If you have considered switching to solar power, you’re not alone!
Residential solar panels have been growing in demand over the past several years as prices have fallen, efficiencies have improved and solar rebates and incentives allow significant savings for homeowners.
Before you plan this home improvement project, you probably want to know: how do you install solar panels on a roof?
Traditional photovoltaic (PV) solar panels can be installed professionally, or as a DIY home improvement project.
Rooftop solar panels require brackets for mounting, a solar power inverter, the panels themselves, and the ability to do wiring work within your electrical panel. Of course, you’ll also need equipment including a ladder, drill, power screwdriver, and the ability to safely hoist solar panels up to your rooftop.
You don’t need to be a certified installer to do it yourself, but if you are hiring a solar installer, make sure that they are licensed and insured!
Before you begin your project, choose an area of your rooftop that receives the most direct sunlight. Ensure there is no shading from vegetation or adjacent structures. If necessary, you may need to tilt the panels if the pitch of the roof is too low.
Solar panel mounts must be secured with stainless steel lag bolts bolted through into rooftop rafters. Here are the steps to install solar panels on a roof:
1. Locate rafters with a stud finder, then align mounts on top of the rafters.
2. Use a chalk line or laser sight as you work in a straight line pre-positioning the mounts.
3. Pre-drill the holes for the roof mounts with a pilot bit.
4. Secure the mounts onto the roof, using the bolts, then place metal flashing over the mounts.
5. Next, metal rails must be secured to the posts using stainless steel bolts.
6. Finally, solar panels are mounted onto the rails. Multiple panels are connected into an array.
7. Once the solar panels are installed on the roof, they must be connected via a conduit to a solar inverter.
8. Now, you can enjoy free solar electricity generated by your residential solar panels!