Solar roofing is becoming more popular today due to its many advantages, with more roofers now installing these kind of roofs. There are also more options available in solar roofing, other than just the standard solar panels. An experienced roofing company should be able to install various types of solar panels or solar shingles; however, the question that many homeowners ask is which type is better? Homeowners and roofers alike can decide by understanding the pros and cons with each.

Solar Panels - Pros and Cons

Solar panels are the original solar roofing, with many homes and buildings today utilizing panels as a way to generate free electricity from the sun’s rays. They can be a good option for roofers in some installations, but may not be the best for all, as suggested below:

Solar Panel Pros

  • Solar panels are the most popular type of solar roofing, now manufactured by many different companies.
  • Solar panel technology is fairly easy to install and operate, and continues to improve.
  • Solar panels are adaptable and can be installed on almost any type of roof with the right hardware.
  • Solar panels can be installed and adjusted to get the most exposure to the sun, increasing their effectiveness.
  • Solar panels are less expensive to install than solar shingles.

Solar Panel Cons

  • Solar panels are large, bulky, and heavy, with their weight sometimes being a concern.
  • Solar panels installed on a roof must be attached through the roofing material, leaving many areas vulnerable for possible leaks.
  • Solar panel installation is a lengthier process than installing solar shingles, as it is an additional step.
  • Solar panels are more noticeable and not as attractive as solar shingles.

Solar Shingles - Pros and Cons

Solar shingles are a much newer idea that a roofing company can offer, giving homeowners the power of solar with a few other benefits. Yet just like anything else, solar shingles have both advantages and disadvantages, such as the following:

Solar Shingle Pros

  • Solar shingles are solar cells made into roofing shingles that are lighter in weight, reducing strain on the roof.
  • Solar shingles installation is like any other shingled roof, so it goes up just as quickly.
  • Solar shingles provide roof protection like any other shingle, while also generating power.
  • Solar shingles are more attractive than solar panels, since they look like the average asphalt shingled roof.

Solar Shingle Cons

  • Solar shingles are much more expensive than solar panels.
  • Solar shingles installation is fairly simple; however, depending on the type, wiring the shingles can be a complex operation.
  • Solar shingles require holes be put through the roof for wiring, which can invite leaks if not done properly.
  • Solar shingles may not be as powerful as newer types of solar panels.
  • Solar shingles can be installed on almost any roof, but the angle and direction of the roof directly affects solar cell efficiency.

Knowing the advantages and disadvantages referenced above, homeowners and their roofers must carefully evaluate a solar roof installation and carefully weigh the options. Solar panels and shingles can each provide efficient ways to save money on utility bills, but only in the right applications. Those considering solar roofing should also estimate how much this type of roof is likely to save them to determine if the savings is worth the initial investment. Still, a well-planned solar roof, installed by an experienced roofing company, can be a very worthwhile investment!

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