Solar panels can potentially save you a lot of money on your energy bills, as well as offer you some energy independence, which is important if you live in an area where electricity is not as reliable as you'd like. Although solar panels can be placed on any type of roof, some roofing materials are better than others. In particular, you may want to opt for a metal roof if you're thinking of having a solar panel system installed, and here are three reasons why.
Standing Seam Installation
To prevent the solar panels from sliding off the roof or being ripped off by bad weather, the system is bolted into the roof. For most roofs, this means punching holes in the shingles to reach the structures underneath so the panels can be firmly attached.
Although the technicians will do their best to cover these holes, there's still the risk of water and snow seeping inside and causing damage. Additionally, some roofing companies will void parts of or the entire warranty on your roof if you have a solar panel system installed because of the increased risk of water damage.
While metal roofs can be installed as shingles, it's the standing-seam style that's most appropriate for solar panels. This style of roof has (horizontal or vertical) rows of raised thin beams that help funnel water to gutters and gives the home an interesting look.
More importantly, though, solar panel installers can attach the equipment to these beams, negating the need to put holes in your roof. Thus, you won't have to worry about leaks or having the warranty for your roof voided.
Better Energy Efficiency
Another reason metal roofs are great for solar panels is because they are very energy efficient. Many roofing materials absorb the heat in the sun's rays, raising the internal temperature in the home and causing your air conditioner to work extra hard to keep the house at the desired coolness.
However, metals roofs reflect the sun's rays, minimizing the amount of heat gain in the home. As a result, your air conditioner won't have to run as long to maintain the internal temperature.
This is important because solar panels only collect and store so much electricity per day (between 250 and 325 watts per panel). The less electricity you have to use in the home, the longer the energy stored by the solar panel system will last and the less power you have to draw from the electric company during the evening when rates tend to be higher.
So, not only will a metal roof help maximize the energy you obtain from your system, it'll help you save more money on your energy bills in the long run.
A third advantage metal roofs have over other materials is that they last longer, up to 70 years depending on the material and how well it's maintained. It's important to consider how long your roof will last because solar panels have a lifespan of 20 years. If your roof must be replaced before your solar panels expire, it can be very expensive to have the equipment removed and then reinstalled just to upgrade your home's dome piece.
Additionally, it may actually be less expense to remove solar panels from a standing-seam metal roof. As noted previously, the panels are attached to the raised beams rather than to the interior workings of the roof. Thus, the solar panel specialist will only need to detach the panels from the seam instead of having to dig inside your roof to find the connection points.
To learn more about metal roofs or to have your roof repaired or replaced, contact a local roofing contractor at a place like Popular Roofing.