06 May How to Get Your Home Solar Ready for Summer
The Texas skies are abundant with the sun. On average, the state has more than 220 days a year that are sunny, and many of those days fall within the spring and summer months, making now the perfect time of year to fit your home with solar panels and harness the energy of the sun to power your home. But before you install panels, you’ll want to ensure your home is solar ready.
A Solar Ready Home
Beyond being situated in an area with lots of sunshine, there are more factors to consider in deciding if solar is right for you. To start, you can utilize our solar calculator. This tool will allow you to get an estimate of your home’s energy consumption, the appropriate number of panels, and an estimate of the cost.
But, if you’re solar ready, what makes your home solar ready? A solar ready home is either built to be fitted with solar panels; thus, the direction of the roof and the materials it is constructed with are carefully chosen to accommodate them, or it is retroactively adjusted to better suit solar panels. Here is a brief list of features on your home to inspect to make your home solar ready.
Your Solar Ready Roof: Age, Materials, and Azimuth
The majority of homeowners seeking solar opt to have the panels installed on their roof. However, not every home is ideal for a roof installation. These are some things to look out for when considering if your roof is suitable for solar panels.
Solar panels add weight and strain to rooftops that older roofing may not be sturdy enough to hold. If you’re due to replace your roof within the next 5-10 years, re-roofing your home before installation can save time and money; you don’t want to have to de-install and re-install your solar panels when you finally decide to update your roofing.
Some roofing materials are more complicated than others for installers. Fragile shingles, like cedar and slate, are not ideal for solar panels. What’s more, materials that are hard to work with can increase the installation cost. Picking robust materials for your roof, like asphalt or galvanized metal, will not only make your roof last longer but also ensure that it can comfortably hold the weight of solar panels.
Azimuth refers to the direction that your roof faces. South-facing roofs are more exposed to the sun (in the northern hemisphere), allowing the panels to produce more electricity. Additionally, roofs with greater amounts of continuous space are more effective for energy generation. Homes built solar ready will feature large, uninterrupted stretches of roof on the south-facing side. Furthermore, if you notice large trees casting heavy shade on your roof, consider trimming or removing the sun’s obstructions.
If your roof isn’t up to snuff, there are other installation options, such as a ground-mounted system or a solar carport.
Your Solar Ready Home: Electrical Panel
Your electrical panel, not just your roof, must also be solar ready. First, consider adding an electrical conduit from your roof to your central electrical panel if one is not present. Secondly, an electrical panel inspection may be necessary if your panel is old or is below a 200 amp service. The inverter from the solar panels works directly with your electrical panel, so having a solar ready electrical panel is essential to the success and efficiency of a solar panel system.
Longhorn Solar is an award-winning solar panel installer in Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio. For more information on preparing your home for solar panels, contact your local experts in solar today.