When you think of your roof, you think of protection, but do you think of energy? These days, many people are letting the sun shine into their lives with the addition of solar heat and hot water. What are the advantages of solar energy, and how can you best maintain your solar system to ensure that it has a long and productive life?
The Advantages of Solar Hot Water
We use hot water for showers and for washing, but if you have a pool or in-floor radiant heating, you have an even greater need to heat water in your home. When you’re maintaining a pool, the cost of heating water can stretch your budget, especially in the early and late parts of the pool season when the mornings are cooler. When you use a lot of hot water, it’s often worthwhile to invest in a solar water heating system. These systems use the heat from the sun to warm up water. They’re generally situated on a south-facing room that receives ample sunlight in all seasons of the year, and depending on the design of the system, you may even be able to warm water in the cooler months.
Choosing Solar Energy
Solar panels are another long term investment. Over time, the cost of installing the panels begins to pay off as you gather free energy from the sun. Over the decades, solar cells have become more and more efficient at converting the sun’s energy into electricity. However, to maintain this efficiency you not only need to install your solar panels in a place where they will get a lot of consistent light, you also need to make sure that the panels and the landscaping around them is well-maintained to maximize their efficiency.
Maintaining Your Solar Roof
Whether you’re working with solar water heating or solar cells for electricity, you need to be more aware of your roof than you might be in other circumstances. Before, a dangling branch over the roof meant that you might need to prune in the future. Now, it can not only impact your energy returns, it could fall on the roof and damage your solar panels or solar hot water system. When you’re engaging in yard maintenance and you have solar panels, you need to be more vigilant and proactive.
Another challenge to your solar panels is debris accumulation. This often happens in the spring and fall, when blossoms and leaves fall on your solar panels. The most dirt and debris on your solar panels, the less energy they will produce. When you have solar panels, you need to clean your roof like you’d clean your car, removing even small bits of debris such as bird droppings or dust. This will keep your solar panels running efficiently.
Keep Your Structure Sound
When you’re maintaining your roof with your solar system in mind, you also need to ensure that your underlying roof structure is sound. Keep your roof free from leaks and rot by maintaining your gutters. Removing debris from your gutters might seem like a small step to take, but rainy season backups and winter ice dams can move water under your roofing, causing leaks that not only damage your roof but hurt the structure that supports your solar panels.
When you’re looking for maintenance solutions or considering roof replacement and solar panels, contact Harry Helmet. Our Gutter Guard and Gutter Heat products help your gutters stay clean and clear and make your roof maintenance much easier. Contact us today for an estimate.