With the ongoing environmental crisis, the world is becoming more conscious of the way energy is sourced. As a result, people started looking for different, eco-friendly solutions, and one of them is solar power. With solar panels, it’s possible to live a greener lifestyle and pay lower energy bills. But what are the best types of roofs for solar panels? Read on to find out.
The Shape of the Roof
A crucial parameter to consider before getting solar panels is the shape of your home’s roof. It can affect how many solar panels you can get and, therefore, the amount of power you might harvest. With that in mind, here are the three roof shapes you can come across.
1. Gable Roofs
are a common roof shape in most homes. They have a pyramid shape comprising two rectangular faces that meet at a point. This provides a large enough surface where you can place several solar panels.
2. Flat Roofs
are often found on commercial properties; however, some residential properties have them as well. They’re the most optimal roof shape for solar panel installation. As such, they provide a wide array of creative opportunities for setting up a solar system.
3. Hip Roofs
have slopes on four sides. They are the best roof shape to install solar panels in areas with high winds and extreme weather. However, they limit the number of panels that can be placed on a single roof.
The Material of the Roof
Another consideration you should take into account prior to purchasing a solar system is the material from which your roof is made. Currently, there are three most popular roofing materials on the market: asphalt shingles, tiles, and metal.
Asphalt shingles are some of the most common roofing materials. They provide enough flexibility and thus, are ideal for setting up a solar system. However, if there are any curled and missing shingles, you should replace them before installation. If the roof is more than 20 years old, you may need to completely replace it before installing the solar panels.
Another popular material is tile, but they can be more difficult to install. This is because they’re not as soft and flexible as asphalt shingles. Therefore, they need a professional to remove the tile and fasten the structure’s mounting. Furthermore, tile roofs are known for their fire resistance and, as such, can protect the system’s setup in the event of small ignitions. They are also more likely to stay in good shape longer than other roofing materials. Since tiles allow for optimal circulation of air, they enable the solar system to work optimally.
Lastly, there are metal roofs, which are both sustainable and one of the best roofing materials for solar systems. They’re safe and low-maintenance due to their fireproof nature. They also allow for fast and easy workmanship, which may reduce the labor costs associated with setting up the system. As a plus, they’re durable and cool down efficiently.
The Pitch of the Roof
The roof pitch, which is the angle at which the roof tilts, is the third factor that affects solar panel installation. In fact, the pitch of the roof and panel placement, dictate the ability of the system to convert sunlight to solar energy.
The correct roof pitch often depends on the geographical area of your home, as different states have different land layouts. For instance, low-latitude areas like Arizona can make do with a 20° pitch, while high-latitude areas like Oregon may need about 45°. Simply put, different latitudes determine the angle at which the sun hits the ground. Or, in this case, the roof. It’s therefore important to seek the opinion of a local solar provider who understands your area well.
To Sum Up
All in all, it’s possible to get a solar system installed regardless of the type of roof you have. However, it is important to mention that some roofs are better suited for that than others. The number of panels you can buy, as well as installation fees mostly depend on the shape, material, and the pitch of the roof.
If you are looking to go solar but still have questions, feel free to contact a reputable solar panel company, such as Atlantic Key. With their knowledge and expertise, they will make sure your transition to solar energy is as smooth as possible.