Should You Buy Solar Shingles?
There are many renovations and improvements you can make to your home that will increase its value and make your life easier, in general. One of the more popular improvements among Colorado homeowners is the addition of solar-powered roofing.
However, like many other home projects, you have choices to make regarding innovative roofing options. These days, you can choose to have solar panels or solar shingles installed. This article can help you understand the difference between the two so you can understand whether or not you should buy solar shingles.
Why Solar Shingle Roofing Is So Popular
There are many reasons why homeowners in Colorado and across the globe are choosing to add solar shingle roofing or solar panel roofing systems to their homes. First and foremost, it offers a renewable source of energy, which makes solar roofing (regardless of panel vs. shingle) one of the most eco-friendly roofing solutions.
In addition to solar being sustainable, you can also take advantage of various tax credits and rebates available to homeowners who have solar installed. You can find more information on federal tax incentives for solar energy here and determine if solar might be one of the more cost-effective roofing solutions for your home.
The location of your property is also important to consider when planning for solar roofing. In Colorado, which averages 300 days of sunshine a year, many homeowners can consider solar roofing a no-brainer. Of course, the amount of sunlight your roof may be able to collect depends on factors like the position of your home, obstructions like trees and tall buildings, and the height of your roof.
What are Solar Shingles?
One of the newest solar shingle products available is GAF’s Timberline Solar Energy Shingles. If GAF sounds familiar to you, it’s probably because they are one of the most well-known names in roofing. GAF Energy’s solar shingles are designed to be installed by roofers.
Solar shingles or tiles are like regular roof shingles. Instead of being made of asphalt, solar shingles are made of glass that contains photovoltaic cells. The ‘solar’ is on a nailable strip that has asphalt shingles integrated around them. They are made up of shingles, not panels or heavy tiles. They are water-shedding, strong and warranted to withstand winds up to 130 mph, and are designed to look and offer the same protection as traditional asphalt shingles while generating solar electricity at the same time. Timberline Solar™ looks like a roof, versus having big things mounted on top of the roof.
Pros & Cons of Solar Shingles
Solar shingles are becoming a more popular option for homes throughout Colorado and beyond.
Perhaps the most important factor is aesthetics, as solar shingles are designed to blend in with the aesthetic of your house, with elements that add visual appeal like an architectural shingle. They are sleek, with uniform lines, and no bulky panels. Some are installed as their own roofing material, while others can be installed on top of your existing shingles, but have an extremely low profile which allows them to blend in with your existing roof.
The shingles sit flat against the roof, with electrical components housed in conduit on the front of each one. It makes for a less obtrusive look than solar panels. The appeal of solar shingles is simply that they look better than conventional solar panels.
Solar shingles are easy to install, and adding them to your roof is similar to having a new roof installed (solar shingles like the GAF Timberline™ Solar roofing system are nailable and easy to install). As solar shingle installation in Colorado is increasing in popularity, It’s important to have a solar certified roofer. Local roofers that install solar shingles are GAF-certified Master Elite solar roofers.
All solar panels produce less energy over time. Solar shingles are just as effective as solar panels when it comes to energy-efficient roofing solutions, but because solar shingles and solar panels are different technologies, it’s not as useful to compare the energy-generating specs of solar shingles and the offerings from other solar companies. But, GAF energy is able to meet the energy needs of homeowners with solar shingles installed on their roofs.
Solar shingles are designed to withstand significant weather conditions like wind and hail. Solar shingles install with nails instead of large bolts and doubles as a roof. Avoiding leaks is a key selling point, and the roofs are guaranteed to not leak for 25 years.
You can also walk on Timberline Solar shingles, which is another advantage over conventional solar panels, as it provides flexibility in installation location and makes them easier to service should problems arise.
The cost of solar roof shingles is going to seem a bit high compared to the traditional roof replacement or a conventional solar installation, but it’s important to keep in mind that solar shingles include the value of both a roofing material and a solar panel system.
In many of the cost comparisons that you’ll see in other articles, solar shingles are listed as the most expensive, but the comparison isn’t accurate if you are comparing the cost of a solar panel rack mounted system with a solar shingle roof installation. Though prices vary by market and by project, getting a new roof and solar from GAF Energy costs about the same as a new roof and traditional rooftop solar panels. So getting Timberline Solar only makes financial sense if you’re ready to replace your roof.
You’re also getting the convenience of killing two major projects with one stone. Instead of purchasing a new roof and then purchasing solar, it’s all the same crew. Again, this makes price comparison a bit trickier — it’s always smart to get multiple quotes for solar installations — but the installation process is much simpler.
Also consider the federal and local tax incentives and rebates available to you, which will help make your solar energy roofing choice even more affordable.
Solar Panels vs. Shingles: the Choice Is Yours
Ultimately, the decision to install solar panels or solar shingles is up to you. When making your decision, it’s important to weigh factors like the condition of your roof, what your goals are for solar, how long you plan to be in your current home, aesthetics, and the type of assurance or warranty available for your choice of product.
Solar shingles can be installed with the same professional roofing crew that is also installing your roof. J&K Roofing is GAF-certified Master Elite solar roofer, and one of the few companies in Colorado that can offer GAF Timberline™ Solar roofing. Our team is experienced and knowledgeable when it comes to both solar shingles and solar panels.
Get in touch with us today to talk about solar! 303-425-7531