Arizona home nestled in the hills with solar panels on roof

Is Your Roof a Good Fit for Solar?

Phoenix is in an ideal location for solar production with more than 200 sunny days a year—and with several solar incentives available in the area, more homeowners are considering a switch to clean energy than ever before. While residential solar panels can reduce or eliminate your electric bill, unfortunately not every roof is cut out for effective production. 

At SouthFace Solar, we take special consideration to the solar evaluation and installation process, making sure every system we design will give homeowners the maximum benefit from their system—and that includes your home’s roof as well. Keep reading to learn more about what we look for when examining a roof for solar panel installation. 

Factors to Consider When Installing Rooftop Solar

In order to determine if your roof is a viable option for solar panel installation, the expert team at SouthFace Solar first conducts an in-depth analysis of your home. We’ll listen to your electricity needs, answer any questions you have, and examine your roof and its access to sunlight. Here are a few of the things we look for: 

Roof Direction

The direction your roof is facing will have an impact on the amount of solar energy your panels produce. While south facing roofs have been known to produce the most amount of electricity, east and west facing roofs can also yield good results as long as your system is not shaded for long periods throughout the day. West is especially good since the sun is in the west during the late afternoons when summer usage is high and electricity rates are at their peak.

Amount of Sunlight

Solar panels require significant amounts of sunlight to produce enough energy to power your home. Even though solar panels can generate electricity when it’s cloudy, they should have at least 4 hours of direct sunlight daily for ideal production. If your roof is heavily shaded by nearby trees or other obstructions, rooftop solar panels may not be the best choice. Don’t forget that sunlight and shadows change throughout the day—which is why having a professional solar evaluation is so important. 

Roof Materials, Structure, & Size

There are several features of your roof that can help our team determine your roof’s viability for solar:

  • Materials – Some roofing materials aren’t compatible with solar panels because they pose a fire hazard, corrosion, or durability issue. These materials include wood, clay, and thatched roofs. However, at SouthFace Solar, we can design a racking system to make most materials compatible—just give us a call to find out! 
  • Structure – If your roof is damaged or more than 15 years old, it might be a good idea to replace it before installing solar panels. Removing and reinstalling your solar system is more expensive later and you may be able to get help from your tax credits to do it beforehand.
  • Size – The size requirements for your roof heavily depend on your electricity needs, but in general it should be about 500 sq ft or more of usable space, meaning it’s clear of dormers, chimneys, and other obstructions. 

What if Your Roof Isn’t a Good Candidate for Solar?

Just because your roof can’t handle solar panels, that doesn’t mean that you’re stuck with grid electricity! SouthFace Solar & Electric also installs ground-mounted solar panel systems that can bring you all of the benefits of clean, renewable energy—without the roof. If your property has enough space for solar panel installation ground mounted systems, our team can custom design a solar system that meets your needs and fits your budget. Batteries alone can also provide savings and backup power even without solar, so that’s an option for everyone.

SouthFace Solar & Electric: Your Arizona Solar Installer

At the end of the day, installing a solar system is a complex process and when it comes to choosing a trustworthy solar company, it’s important to find one with experience—because proper installation is the key to a high performance system. At SouthFace Solar, we have over 35 years of combined experience and have been professionally certified to help you get the most out of your system—including your rooftop installation. 

Our unique process allows us to provide you with a customized solar solution for your home and ensure the highest quality products are utilized for optimal performance. Whether you want a grid-tied or off-grid solar system, or even somewhere in between with a demand shifting system and  battery storage, we’re here for you. Want to discover what renewable solar energy can do for you?

Get started with a free solar quote. Call 480-405-6105 or contact us online today.