If you’re installing solar panels on your home for the first time, at some point you’ll have to ask yourself, “Which direction should solar panels face?”
Determining Which Direction Solar Panels Should Face
As a general rule, if you live in the northern hemisphere (which includes Denver and every other city in the United States), your solar panels should face true south. This will ensure they harvest as much solar energy as possible throughout the day, yielding a higher overall energy savings for your home.
Note that “true south” is slightly different than the “due south” (or “magnetic south”) that an ordinary compass will point toward. Depending on where you live, the difference might not mean much. But if you’re paying an expert to install your solar panels, you deserve to have your solar panels positioned just so. An expert installer can help you calculate “true south” from your home with precision.
Don’t Forget About Tilt
Direction is only one part of the equation. You’ll also need to calculate the right angle of title for each solar panel, and that gets a lot more mathematical.
Your solar panel installation team will determine your home’s line of latitude and then plug that into a formula to determine the most effective angle.
Technically, the formula changes from one season to the next. For that reason, some people do ask their installers to come back every few months and adjust the tilt. But most homeowners settle for a “happy medium” approach, allowing them to leave their solar panels tilted at an “all-around best case scenario” angle all year long.
Exceptions to the Rule
Earlier, we referred to “true south” tip as a general rule. Unsurprisingly, there are exceptions. The circumstances of your home’s construction and its location might make a south-facing installation impractical. Or you might choose to point them elsewhere for aesthetic reasons.
Alternatively, your utility provider’s billing practices might call for a change of direction. Some power companies charge higher energy rates during peak-use afternoon hours. If that’s true where you live, you’ll want your solar panels to work their hardest during those hours… which might mean facing them in a different direction.
Above All Else: Ask an Expert
You should applaud yourself for asking, “Which direction should solar panels face?” Not everyone does. Being an informed consumer will help you to ensure that your installer does a good job and that your household gets the biggest bang for its buck in terms of home energy savings.
You’ll also appreciate solar power all the more by knowing a little more about how it works.
But at the end of the day, you don’t need to climb up on your roof with a ruler and protractor and angle your solar panels yourself. This is a job for a professional, and you should leave the hard work of installation to an expert.
Now that you’re armed with a little knowledge, have a talk with your installer. Ask him or her to help you understand which direction your solar panels should face and why.
Take Your Next Solar Steps in Denver or Fort Collins: Call REenergizeCO Today
REenergizeCO is a home energy efficiency company located in Colorado that offers professional solar power solutions for residential and commercial applications.
Adding solar panels to your home or building can drastically reduce your carbon footprint (the equivalent of planting 88 trees in your yard each year) and can save you upwards of $100 a month on your electric bill.
We handle every aspect of solar panel installation in Colorado, from local permitting to panel selection, installation, performance testing, and determining which direction solar panels should face.
We don’t believe in a standard cookie-cutter approach to solar panel installation, which is likely to lead to long-term problems with your performance and maintenance (not to mention less of an impact on your energy costs than expected).
Instead, we take a holistic approach, beginning with a comprehensive home energy audit. This gives you a complete picture of everything going on in your home, energy-wise. It also allows us to target areas of opportunity inside the home to decrease massive heat/energy losses you might not even be aware of. Often, this leads to you needing a smaller and less expensive (but ultimately more effective) solar power system for your home.
We are here to answer any questions homeowners may have about home insulation, energy audits, and solar power.Contact Us