Tip #: Make Sure Your Panels Are Regularly Monitored And Maintained
Routine maintenance checks will help keep your solar systems panel performance, meters, the inverter, and other parts running at maximum efficiency.6 Its also important to make note of any changes in your electric bills and energy usage.
If your solar panels are underperforming after a rainfall or being hosed down with water, or if you see an unusual spike in your utility bill, it may point to an electrical problem that needs to be addressed by a professional.7
Other Parts Of Your Solar System
In addition to your solar panels, your inverter may need replacement before your panels are ready to go. However, depending on the type and age of the inverter you had installed originally, it should easily last 10 to 15 years, but many now can be expected to last 25. Some even offer an extended 25-year warranty.
The racking of your solar system may also need to be replaced at some point, but that is a minimal issue unless you are aiming for keeping your panels for an extremely long period of time.
If you own a solar battery in tandem with your solar system you may also consider replacing the batteries over time. In most cases, you can replace the internal battery without replacing the system that controls it. The original batteries slide out and new ones slide back in. And if a battery is something that interested you, you can read more about our favorite battery in our blog.
Solar Shingles Vs Solar Panels
If you were trying to decide between installing solar shingles or installing traditional solar panels on your roof, here are a few advantages and disadvantages to consider beforehand. The benefits of solar shingles include being more aesthetically pleasing than bulky solar panels, being more cost effective , and are able to be removed and reinstalled if you were to move homes.
The disadvantages of solar shingles is they can sometimes be less energy efficient than regular solar panels, you will need a particular roof slope with high sunlight exposure, lifespan is less, many solar installers do not offer solar shingles yet as they are still growing in popularity. Traditional solar panels can also produce more energy per watt in comparison to the cost of solar installation.
You May Like: How Long Until Solar Panels Pay Off
The Value Of A Long Lasting Roof
Another reason to consider replacing your roof is the value that it adds to your house if you are planning on selling it in the near future and your roof is nearing 15 to 20 years old, depending on the type of material used, the quality of the build, and any damage that may have occurred.
Getting a roof inspection, fixing any problems before they start, and potentially replacing your roof can make a significant difference in the selling price.
In fact, a house with a new roof sells for an average of $12,000 more than a house with an older roof, which means that you may recover the costs of the roof replacement when you sell.
Regardless of whether or not you are planning on selling your property any time soon, the condition and the longevity of the roof over your head is of utmost importance.
While the length of time that your particular roof lasts depends on the type of materials used, the installation techniques involved, and any damage that may need to be fixed during its lifespan, all the aforementioned guidelines can help you determine when to replace your roof as well as to understand the potential lifetime value of your investment in a new roof.
Are Solar Panels Worth It
So, is solar power worth the investment? Well, in terms of helping the environment, yes, investing in solar power is always worth it! And with the knowledge that your roof-top solar panels will last at least 25 years, you can rest assured that your system will eventually pay for itself, the only question is how long will it take?
The answer to this question depends on two factors: the cost of electricity in your area and whether or not your electric company offers net metering.
Recommended Reading: Do It Yourself Home Solar System
What Factors Impact How Long Your Roof Lasts
- Quality of the installation workmanship – A poor quality installation will shorten your roofs lifespan.
- Environmental conditions – Exposure to high winds, extreme temperatures, and falling debris can decrease how long your roof lasts.
- The quality of materials used – Cheaper materials wont cost as much upfront but will have to be replaced more often than other expensive roofing materials.
- The type of roofing material used – Each roofing material has different durability, making them last longer or shorter in different conditions.
While there are several factors that impact how long your roof lasts, your roof’s lifespan most heavily depends on the materials used. Let’s take a closer look at the various roof types and how long each of them lasts.
Why Is This Happening
The rate of degradation of a solar panel is conditioned by the type of panel and the natural forces we cannot influence or control. If we take crystalline panels, for example, they are more resistant than others and can withstand extreme cold and heat for more than two decades. On the other side, we have film panels which are much more sensitive and will start the process of degradation quite faster.
However, the weather conditions are the factor that affects them the most, so the location of your home can be a crucial thing that will determine their lifespan. The truth is that those panels which are subjected to often and a strong wind blows, heavy snow loads, the impact of falling hail, and exhausting heat will for sure gradually lose solar panel efficiency and structural integrity. But panels installed in a place with a favorable climate will degrade at a much slower pace.
You May Like: Can I Run An Air Conditioner On Solar Power
Purchase An Online Monitoring System For Your Solar Panel Production
Different levels of monitoring are available. Some detect only the total power production per string of several panels. Others capture the workings of every single module. You will be able to note changes over time, as will your solar company. When you notice any big drop in energy production, you know its time to call for help .
Solar Shingles: Pros And Cons
Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding whether solar shingles are the best choice for your residential solar system:
|Solar Shingles Pros|
|Solar roof shingles are more aesthetically pleasing||Shingles are a newer solar technology, so there aren’t as many options readily available|
|Shingles are typically quicker to install||Few of the best solar companies install solar shingles|
|They can be a more cost-effective if you need a roof replacement anyway||Solar panel shingles are much more expensive than regular solar panels|
|Shingles have a lower conversion efficiency than solar panels|
|Solar shingles are more difficult to take with you if you move|
|Shingles are much more dependent on the slope of your roof|
Recommended Reading: Do You Need Solar Panels For Tesla Powerwall
Replacing Your Solar Battery
Solar batteries, like the Tesla Powerwall, are an optional addition to your solar system and are used to store excess solar power.
Solar batteries typically have 10-year warranties, which is around the time their performance begins to degrade. So after 10 years, you might need to replace them to maintain peak performance. If you purchase a battery, check with your battery manufacturer for their specific warranty.
One way to keep your solar system operating at its peak is to sync up your roof maintenance with solar panel maintenance and replacement. Depending on roof shingle types, a typical roof needs to be replaced about every 25 years, which is the perfect time to potentially replace your solar panels.
Solar Panels: Pros And Cons
Now, consider how standard solar panels compare:
|Solar Panels Pros|
|There are plenty of products to choose from||Panels look bulkier and do not have the same elegant aesthetics|
|There are many solar installers that work with panels||You’ll need your roof to be in good condition before you can install solar panels|
|The cost of solar panels is much lower than that of solar shingles||The solar panel installation process is usually a little longer than solar shingle installation|
|Solar panels are more efficient than solar shingles|
|You can more easily adjust panels to get an optimal position|
Generally speaking, solar shingles are a better option if you:
- Need to replace your roof
- Care a great deal about the aesthetics of your roof
- Have a roof that is already well-positioned and sloped to capture sunlight
If you don’t fit into any of those categories, you may be better off pursuing solar panels, which are the more time-tested, widely available, energy-efficient and affordable option.
Recommended Reading: How Much Solar Panels To Run A House
Ask Your Installer To Regularly Check Your Panels
We have our cars routinely checked, so why wouldnt we do the same with our solar installations?
If production declines, a solar maintenance professional should check your system in-person to look for potential issues such as exposed wiring, loose racking, microcracks, and more. You may end up doing more damage and voiding the warranty if you attempt to dismantle your solar system and examine it on your own.
Its recommended to have a cleaning and inspection once a year to ensure that your installation is operating at peak performance. Youll want to have a professional conduct the inspection rather than doing it yourself. If you accidentally scratch or damage any of the panels, it could void your warranty.
How Long Do Solar Roofs Last
Crystalline panels are usually guaranteed for 20-25 years, while film panels are generally guaranteed for only 2-5 years. The regular warranty for lasts 25 years.
Beside this, is the Tesla solar roof worth it?
You’ve also heard a lot of media buzz around the Tesla Solar Roof lately, but aren’t sure if it’s worth the cost. The result is that Tesla’s Solar Roof will cost nearly $25,000 more than installing solar panels, and yet will only deliver 77 percent as much solar electricity .
Similarly, do solar panels damage your roof? Solar panels don’t damage your roof when installed properlyFor most homeowners, installing solar panels will not result in roof damage as long as your solar installer is a licensed, qualified professional and your roof is in good condition.
Keeping this in consideration, how long do rooftop solar panels last?
between 25 to 30 years
How often do solar panels need to be replaced?
Their study titled Degradation Rates An Analytical Review claim the median average of efficiency degradation for solar panels by year is . 5%. By these standards, you would approximately have to replace a solar panel every 40 years if nothing forcefully breaks them first.
You May Like Also
Recommended Reading: How Much Does It Cost To Switch To Solar Power
The Advantages Of Tesla Solar Roof
- Durability. Manufactured from tempered glass, Tesla’s Solar Roof tiles are more than three times stronger than standard roofing tiles. Engineered for all-weather protection, meaning no water leaks. Furthermore, a Solar tile Roof can last longer than an average roof and has been designed to protect your home for decades to come.
- Perfect For Listed Buildings. Many listed properties aren’t allowed to have solar panels due to their aesthetic impact. However solar tiles may be a viable alternative, as are integrated Solar Panels.
- Powerwall Compatibility. The Tesla solar tiles have been designed to work hand-in-hand with Tesla’s Powerwall 2.0 Solar Battery.
- Remote Access. With the Tesla app, you can monitor your energy production in real time. Control your system from anywhere with instant alerts and remote access.
- Lifetime Guarantee. There is a lifetime guarantee that comes with the solar tiles and also a 30 year guarantee on both the power technology and against weather damage.
To find out more about Solar Roof tiles, including alternatives to the Tesla tile
Replacing Shingles On Your Roof
Replacing a few roof shingles is much easier than replacing your entire roof, naturally.
And sometimes replacing the shingles on your roof is something that you can do yourself if you are comfortable with climbing up on top of your home and have good DIY skills, but we do tend to suggest that you have your roof examined by a professional every few years.
After all, how long does a 30 year roof or any type of shingle roof last in reality?
We can offer you an idea but theres nothing like real world expertise and having your roof inspected by a contractor or company who is familiar with your particular type of roofing material, your location, and any other quirks that may need to be taken into account.
Also Check: Do Solar Panels Give Off Heat
The Life Expectancy Of Your Roof
Having a roof inspection conducted during the standard due diligence stage that occurs before you buy a property is fairly standard, and dont hesitate to ask for concessions if the roof isnt up to code or has problems that could prove to be costly in the future.
If youve purchased a home or built a home before then you probably know that the roof might be one of the complicated and potentially expensive aspects of the purchase.
Youll want to know the age and condition of the roof that youre putting over your and your family or employees, along with any concerns or special requirements for the type of material and style of roof on the property.
Youll also want to understand the average lifespan of the type of roof you are buying or installing in your specific geographic area and its unique weather patterns.
And perhaps most importantly, youll want to get the roof inspected before buying a new home as well as having regular roof inspections performed to assess the current state of your roof.
For instance, asphalt shingle roofs tend to last around 20 to 25 years, while other types of roofing, like metal standing seam roofing, can last for 50 years or even longer, depending on your climate, type of property, and various other environmental factors including things like overhanging trees and the humidity percentage, amount of rainfall, or if you are prone to roof hail damage.
So, at this point, you might be asking how long does a new roof lasts?
What Is The Solar Panel Degradation Rate
The solar panel degradation rate on average is 0.5% per year.This is the rate at which your panel efficiency reduces over time.
Basically, it shows the quality of your panel the smaller the rate, the longer your panel will keep its properties. A degradation rate of 0.5% per year means that, after a standard 25-year long warranted service, your solar panel system will provide 87.5% of its factory output.
However, manufacturers like SunPower have achieved degradation rates that are as low as 0.3% per year. This means that after 25 years, your panel will operate at 92.5% of its original output.Not too shabby for something that gives you free energy.
Read Also: Does Solar Power Add Value To Your House
How To Maintain Them
If you keep your solar panels well maintained, then you can expect to enjoy them for the full length of their estimated lifespan. There are a few ways in which you can do this, helping the efficiency levels to stay at their best.
While solar panels should be pretty much self-sufficient after installation, an annual clean can really help them stay maintained. It is important to note that you only need to give your solar panels a good clean once or twice a year, but if you have had a long period with no rain, you may want to give them an extra once over.
Here are some quick cleaning tips:
- Clean your solar panels in the morning or evening as they can get very hot during the day
- You should always start by gently sweeping leaves and debris from the surface of the panel. Make sure you used a soft bristled brush
- Spray the panels with your garden hose, but use a gentle stream
- If the panels need a few stubborn areas cleaned further, wipe them down with warm water and a soft cloth to avoid scratching
Safety precautions when cleaning:
- You should always refer to the manufacturers guide before you use any cleaning products on the panels
- Always take precautions when reaching the panels, as they tend to be quite high. If in doubt, there are professional panel cleaners that you can call
- Only ever clean the surface of the panels, never touch the wiring underneath. You can use a solar panel cleaning service for under the panels, as they are trained and qualified
How Long Do Architectural Shingles Or Dimensional Shingles Last
Architectural or dimensional asphalt shingles are thicker and more durable and therefore more suited to places with more extreme weather conditions.
That said, they are also more expensive but they do last between 15 to 25 years and can withstand wind uplift for up to 110 miles MPH, or even up to 130 MPH with specialized installation techniques and roof bracing.
Read Also: How To Get Out Of Vivint Solar Contract
When Should You Replace Your Solar Panels
Good solar panels can last anywhere from 20 to 30 years, but there’s not necessarily a date at which point you should immediately replace yours. It’s more important to pay attention to their productivity. If your solar panels are still in good shape and producing enough electricity, then they may not need to be replaced. On the other hand, if you find that your electricity bill is going up because your solar panels are no longer doing the trick, then it’s probably time to replace them.