Dear Wanda: I’m about to build a house. Is that a good time to install solar?

Dear Wanda

Dear Wanda,

I’m about to build a house. Is that a good time to install solar?

Sincerely,
Worried About Cost of Build

Dear Worried About Cost of Build,

That’s a great question!

The best time to install solar is when you’re building because you won’t be retrofitting your home for solar. If you know you’re going to have a renewable energy home, it’s best to design the house with solar in mind.

First Steps

If you’re interested in solar, request a quote from us by filling out our request form or calling in. Our senior solar consultants can speak with you and the builder in a phone consultation. If you would like to move forward and purchase, Icon Solar’s architect will work with you and your builder to install a system that will get you maximum energy production. The earlier you call us in the planning process the better.

Now you’ll have to choose whether you want a fully electric home. That will determine how big of a system you’ll need. This decision will also determine if you want to pay any other future utility bills in full.

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Designing a Solar-Friendly Roof

When you and your builder are designing your roof, where most solar installations go, you should consider how important the roof is for solar power. Solar panels will prevent more heat from entering the house through the roof, protecting it from the sun’s rays it uses to convert the energy.

The best location is a south-facing roof that is pitched from 30 to 45 degrees without interruptions from vents, chimneys, and dormers. If possible, place them in corners and sides. Any shading from trees will decrease your system’s energy output as well.

Most solar installers, like Icon Solar, don’t install on slate or clay roof tiles, so avoid those when possible. If you want the panels to blend in with your roof, choose a dark color for your roof materials. The best part about installing solar immediately when the roof goes up is that it elongates the roof’s lifespan.

The support also matters. Each panel weighs around 40 lbs, so your roof needs to be able to bear the weight of a solar array. It helps to have good support beams.

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Electrical Preparations

We also have to take into account electrical wiring when designing your solar system. With builds, it’s much easier and looks smoother when installing with a new build. Icon Solar can pre-wire before the walls go up. Your main service panel also needs to be able to withstand the electric load from a solar system.

But don’t worry, Worried! Icon Solar has got you covered! Get the most out of your new build from the start with solar!