The vast power of the sun has made solar roofing a rapidly growing energy source for homeowners throughout the United States and beyond. Before learning about the pros and cons of sun-powered roofing, you should understand the two primary options for generating energy from the sun
To use shingles or panels, that is the ultimate solar roofing question.
Overview of Sun-Powered Shingles and Panels
Manufactured by Dow Corning, the first sun-driven roof shingle hit the home energy market in 2011. Home improvement businesses such as Hallmark Homes Remodeling use solar shingles to replace asphalt shingles. The shingles require shorter installation times than the amount of time it takes to install panels. Because of the flat design, shingles present a more aesthetically appealing appearance than the appearance presented by panels.
Solar powered shingles historically converted a small percentage of the sun’s energy into electricity than what homeowners enjoyed by installing panels. However, the disparity between energy conversions has dramatically decreased to make shingles a cost effective roofing option. Moreover, shingles offer the versatility to install on a wider range of roof styles.
Whether you opt for shingles or panels, solar roofing represents a viable way to harness the sun’s incredible amount of energy and convert the energy into electricity.
Show Me the Saved Money
Although at one time solar energy was a cost prohibitive option for most homeowners, a combination of factors has made the energy delivery system affordable. The increase in the efficiency of manufacturing components has driven down installation costs. Technological breakthroughs have also help make energy acquired from the sun an affordable option for more homeowners.
However, the greatest cost savings derive from significantly reduced monthly utility bills. You can expect to enjoy lower utility bills during the first year after installing a solar roofing system. In addition, the federal government, as well as your state and municipal governments, offer generous tax credits for installing the systems.
Without the need to burn fossil fuels, energy generated from the sun dramatically enhances the environment. Our rapidly diminishing non-renewable fuel sources means we have to harness clean techniques for powering homes, automobiles, and electronic devices. The reduction in toxic emissions reduces the greenhouse effect that depletes the ozone layer. Many scientists link the emission of greenhouse gases to global warming. Making the planet healthier via solar energy also produces health benefits for all of the living organisms that call Earth home.
Long Lasting Durability
Solar roofs last several years longer than the lifespan of roofs designed using standard materials. Sunlight absorbing panels and shingles resist the damage caused by prolonged exposure to harsh weather conditions that include hailstorms and high wind events. Because of the longer lifespan, repair and maintenance costs are lower for sun roofs than the costs of repairing and maintaining materials such as asphalt and dimension shingles.
Alternative Power Sources
During the early days of transforming the sun’s energy into power, a lack of sunshine on any given day meant lack of power. Recent technological breakthroughs have allowed manufacturers to create power backup options. Alternative energy sources ensure your home receives a consistent supply of electrical power whenever clouds obscure the sun and when the sun sets.
Installing panels or shingles on a roof as part of a solar roofing system creates a couple of disadvantages. However, most homeowners agree the benefits of harnessing the sun’s raw power far outweigh the disadvantages.
Higher Installation Costs
Installing a solar roof costs more than the cost of installing a standard roof. Depending on the system you install, the costs can run considerably higher for sun roofs. You can reduce the cost by adding more traditional roofing materials on the corners and ends of your roof. However, you do not maximize the power generated from the sun’s energy. Moreover, since solar panels and shingles last longer than standard roofing materials, utility bill savings eventually negate the high cost of installation.
Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me
Solar powered systems need, you guessed it, sunlight. Even with highly capable backup sources of power, you might struggle to meet your power needs in places like Seattle. However, this is the exception to what is now the common rule that solar roofing works almost anywhere in the United States. A few hours of sunlight combined with backup energy sources should meet your household power needs.
As solar energy systems increase in popularity and as technology makes it more cost efficient to turn to sun-powered homes, what is now considered a fringe source of energy should turn into an irreplaceable mainstream energy source for homeowners.