Homeowner's Knowledgebase

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June 28, 2017




What to Know Before Installing Rooftop Solar Panels

Rooftop solar panels are an eco-friendly and economic way to generate additional energy for your home. So, if you’re considering this option for your home, consider the following topics.

 Can Your Roof Support Solar Panels?

It’s important to determine whether your roof can accommodate solar panels. For example, does your roof have a good “solar window”? If it is blocked by a building, trees or just in a highly shaded location, the energy produced by your solar panels may not justify the cost required to purchase and install the solar panels.

Another important factor is your roof’s structural condition. If you foresee roof repairs in the next few years, make sure to deal with those prior to installing solar panels. Additional time and money will be spent to have a team disconnect and remove your panels to perform roof work then reinstall them after.

Also, envision the future of your yard. If you see tall oak trees, consider how that could compromise your solar panels effectiveness. Be prepared to prune!

 What Type of Solar Panels Best Suit You?

  • PhotovoltaicArrays of cells are used to turn solar energy into electricity.
  • Thermal: Uses sunlight to heat water or air inside a building.

If your home has greater heating demands or the cost of heat is more expensive in comparison to electricity then thermal solar panels may be the best route for you.

Lease or Buy?

Both leasing and buying have their pros and cons and you must decide which option best meets your needs.


With leasing, upfront costs are minimal; however, this route offers limited benefits. The company you lease the solar panels from owns them and you pay them a certain rate for the electricity. When your lease is done, they have the ability to repossess the system from you.


Buying requires a much larger initial investment but the benefits are substantially greater. When you own the system, it continues to serve as an energy source long after you have received the return on your investment.