Investing in solar for your Orlando home places you among an increasing number of your neighbors who are saving money and reducing environmental impact with clean, renewable solar energy. Here in the center of the Sunshine State, it’s hard to imagine a better place for taking advantage of free power from the sun. You’ve probably noticed solar panels popping up on rooftops around town and wondered if your home is situated to benefit from a solar installation. A number of factors influence that outcome. A solar installation contractor can help you make the final decision, but here are a few preliminary considerations when investing in solar for your Orlando home:
- A home oriented with one half of the roof slanting due south is best. Available roof space should be approximately 100 square feet per kilowatt of solar power (the average residential solar installation in the U.S. is 4 kilowatts.)
- Ideally, the south-facing rooftop should be clear of obstacles such as skylights, vent pipes, air conditioning units, etc. Most of these can relocated to the other half of the roof if necessary but it will add to the expense of the installation.
- Rooftop panels must be unshaded by trees or adjacent buildings during the peak power-generating hours between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Consider that the sun’s path changes seasonally and areas of the roof that receive sun exposure in one season may be shaded in the next. Also realize that even minor sources of shading like overhanging telephone or power lines will slightly impact the output of the panels.
- Roof construction and condition must be adequate to support the weight and wind pressure of the panels. Figure that a solar installation will add about 3 to 5 additional pounds to every square foot of roof. The roofing material should be adequate to last the expected service life of the solar panels — approximately 25 to 30 years.
In the central Florida/Orlando area, Rinaldi’s Air Conditioning has provided total indoor air comfort to homeowners for 42 years. Count on us for advice and expertise when you’re thinking about investing in solar for your Orlando home.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about investing in solar energy and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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