An up close image of solar panels.

The team at Feazel hears this question frequently and why not? Harnessing solar energy on your roof is a wonderful opportunity to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Not to mention all the tax credits for adding solar power to your roof makes it easier than ever to have solar panel installation on of your home.  

That said, can you replace your roof with solar panels? It depends on what you are looking for. There are products that will act as a roof shingle and a solar panel. Do you have a newer roof? If so, it does not make sense to replace a perfectly healthy roof with solar shingles, but adding solar panels is a great option. 

With solar, homeowners should seek  

  • An understanding of how they may implement solar on their roof- solar shingles or solar panels 

  • The merits of solar products that are on the market today  

  • The condition of their roof because that may dictate which product will work best 

In short, solar choice depends on several factors that are based on the needs of the homeowner, regular energy consumption, and their roof. Read on for all the details on your solar options! 

Solar Roof vs Solar Panels- How Are They Different? 

Most homeowners know what solar panels look like. They mount on racks on the roof of your home, or even as a ground mount. With technological advances over the past several years, new solar energy production options have hit the market.  

Solar roof choices are an emerging technology that replaces the traditional roof shingle with a shingle that has solar generating capabilities. The solar roof will not have a racking system attached to the roof. Typically, the solar roof is attached to the decking and works best when a new roof is required.  

These modern technologies have made the relationship between roofing companies and solar companies much stronger. In some cases, recent technologies have allowed roofing companies to help their customers by offering solar solutions. 

What are Solar Panels? 

Homeowners were typically looking at rack mounted solar panels for their roof. Solar panels can mount on top of your existing roofing material. One major difference between solar panels and solar roofs is that panels do not require your roof to be replaced first. They are a roof rack mount system, so they truly cover most of the existing roof material.  

That was the most common solar choice, now there are options for solar roofs.  

What is a Solar Roof? 

There are different solar roof manufacturers out there. The one brand that Feazel exclusively works with GAF Timberline Solar Shingle. The GAF Timberline Solar Shingle can truly transform your roof into a solar roof 

Feazel recommends the solar shingle in instances where a total roof replacement is needed. The roof shingle mounts directly to your roof decking and acts as a shingle that generates solar energy. Standard GAF asphalt shingles surround the solar shingle to rest flush with each other.  

An additional benefit of the solar roof is that it carries a warranty as a shingle and as a solar panel. Having a dual warranty that is installed by a roofing professional ensures that your roof is installed properly to manufacturer specifications and protects against a faulty installation.  

Homeowners have asked, can I cover my entire roof with solar panels? While it may seem to make sense to put panels everywhere to maximize productivity, that is not recommended. In fact, you should look to get as close to your home’s consumption as possible without going over.  

The energy numbers will fluctuate depending on where your home is located. Winter months may be a low productivity month, but other seasons may produce an excess of energy that you will not be able to use. All that energy generated may not be lost as there are two options that homeowners can decide to utilize. 

What Happens to Excess Energy from Solar Panels? 

There may be a stretch of bright and sunny days where your solar system generates more energy than you can use. That does not mean turning on all the lights to use it all up! In fact, there are several options when it comes to excess energy and what to do with it.  

First, there is net metering. That is where excess energy is sold back to the power company. Homeowners receive credit for the excess that is applied to their account. Not all states offer net metering so be sure to check and see if your state allows it or ask your local solar installation company.  

In the instance of net metering, homeowners are still attached to the energy grid. This is beneficial because you can still draw electricity from the grid if you need it. The connection is necessary to be able to sell electricity back. All excess goes back into the grid and then you receive the credit.  

The second option is to add a battery system to your solar array. The battery system allows homeowners to bank excess energy instead of selling it back. A battery system can work in lieu of a generator so if your power goes out for an extended period, you can rely on the battery system, so long as it has energy stored.  

To prevent making a solar system that is too large for your usage, our sales representative will look at your most recent electric bill to gauge the size of your solar system. The electric bill will show consumption over the past 12 months, so it is possible to see the ebb and flow of energy usage and understand where the electricity needs occur.  

Solar Panel Roof Installation 

If you have decided to purchase a solar roof instead of roof repair or shingle roof replacement, you might wonder what the solar roof installation process entails. The experience depends on what format of solar you choose.  

Standard solar panels involve installing the racking system, attaching the panels, and then an electrician will come and complete the connection. There will be a time where your electric company will need to swap out the electric meter for a two-way meter if net metering is allowed. This two-way meter will allow you to continue to use electric, if you need it, and to send it back to the grid for credits.  

A solar roof system will require completely tearing off the existing roof system. Your new solar roof will be built from the decking up and will have the same features as a normal roofing system, such as drip edge and proper ventilation.  

Need a New Roof? Interested in a Solar System? Contact Feazel for a Free Estimate 

What is different with Feazel is that we are a leading roofing company. We are experts at installing asphalt shingle roofs in addition to other roofing services. And we are leading solar installers 

What does that mean for you?  

You get a roof that is made from the best roofing materials and installed by a leading roofing contractor. If you add solar panels, our installation will adhere to best practices for installation to ensure that your roofing warranty is preserved. 

Homeowners can use a solar loan to spread payments out which keep payments low while collecting solar energy. Not to mention, the federal tax credit that you can apply toward the installation of solar panels makes it a win-win for homeowners.  

Feazel has been expertly installing new roofs for 35 years. Contact us today to get the estimate process underway!