If you’re considering using a solar panel system to power your home, you probably have many questions that you’d like to have answered before you agree to have one installed by a contractor. The more you know, the better! But let’s take a look at one question in particular that virtually every homeowner in the market for solar panels will have at some point: When are they most efficient?
Answering for “where” is a bit simpler than “when.” Solar panels will always be more efficient in sunnier areas, especially those which don’t have many trees or buildings nearby that could block out the sun at some point during the day. But no matter where you live, you can’t plan to have solar panels installed without knowing how several time-related factors will affect them.
Time of Day
While solar panels will absorb any sunlight that hits them throughout the day, they’re at their best when directly exposed to that light—which happens whenever the sun is perfectly positioned to hit them at the angle in which they sit on your roof.
Your solar panels will work best when installed on a slope of your roof that catches the most direct sunlight at any point during a day, which would ideally be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Time of Year
Depending on where you live, solar panels may be more effective in some seasons than in others. Florida, for example, is known as the “Sunshine State” even though its summer days aren’t always sunny. Because there are so many intense thunderstorms in the area on a regular basis, solar panels are likely to be less effective during a summer there than in a state such as Arizona that’s consistently drier—which means less cloud cover.
If you live in a state where fall and winter comes with sunny skies and not much rain, you may even find your solar panels to be performing at their best then.
Age of Your Roof
While this doesn’t directly affect the way in which your solar panels perform, it will affect your ability to even have them installed at all. If your home’s roof is getting close to the end of its expected lifespan and you know you’ll need to have it replaced in the near future, it’s not a good idea to install a solar panel system without tending to the roof first. After all, you won’t be able to work around your solar panels during a roof replacement—they’ll have to come off, which will make the roof replacement process more of a headache for you than it needs to be.
Consult With the Experts
While you can use all of this information to make an educated guess about whether solar panels are a viable option for your home, the best way to know for sure is to consult with a contractor. Any solar energy company worth their salt will walk you through the world of solar power and develop a plan specifically for your own home to make sure you’re getting the most out of your investment.
The Energy Pros here at FOR Energy will be happy to help you understand everything you want to know about solar panels and get you started on the path to using clean energy at your home. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.