6 Things to Consider when Choosing Solar Roof Tiles
Solar roof tiles are great for people who want to conserve energy or find a more effective way to get electricity to their home. However, getting them installed is not a simple or easy process.
There are several key things you need to take note of before diving headfirst into the solar world. In this guide, we will go over those choices so that you’ll know exactly what you need to take into consideration before getting tiles on your home.
1. A Good Roof and Key Location
Before you even begin to consider any of the below aspects, you first need to make sure you have a roof that can support solar tiles. That typically means, how much of your roof is exposed to sunlight?
If your house is mostly covered by shade throughout the year, it does not likely have a big enough “solar window” to get a lot of energy from tiles. Solar energy is all about saving money, and you never want to pay for new tiles if you can’t make anything back on your investment.
Another big part of this is understanding any future shifts that might occur.
If your roof will need a renovation a few years down the road, it’ll be easier to take care of that before you get tiles. That way, you won’t have to use extra time and money to disconnect them during the renovation and put them up again afterwards.
Also take note of any trees that might grow on your property in the future. If you’ve just planted foliage that will one day obscure your roof it is important to know you’re going to need to prune them.
2. Know Your Roof
Continuing our roof discussion, it is also important to know how strong and long-lasting your roof is. Solar roof tiles are incredibly durable and can last for thirty plus years. However, many roofs only last twenty.
As a result, you need to make sure your roof is in great condition before you install solar tiles.
Installing tiles can be a costly process, and you never want to set yourself up in a situation where things do not work out. Also pay close attention to your roof’s slops, layout, materials, and direction.
3. Choose Your Energy Type
There are currently two types of solar to choose from: photovoltaic and thermal. Photovoltaic uses cells to turn sunlight into energy, whereas thermal uses sunlight to heat water and air inside the home.
Picking between the two is not always an easy choice. Thermal energy is typically more effective when it comes to recouping your investment faster, and it is great if your home uses a lot of energy for heating. However, as photovoltaic is more popular, it is easier to find someone who will install it.
Either way, both modes work to save you energy.
4. Location, Location, Location
Location is another important aspect to consider when choosing to put solar tiles on your home. Obviously, the more sun that shines on your tiles, the more energy they will generate.
Take your living situation into account when figuring out whether or not to get solar roof tiles. If you are in a sunny area with a lot of light, you’ll get much more energy. In contrast, if you live in a cloudy region, tiles might not be worth the investment.
Though you can benefit from solar tiles even in cloudy areas, you may not be able to recuperate from the initial costs.
Home orientation can also be a big deal as well. For instance, roofs that face south, southeast, and southwest will produce the most energy above the equator, while northern pointing ones are much harder to get energy from.
5. Different Tile Types
As you may imagine, a big aspect of choosing your solar roof tiles is knowing what type you want or need.
Most solar tiles are durable enough to withstand weather events like storms. However, as they are new, there are only a few options there.
Currently, Tesla (one of the leaders in solar roof tiles) offers smooth glass, French slate, Tuscan, and textured glass. Some other companies also offer tiles that perfectly blend in with existing tiles.
All tiles work functionally the same, which means the decision you pick comes down to personal taste, as well as what would look best on your home.
An Easy Way to Save Energy
Getting solar roof tiles can be a big or intimidating process, but only if you’re unprepared.
The decision may seem daunting to some, but if you go in with the right mindset and understand the above sections, you should be able to install exactly what you need.