solar power is becoming a popular energy alternative for many homeowners. A lot of consumers spend thousands of dollars on their energy bill each year. So, it’s no wonder why energy-conscious homeowners are looking to solar energy as a way to save money.
However, solar power isn’t for everyone, and not every home is an ideal candidate. Here are some tips to help you decide if solar energy is a viable option for your home.
Is My Home a Good Candidate for Solar?: 5 Things to Consider
1. Your Energy Bill
The Average Monthly Energy Bill According to Energy Information Administration (EIA) was $117.65 in 2018 and continues to climb each year. How much are you currently paying for electricity?
Can you handle the expense each month? Or do you often struggle to pay your electric bill? If your monthly electricity bill is at least $75, then going solar might be right for you. That’s because you’ll be paying less for your energy and have the ability to sell the excess.
On the other hand, maybe you live in an area where electricity isn’t expensive at all. Or perhaps you’re just super frugal and are serious about conserving energy, so your bill is a lot lower than average. If this is the case, going solar may not be worth it.
2. The Type of Roof You Have
If you have a weak roof, then your home may not be a good candidate for solar energy. That’s because your roof needs to be strong enough to support solar panels.
Roofs that are made of durable materials such as asphalt or composite shingles are usually the most suitable candidates. However, clay or metal roofs typically aren’t the best for solar panels.
Tile also isn’t a great candidate because they’re trickier to work with. They’re often brittle, and installation may damage the waterproofing under the tiles.
While it’s still possible to install solar panels on clay, metal, and tile roofs with the help of a professional, wood roofs aren’t good candidates for solar at all. They can be a fire hazard.
If you don’t have the best roof for panel solar installation, you might try another option such as a ground-mounted system or a mobile solar power system.
3. The Condition of Your Current Roof
In addition to the type of roof you have, the condition of your roof is also an important factor to consider when it comes to going solar.
If you want solar panels installed, it’s best to have a roof in good condition that won’t need to be replaced in the near future. Otherwise, you’ll have to get your solar panels removed just to replace your roof and then, install the panels all over again, which can get expensive.
So, if your roof isn’t in the greatest condition, it’s best to get it repaired or replaced before a solar installation. If you think your roof might need repairs or replacement, you can find help with partners like HomeAdvisor.
4. The Amount of Sunlight Your Roof Gets
The amount of sunlight your roof receives is another way to decide if your home is a suitable candidate for solar panels. To determine this, use Google’s Project Sunroof. Using this tool, you’ll find out how much usable sunlight per year your house can receive as well as how many square feet are available for solar panels. The tool will also show you the potential solar capacity and savings for your home.
After checking the estimated amount of sunlight your roof gets, you can also meet with a solar panel expert who will inspect your home’s orientation, roof angle, and tree shading. This will give you a more accurate determination of whether your roof receives enough sunlight to power your entire home.
Even if your home gets a lot of shading, your home could still be a good candidate for solar panels. Just keep in mind that you may have to use other technologies like microinverters and DC optimizers, which could make for a more expensive installation.
5. Your Local Climate
According to World Population Review, the sunniest states in America are Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Nevada, California, Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas, Utah, and Florida. So, if you live in any of these locations, you’ll likely see high energy production.
Yet, the sun’s rays are powerful enough to generate energy in all types of climates, from rainy areas to extremely hot locations. If you choose high-efficiency solar panels, you’ll enjoy the fact that they convert both direct and indirect sunlight into electricity. This means they can work on even the cloudiest days.
So, will the weather in your area affect your solar panels’ production? In some ways, yes. The sunnier it is outside, the more energy your solar panels will produce. But if you live in an area where it’s often rainy and cloudy, this doesn’t mean solar panels won’t work well for your home. It just means your panels’ won’t be as efficient or consistent, but they’ll still produce energy nonetheless.
Whether you want to reduce your energy costs, help preserve the environment, or both, going solar can be a great option. But before making the switch, there are many things to consider, such as the amount of your current energy bill, the type and condition of your roof, how much sunlight your home gets, and the climate you live in.
By considering each of these variables, you should be able to decide whether solar energy is right for your home. But no matter how good of a candidate your home is for solar, in order to get the energy savings you want, there may be some sacrifices you’ll have to make along the way.