The Dayton area is home to an abundance of interesting activities for families and singles alike. From the Air Force Museum and the birthplace of the Wright brothers to the multiple fine arts and science attractions, there’s always something to do. Better yet, the area’s vast selection of parks, river walks and outdoor music venues offer a great way to use the average 176 days of sun per year to an advantage.
Unfortunately, not every day can be spent outdoors in Dayton’s wonderful, temperate climate. Priorities such as school and work often necessitate time spent indoors. However, many local residents have found a way to continue to benefit from all that sunshine – by installing solar panels on their homes.
Solar Panel Benefits
Solar panel installations are on the rise in Dayton and across the United States. Aptly termed “solar energy farms,” or collections of privately or publicly owned solar panels, have begun to show a positive impact on the energy usage of the entities installing them. In addition to this, more and more homeowners are choosing to install personal solar panels in an effort to reduce energy costs.
Aside from the eventual cost-saving measures, solar panels also allow homeowners to reduce their dependence on outside energy corporations. Self-sufficiency is a value many hold dear and for a large number of Dayton residents, solar panel installation is just the first step on this path. Similarly, many have chosen to move towards more environmentally friendly, low-maintenance, and long-lasting materials such as metal roofing.
What Should You Know About Solar Panels and Metal Roofing?
First, it is important to know that the different types of solar panels available require significantly different methods of installation. In addition, the type of roof you currently have will affect the installation methods used as well as the associated cost. Finally, you must consider the current state of the installation surface to determine the cost efficiency of installing solar panels that may need removed and reinstalled in the event of a roof replacement.
Whether you’re a metal roof owner or are currently considering metal roof installation, consider the following factors to ensure an effective solar installation that will last for years to come. What is the best way to approach solar installation if you’re considering switching to a metal roof? Alternately, what if you already own a metal roof and wish to install solar panels? Here are some answers to questions, along with the first steps to consider for solar panel use.
1. Add Solar Panels to Your Existing Metal Roof
Installation on your existing metal roof is a fairly simple process. First, depending on the type of solar panels you choose, the installer may need to install mounting brackets to affix the panels to your roof. Many homeowners grow concerned about potential leaks and other issues resulting from this procedure. Fortunately, qualified solar installers use numerous techniques that allow them to avoid puncturing your roofing materials entirely – a drastic improvement from the numerous drilled holes necessary to install panels on an asphalt roof.
Metal roof mounting systems can clamp onto the seams on a standing seam roof without the need for any drilling whatsoever. Similarly, installers can install mounting brackets on metal tile roofs by simply replacing certain roof tiles with bracketed tiles, leaving the integrity of your roof intact. Even corrugated metal roofs, which traditionally required drilling due to their design, can support solar panels with brackets installed on top of the corrugated ridges with holes drilled horizontally instead of vertically into the decking. Overall, your metal roof can support solar panel installation with relatively zero effect on the watertight and energy efficient properties of the roof.
2. Install a Metal Roof and Solar Panels Simultaneously
If you currently own a traditional asphalt roof, you may be concerned regarding the cost effectiveness of installing solar panels that must be uninstalled and reinstalled each time your roof needs reshingling. There is an added cost involved; to protect your solar equipment, most installation companies must perform the removal and reinstallation themselves, affecting your pocketbook above and beyond the normal cost of replacing your roof.
Consider installing a durable, long-lasting metal roof when you install your solar panels. On average, metal roofs last 50 years or more, outlasting most solar panels on the market and eliminating the need to remove and reinstall them for roof replacement. As an added bonus, you can choose from a wider selection of solar panels as well, as some models are optimized for metal roof installation.
3. Choose Between Photovoltaic and Thin Film Solar Panels
Most homeowners in the United States are limited to the traditional, photovoltaic solar panels you’re used to seeing mounted on asphalt shingled roofs and in solar energy farms. However, whether you already own a metal roof or chose to install one simultaneously with your solar panel purchase, you have a second option available, known as thin film panels. What are the differences between photovoltaic and thin film solar panels?
Traditional photovoltaic panels are higher profile and must be mounted on your roof using brackets. While panel brackets installed by a trustworthy installation company are not generally a risk to your metal roof, you’ll want to ensure your contractor guarantees their work and the integrity of your roof. In general, photovoltaic panels offer a higher energy output per square foot, so they’re a great choice if you want to maximize the amount of energy your panels bring in.
Thin film solar panels are much lower profile than photovoltaic panels and are nearly invisible on the roof of your home. In fact, many thin film companies recommend installation only on metal roofs due to the nature of the installation technique. No brackets are necessary, and thin film panels require significantly less energy to manufacture than photovoltaic panels; this reduced impact on the environment makes thin film panels an ideal choice for anyone wishing to reduce energy consumption.
4. Enjoy More Comfortable Indoor Climates
Once you’ve chosen to pair solar panels with a long-lasting, energy-efficient metal roof, you can begin to reap the benefits of lower energy consumption. In addition to being more environmentally friendly, metal roofs help to retain the indoor temperature you select as well as reflect additional heat from the sun. In return, your home stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter, at a cost that’s relatively minimal.