Are you considering solar for your home? Some homes are better candidates than others, although living in sunny Arizona is usually enough in itself! There is plenty of sun to provide energy, and the facing of your home isn’t as important as you might think. You can have solar panels installed southeast, east and north-northwest.
It’s not just which properties are a good fit but also which households. Homes with large families consume a lot more energy than a couple of empty nesters and are probably going to see more benefits from going solar.
In this post, let’s look a few of the most important factors that determine whether or not your home is a good candidate for solar power.
How much are you currently paying for energy?
The purpose of going solar is to pay less than you currently pay for electricity, lock in your electricity rates and generate your own clean energy.
To determine if solar energy will be a cost effective switch for you, calculate how much energy you use on a monthly basis and how much your utility company charges. Many areas have different tiers of usage and are charged differently depending on the tier they’re in.
The general rule of thumb is that if you spend $100 or more on electricity each month, solar is a good investment. Going solar replaces utility energy with solar energy, and you want to see a return on this investment. If you’re already paying $100 or more each month, you will see a reduction on your energy bills.
What type of roof do you have?
The type of roof that your home has makes a difference, as it impacts the cost of installation. It’s easier and more cost effective to install solar panels on Spanish tile or shake compared to asphalt shingles since they are more brittle.
On the other hand, asphalt rooftops are generally stronger and more durable, so they make a good choice for solar panels, too. The difference is that installation takes more time and is more labor intensive, so it costs more on the front end.
How old is your roof?
Aside from the type of rooftop that you have, it also matters how old it is. If your roof is near the end of its lifespan, it’s recommended that you replace it. Solar panels have an average life expectancy of 30+ years, so a roof that is at the end of its life won’t hold up to a brand new solar panel installation.
Additionally, solar panels should always be installed on roofs that are in good condition. As long as you choose a qualified installer, the solar panel installation won’t harm your roof.
How much sunlight does your home see?
Living in Arizona, there is no limitation to sunny skies. That said, some homes naturally receive more sunlight than others. Consider the amount of shading that your home receives from nearby trees or obstructions. The more clear space, the better.
We also talked about the direction that your home faces. South facing is ideal, but this makes more of a difference for homes in the Northern hemisphere. There are many other options you can go with – east and north – and still receive plenty of energy.
If you are considering adding solar to your home, we recommend calling Cool Blew for a consultation. One of our installers will be happy to come out, take a look and provide you with a custom quote.
Photo Credit: FreeImages.com/NevilleMicallef