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Is Solar Power for You? What Homeowners Should Know About Solar Roofing

by Greg on July 20, 2017

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If you look at your energy bills over the past few years, you’ll see that even though the costs may have fluctuated, the trend is definitely upward. Energy is getting more and more expensive. As a homeowner, you might think that you won’t be able to do anything about it, but did you know that there is actually a way for you to control the cost of your energy usage?

The solution is quite simple: produce your own power. If you produce your own electricity, you’ll only have to worry about the cost of production. You’ll practically have the ability to consume as much energy as you need as long as you can produce it without having to rely solely on the grid.

The most popular form of alternative energy today is solar energy. With the right equipment and system, even a regular homeowner like you can produce your own electricity.

The popularity of solar energy has encouraged companies and manufacturers from different industries to become more creative and innovative, and produce solar energy products with more value. One perfect example is solar roofing.

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OLD-SCHOOL SOLAR. Before, residential solar power options were limited to setting up solar panels on the ground. Nowadays, you can choose to have a solar roof instead.

 Why Consider Solar Roofing?

Perhaps the largest benefit of installing a solar roofing system is to save money. The upfront costs may be high depending on how much energy you want to produce, since you might need a bigger system, but you’ll be able to recover the costs through savings on your energy bills. It usually takes anywhere between 5 and 10 years to recover the cost of solar system installation. However, energy and cost savings aren’t the only benefit of solar roofing. Here are a few more:

Increased home value. Homes with existing solar power systems are considered more in-demand, which makes them more valuable. Studies show that these homes sell faster and typically demand a higher price.

Environment protection. If we want to protect and conserve the planet for the future generations, then all of us need to do our share. Solar energy is clean energy and utilizing such minimizes the need to exploit the planet’s resources.

Reduced dependence on utility companies. By producing your own energy, you won’t need to rely on the services of a power company. If there’s an interruption in power services, you won’t be as affected as others.

Types of Solar Roofing Systems

Solar roofing is all about roof systems that are capable of capturing energy from the sun and converting it to electricity that can be used in your home. In a traditional solar energy production system, you would need to set up solar panels in your backyard or any available space in or around your property. On the other hand, solar roofing makes use of one of the widest and biggest surfaces in a home, the roof.

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SOLAR ROOF PANELS. One of the popular types of solar roofing, this option involves the installation of solar panels over the existing roof.

 There are two basic ways to achieve a solar roofing setup. The first is to attach solar roofing panels to an existing roof. The other is to replace the roof shingles with solar roof tiles. Each method has its own set of pros and cons. What’s important is the end result, which is to produce solar energy.

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Is Solar Roofing for You?

With so many benefits to a solar roof, who wouldn’t be enticed to install one? To find out if solar roofing is for you, run down the list below to see if your house can handle such system.

Can your roof support solar panels? If your roof is structurally sound, it should be able to support the additional weight of solar roof panels.

Do you share a roof with a neighbor? Apartments and some town homes may have communal rooftops. This could potentially pose a problem because you’ll need permission from the other tenants or homeowners before you can install solar roof panels.

Is it possible for you to decrease energy usage? If your home consumes a lot of energy, you’ll need to find ways to lessen consumption. Solar systems are a significant investment. The more energy you need, the bigger system you’ll need — eventually, the cost to install the system will be higher. If you want to spend less on installation, you may need to think of ways to reduce consumption.

Does your community allow the installation of solar roofing? As strange as it may sound, some communities do not allow solar roofing for one reason or another. It would be best to check with your community association if they have any objections.

 How to Find a Good Solar Roofer

Once you’ve determined that you’re a good candidate for a solar roof, it’s time to search the market for a reliable solar roofer. Because of the popularity of solar energy, countless companies are now offering their products and services. However, like any type of contracting business, not all of those companies are reliable. If you choose the wrong one, you could be in for more problems than you expected.

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FINDING A PRO. To ensure safe and high-quality solar roof installation and setup, you should work with a trusted and certified roofer.

 The first step in determining if a particular solar roofer is reliable is to search for reviews online. Whether you found an ad on the yellow pages or on the internet, there’s a good chance that one of their customers posted a review of their services online. If they have a number of positive reviews, then it’s a good sign.

However, don’t place too much trust on online reviews. These can be faked. When you contact the solar roofer, make sure that you investigate further. Check if they have the necessary permits to operate. Check if they provide quality products. Ask if they’re willing to provide customer references. It would also be a good idea to find out how long they’ve been in business and offering solar roofing. The more experience they have in installing solar roofing systems, the better the chances they’ll do a good job on your contract.

A Final Note

With the increasing cost of energy, you should definitely consider investing in solar roofing. It may take some time to recover the cost, but after you’ve recouped your initial investment, you’ll eventually get to enjoy the significant drop in your electric bills.

But before you take the plunge, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of solar energy system types to make sure that your choice will be a smart investment for your situation. Also take note that high-quality solar panels, batteries, and other equipment may cost a bit more, but they’ll definitely last longer. Some systems will be able to provide you with clean energy for 40 years or more. If you believe that a solar roofing system is ideal, then make sure you find the best products and a reliable contractor.

 

Guy Golliver

Guy Golliver is Director of Marketing at State Roofing. Guy has over 30 years of experience in the home improvement industry and is an expert on roofing, window, siding and decking topics.

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