The rising cost of energy has led to a lot of interest in renewable energy as an alternative to fossil fuels. One of the most common questions people ask about solar energy is whether their home is suitable for solar panels.
The short answer is yes, most houses are suitable for solar panel installation and can benefit from having solar panels installed on the roof. But the question is more complex than it first appears, so let’s take a closer look at whether your house is a good candidate for solar power.
If you’re in the UK, we’ve written a guide to if solar is worth it in the UK.
What Affects The Decision On Whether To Install Solar Panels?
There are a few things to keep in mind before deciding whether to install solar panels on your roof. The most important thing to consider is your roof’s suitability. The roof should be able to sustain the weight of the panels and the installation should not cause any damage. If you suspect that your roof could need some work, then it’s best to consult a roofer before installing any panels.
The other thing to consider is the orientation of your roof. If your roof faces south (or north if you live in the southern hemisphere) and has a good exposure to the sun, then you’re all set to install solar panels.
The position of your roof plays an important part in how much sunlight it receives, so if you want to maximize the amount of energy you can generate, make sure that your roof faces south and is unobstructed by trees or other buildings.
If you’re primarily looking into solar panels as a way to save money, then the main factor to consider aside from the cost of the panels, is the electric cost that you’re currently paying, and how much you think that’ll increase in the future.
How do you use energy in your home?
This is another important question to ask before deciding whether to have solar panels installed on your roof. The best way to answer this is to keep track of how much energy is used in your home each day. This can help to identify areas of your home that are using excessive amounts of energy.
Is your roof in good condition?
The roof of your house is the first line of defense against the elements and will affect the lifespan of your solar panels. If your roof is in good condition, it will last longer and be able to withstand the weight of the solar panels. Also, check to make sure there are no trees, power lines, or other structures nearby that could impact the panels.
Which way does your roof face and is it free of shade?
If your roof faces south, west, or southwest, you will receive the most sunlight and be the best candidate for solar panels. If your roof does not have full sun exposure, it is best to have panels that can absorb as much light as possible and face south. On the other hand, if your roof does have a shady area, you can use that area to store energy and use it during times of increased energy demand.
Are you moving house anytime soon?
If you are planning on moving within the next few years, it may be best to delay getting solar until you move to your new home. Whilst solar does typically increase home value, this varies by location and market.
What Are The Advantages Of Installing Solar Panels?
There are many advantages to installing solar panels on your roof. The most significant advantage is that your home will become virtually independent from fossil fuels. With the rising cost of fuel and oil shortages, solar panels have become even more attractive as an alternative energy source.
Disadvantages Of Solar Power
Solar panels are an upfront investment which can be offputting to many. The initial investment to purchase solar panels can be steep, but the long-term savings should be worth it if you have the right set up. There are also maintenance costs associated with solar panels, but these costs are minimal compared to the cost of using fossil fuels.
Some people don’t like the look of solar panels on their home, but solar panels are becoming more and more popular as the technology improves, so opinions will likely change regarding the look of rooftop panels. Ultimately it comes down to individual taste.
Is Installing Solar Panels Worth It?
The decision to have solar panels installed is a big one and it should not be taken lightly. If you are currently using fossil fuels to generate electricity, your home will get the benefit of being much more eco-friendly.
If that’s not such a priority for you then it really rests on working out the costs and return on investment. Typical “payback” time varies between 5-10 years, which if you compare to other investments is generally quite good – but again it’s really down to you and your expectations.
One good thing is that solar is a very safe investment. You can virtually guarentee that energy prices will go up, and you’ll keep on using electricity.
Solar energy has been around for decades but it is only recently that it has become more affordable and accessible to the average person. The reason it is becoming more accessible is because of technological advancements that make installing solar panels on your roof a very good investment.