If you’re thinking about going solar, great! The first step to being a proud solar owner is to check to see if your roof is a good candidate by asking yourself these questions…

roof with solar panels

What direction does your roof face?

The ideal roof for solar faces south at 180 degrees true orientation (or 195 degrees if using a magnetic compass) to maximize the amount of sunlight that your panels receive. However, roofs that are slanted east or west can still be good candidates if they meet the other requirements.

location of solar panels on roof

Do you have enough room for solar panels?

Roofs that are not obstructed by dormers, skylights, or chimneys are good matches for solar. Most Solar (PV) systems use between 20-30 panels and, with each panel taking up 18 square feet, you should ensure that your roof has approximately 400-600 square feet of open space.

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Is your roof slanted or flat?

Roofs with a slant of 30-45 degrees are the best candidates for solar. Flat roofs can also accommodate solar, however, the mounting system will be different from panels on a slanted roof.

What is your roof made out of?

Solar panels can be attached to most surfaces, with shingles being the easiest and most popular material. If your roof is made out of slate or clay, it may be prone to breakage and extra precautions should be taken when installing your PV system.

Is your roof showing signs of old age?

If your roof is showing signs of age such as cupping or lifting, you should consider replacing it before installing a PV system. Removing a PV system after installation is costly, time-consuming, and can easily be avoided by ensuring the quality of your roof.

roof condition for solar panels

The roof pictured above is in poor condition and should be replaced before installing solar panels.

Does your roof spend a lot of time in the shade?

Ideally, your panels should be exposed to the sun from 9 am to 4 pm, or get at least 6 hours of continuous sunlight. Shading from nearby trees, neighboring buildings or roof obstructions such as dormers or chimneys can all cause shading that will reduce the electricity production of PV panels.

The easiest way to determine if your roof is a good candidate for solar panels is to call Boston Solar for a free consultation at (617) 858-1645.

Thank you! We look forward to hearing from you!

The Boston Solar Team