Solar roofing is becoming a more popular roofing option for efficiency-minded homeowners seeking environmentally friendly choices for their homes.
Solar panels have been in use for decades, but the shingles now installed by solar roofing companies are a more recent offering.
Both make suitable choices for energy production and conservation.
This primer will help homeowners considering hiring a solar roofing service understand the differences between the two types of systems so they can make an informed decision.
What Are The Differences Between Solar Panels and Solar Shingles?
Though both types of solar roofing work essentially the same way to convert UV light energy into electricity, solar roofing contractors suggest knowing the differences between these two systems before choosing one over the other:
- Cost - Of the two products installed by solar roofing services, a photovoltaic shingle roof installation costs considerably more than panels, as they cover the entire roof and the technology is more advanced.
- Appearance - Aesthetically, shingles are more appealing than panels, as they are the roofing installation and look like most other types of shingles. Solar panels, on the other hand, sit on top of existing roofing and are very noticeable.
- Efficiency - Heat dissipation is a factor when calculating the energy efficiency of any type of photovoltaic roofing. Since panels are installed by a solar roofing company on top of the roof, providing a space for airflow, they are not affected by heat while shingles, on the other hand, which are affixed directly onto the roof, have lower efficiency due to heat buildup beneath them.
- Application - The shingles installed by a solar roofing service are smaller, can be installed on any type of pitched roof, and are more easily tailored to the shape of the roof. Conversely, while panels are not as easily fit to the shape of the roof, they can be used on practically any type of architecture, whether sloping or flat.
- Longevity - Though they are different in their structure, both options sold by solar roofers have an estimated longevity of 25 to 30 years, which is comparable with many other types of shingle installations.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Each Solar Roofing System?
While both systems installed by solar roofing companies perform the same way to turn sunlight into power, there are some notable advantages and disadvantages to both that homeowners should be aware of when make a selection:
- Weight - Although solar panels only weigh about 40 pounds each, that weight when multiplied by the number of panels required for an installation sits on top of the roof as dead weight in addition to the existing roofing materials. Solar shingle installations are the roofing material itself, creating no additional weight that must be supported by the trusses and rafters.
- Placement - The biggest challenge that solar roofing contractors have installing panels on some homes is finding the right angle and position for them where they will capture enough direct sunlight to be efficient. This can be a problem on certain homes if the roof pitch is especially steep or if the slopes do not face the sun. Shingles that are installed on all sides of the roof can catch sunlight from any angle.
- Ease of Installation - Solar panels can be quickly and easily installed by an experienced contractor over any type of exterior material. Shingles do take longer, as they involve the removal of the existing materials first.
- Repairs - As solar panels get mounted to the existing roofing materials, they must be first removed when repairs or roofing replacements are required and then re-installed.
Consult With A Trained Solar Roofing Company To Learn More
An investment in solar roofing services is a great option to improve the energy efficiency in any home.
Homeowners deciding between shingles or panels should discuss their plans with a knowledgeable solar roofing company that can educate them on the various systems available to them.
Whether opting for panels or shingles, a skilled solar roofing contractor will have the knowledge and expertise to get it done!