Modern homes often benefit from advances in technology that reduce their environmental impact. One such example of this is solar roofing. While many homeowners may avoid this type of roofing because they do not like the appearance or they think the cost is prohibitive, many are surprised to find that the options are attractive and affordable in the long term. Moreover, today's solar roofing consists of interlocking solar tiles that mesh with your existing tiles so they are less conspicuous than the solar panels of the past. The following frequently asked questions should help you decide if this the right choice for you.
Q: How is it different from solar panels?
A: When people think of solar roofing, they often imagine large, black panels that are mounted on racks above an existing roof. These rigid, glass covered units can detract from the appearance of your home. Alternatively, this type of roofing consists of roof tiles containing photovoltaic elements; These tiles interlock with existing roof tiles for a much cleaner appearance. This provides the protection of traditional roof while producing power for your home.
Q: What advantages does it offer?
A: Perhaps the main advantage of solar roofing is that it provides power to your home while blending seamlessly into your existing roof structure. The tiles closely match the shape of your current roofing materials, and do not significantly impact the appearance of your roof.
Q: What disadvantages are associated with it?
A: Unfortunately, solar roof tiles are typically more expensive than traditional roofing materials, and their installation requires specialized skills and tools. Moreover, solar panels are more efficient than solar roofing. Still, solar roofing will pay for itself over time once you factor in the energy savings you'll enjoy.
Q: Can I find solar roof tiles to match my current roof tiles?
A: These types of tiles are available in a wide range of shapes, color, and sizes. While it may not be possible to match your existing roof tiles exactly, your chances are high that you'll find a good fit.
Q: What should I look for in an installer?
A: Your installer needs to have experience with this type of roofing. Ideally, you'll want to find somebody who also has a contractor's license and certification from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).
Q: What is the best way to install these tiles?
A: Tiles facing east, west, or south will get the most sun exposure and will enhance energy production.
Q: How much energy can I get from a solar roofing system?
A: Depending on your geographic location, the amount of energy produced will vary. Speak to a qualified roofing contractor about what you should expect from your roof system.