Solar panels can save you a lot of money on your electrical usage while being better for the environment. Summertime usually has the highest electrical use due to air conditioning. The good news is that installing solar panels can help save on your AC usage in more than one way.
Do Solar Panels Cool Off Your Roof?
Yes, solar panels help to keep your roof cooler than roofs without solar panels. Jan Kleissl, professor of environmental engineering at the University of California at San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, led a team of researchers to determine if solar panels affect a roof’s temperature. In the study published in the journal Solar Energy, Kleissl’s team documented how they used thermal imagining technology to measure the cooling benefits of solar panels.
The peer-reviewed measurements showed that a building’s roof was 5 degrees Fahrenheit cooler under solar panels during the day compared to an exposed roof. That may not sound like much, but according to the U.S. Department of Energy, a typical roof will reach 150 degrees Fahrenheit or greater in the summer. Air circulation between the panel and the roof does even more to keep it cool which translates into significant savings.
In plain language, that means that roofs with solar panels don’t get as hot as those without them. That, in turn, lowers your overall cooling bills in addition to providing the green electricity to power your air conditioning.
Do Solar Panels Help Insulate Your Roof?
Yes, that same study that found that the roof under solar panels is cooler than an exposed roof also documented other benefits. During the winter, solar panels help insulate the roof , holding in heat in the evening, lowering heating costs.
Do Solar Panels Make Your Attic Cooler?
Yes. The UC San Diego study found that the solar panels act like solar shades for the building. The solar panels absorb the sun’s heat, deflecting some of it from the roof, keeping it cooler. Gaps between the solar panel and the roof help moderate the roof’s temperature even more because air circulates in the gap. The researchers found that reduced the roof’s total heat by about 38 percent. A cooler roof means a cooler attic.
Further, Kleissl’s study found that the solar panels’ ability to keep the roof and attic cooler translated financially into a 5 percent discount on the cost of the solar panels throughout their lifetime. The researchers also said this ability could translate into selling 5 percent more solar energy back to your local power company.
Do Solar Panels Cool Your House?
Yes, and it’s pretty simple. Heat rises, making the upper levels of your home hotter than the lower areas. Even in a one-story building or ranch home, the attic or spacing between the roof and ceiling will be hotter than the area around the floor. Add in summer sun beating on your roof and that heat contributes to hotter temperatures inside, which means the need for greater air conditioning use to compensate.
As the UC San Diego study showed, solar panels on your roof decrease heat on the roof. That, in turn, lowers the temperature in your attic and, therefore, your home. So, in addition to providing green energy to power your air conditioning, the solar panels decrease the amount of air conditioning needed to stay comfortable. That’s called a win-win.
Lower Your Energy Costs with Greenleaf Solar
Want to learn more about the benefits of solar panels? Greenleaf Solar is one of America’s most trusted and reliable solar companies serving residential, commercial, and municipal installations. We’ve helped thousands of Long Islanders switch to high-efficiency solar systems. Contact the energy experts at GreenLeaf Solar now for a free consultation or call 1-844-464-7652.