Is Your Roof Ready for Solar Energy?

AMECO’s solar consultant measures a roof in Orange County for solar panel installation.

Solar energy is beneficial for many reasons. Not only does it lessen your environmental impact, but it can save you a great deal of money while also adding resale value to your home.

If you are reading this, you may already be convinced that it’s time to install solar panels. But is your roof ready to go solar as well? By answering the following four questions, you will find out if solar panels can be easily installed on your roof.

1. What type of roof do you have?

Asphalt shingle (sometimes referred to as a comp or merely shingles) is the most common roofing material around and, luckily, is the easiest type for solar installers to work on. Flat roofs also provide a good situation for solar panel installation, though you may have to factor in additional costs for mounting and racking equipment so that the panels can be angled towards the sun. AMECO Solar can install panels on most roofs with concrete or ceramic Spanish tile.

Depending on the condition of your roof, our solar installers may be able to work on more delicate roofing materials like slate or wooden shake. We can usually tell if it’s a possibility by checking out your roof on Google Earth, but sometimes a more in-depth roof evaluation is needed.

2. How old is your roof?

If your roof does not need to be replaced for another 10-15 years, then it’s a great time to consider going solar.

Aging roofs can prove to be challenging and sometimes increase the chance of damage occurring during installation. The biggest challenge is that it will significantly increase your costs in the long run. When you decide to reroof, it’s costly to remove and reinstall the solar panels. If you find yourself in this situation, we recommend waiting until you are ready to lay down a new roof and coordinate the solar installation to occur at the same time.

Not sure when your roof was last replaced? One of our consultants can survey your roof and determine if it provides a good situation for solar panels. If your roof needs to be replaced in order to accommodate your solar system, there is a possibility that this added expense will qualify for the federal 30% solar tax credit.

3. Which way was does your roof face?

Since more energy will be produced if the solar panels are exposed to sunlight all day long, south-facing roofs produce the highest amount of solar energy in California. East or west facing roofs also allow solar panels to soak up a significant amount of the sun and provide enough energy to power your home. If the best part of your roof faces north, you may not have the best situation for solar.

4. Do you have enough room on your roof for solar panels?

It is a solar installer’s dream to have a roof that is perfectly sloped with yards and yards of uninterrupted space. Then, solar panels can be laid down in nicely organized rows to offset your electricity usage.

A roof with a lot of obstacles (such as roof vents or skylights) can make solar installation complicated.  This will most likely increase the price. Some roofs may have so many obstacles that we can only install a small number of panels and they won’t make much of a dent in your electric bill.

What is the best roof for solar panels?

In a perfect world, a south facing roof made of comp shingle with 10-15 years of life in it would be the best roof. But the world ain’t perfect! Really, many roofs with different angles, made of different materials, and of different ages, make great candidates for solar panel installation.

In nearly 40 years of business, we’ve come across a lot of different roofs and have been able to install on the majority of them. If your home is in the Los Angeles or Orange County areas, you can get our expert opinion by contacting us and scheduling a solar evaluation.