Ground Vs. Roof-Mounted Solar – What's The Difference And Why Should You Care?
Installing solar panels is one of the best upgrades you can make for your home. Not only will you save money on your utility bills and help the planet, but you'll also improve your home's long-term resale value. However, installing your first set of panels also requires learning new terminology and making critical decisions.
One of the most important decisions you'll need to make is the location to mount your new solar panels. For most homeowners, you'll need to choose between two options: the roof or the ground nearby. Although roof mounts tend to be the more popular choice, there are plenty of reasons why you might want an alternative.
What Makes Roof Mounts So Popular?
If you drive through your neighborhood, you'll likely see far more roof-mounted solar panels than ground installations. These systems tend to be more popular because they're relatively cost-effective. Your home's roof already provides an appropriate angle for mounting the solar panels, and the structure of your house can help support their weight.
As a result, you'll spend less on equipment when installing a roof-mounted system. In most cases, you'll just need to buy mounting points, tracks, and associated hardware. These systems also typically allow you to tilt your panels to achieve an optimum angle. However, you'll want to work with an experienced solar system designer to determine if this is necessary.
Finally, the process of installing roof-mounted solar is usually more straightforward. While ground-mounted systems offer better access, they also require an independent support structure. Since roof-mounted panels don't need added support, you'll save on labor costs and time.
Why Should You Consider Ground-Mounted Panels?
While roof-mounted solar may seem like the best option, there are also plenty of reasons to consider ground-mounted panels. Most critically, ground-mounted panels can work well if you have an older roof or home that can't support the weight of a roof-mounted system. In these cases, installing a ground support structure may be more cost-effective than a complete roof renovation.
Ground-mounted panels are also worth considering if your roof orientation isn't well-suited to solar installations or receives significant shade from trees and other objects. A ground installation can help overcome these challenges, especially if you have a large property with available land. You may be able to offset some of the increased cost by choosing a more efficient installation location.
Although roof systems are often the best choice for many homeowners, it's worth remembering that ground-mounted systems can offer advantages and can help you overcome issues with a roof installation. If you're looking for the most efficient and budget-friendly solar install for your home, make sure to carefully consider all of your mounting options.
Reach out to a local solar service to learn more about your options.