Are you looking for a way to reduce your electricity bills while also being more kind to the environment? Solar panels are an option, but an even better option for many homeowners is solar shingles. Here's a closer look at these shingles and the benefits they offer.
What are solar shingles?
Solar shingles are similar to solar panels, but instead of being mounted on large stands, they are incorporated into your roof in place of regular shingles. They are flat and have a slight sheen to them. From close up, you can tell that they're not regular asphalt shingles, but from a distance, you'd have to really be paying attention to tell the difference.
How do solar shingles work?
Simply put, solar shingles harness the sun's energy and convert it into electricity. This electricity is fed back into the electric grid. In most cases, your electric company will keep track of how much electricity your solar shingles feed into the grid and also how much electricity you use. If you use more than your solar shingles produce, you'll receive a bill. If you produce more than you use, you'll get a check from the electric company instead.
Some homeowners decide to go completely off-grid, detaching their homes from the electric company's lines and only relying on their solar shingles for power. This may be a viable option if you live in an area that's sunny and warm year-long, but it's not feasible if you have a cold, cloudy season.
What are the benefits of solar shingles over solar panels?
Though alternative energy is becoming more prominent, solar panels are still not common among homeowners. On most streets, if you mount solar panels on your home, your home will become instantly known as "the home with solar panels." You'll stick out – and that's not a good thing in some neighborhoods. Solar shingles, on the other hand, are less obvious. People may notice that your roof looks a bit different, but your home won't really stand out, so your neighbors won't be likely to complain that your home's odd appearance is harming their property value.
Solar panels are also quite heavy, which means they're not an option for most older homes with roof supports that aren't as strong as they could be. Solar shingles weigh about the same as regular shingles, so they're safe to put on most any roof. To learn more, talk with a roofing contractor from a company like Bosworth Roofing.