Many people who live in Southern California realize that having solar on their roof can be a great way to save money, increase the value of their home, and reduce energy consumption. However, with the shrinking size of homes in the US, it can sometimes be confusing whether solar panels are an option for houses with small roofs.
Is my roof too small for solar panels?
The average size of a solar panel installation used on rooftops is approximately 65 inches by 39 inches (165cm x 99cm). Photovoltaic cells come in a standard size of 156 square millimeters, (approx 6 inches x 6 inches).
The average solar panel system in the U.S. is 6 kilowatts (kW). Therefore, if you install a 6kW system with 20 average-sized panels, your system will measure approximately 352 square feet (32 square meters).
To measure square footage multiply the length by the height. So for example, a 15’ x 20’ roof has 300 square feet. This amount of space is generally enough to manage a solar panel system.
Of course, not all roofs are rectangular, so it can make sense to have a licensed professional solar installer take a look. Most solar panel installers can design solar energy systems for all kinds of roof configurations.
Dormers, vent pipes, chimneys, and skylights take up roof space and can also cast shade on panels. However, the good news is solar panels still often works on those homes.
Is my roof too old for solar panels?
If your house is older than say 30 years, then the roof itself may need repair before you can install panels. It may be worth checking with a licensed builder to determine the lifespan of your roof.
If your roof doesn’t have at least ten years of lifespan left, meaning the shingles are cracked or in poor condition, you should consider replacing your roof before installing solar.
These are usually the two biggest reasons why people cannot install solar panels on their roof. However, with planning and the assistance of a licensed and experienced solar panel installer, this can easily be overcome.