Does Your Roof Have to Face South for Solar? A Brief Solar Roof Guide

In 2021, a new solar project was installed every 60 seconds in the United States. This statistic highlights the immense popularity of solar panels among residential homeowners. The primary benefit of switching to solar energy is the cost savings on energy bills, with the potential to save tens of thousands of dollars over the lifespan of a solar system.

The majority of homeowners choose to install their solar panels on their roofs, given that it is unused space and free of obstructions. Undoubtedly, the best direction to install solar panels is south-facing. In this solar roof blog post, we will look at why this is and what the consequences of installing in another direction are.

South-Facing Is the Best for a Solar Roof

The reason why it is recommended that you install solar panels in a south-facing direction is that this will result in maximum output. South-facing is also the best direction to take advantage of net metering and to pair with a battery in order to reduce grid reliance.

Installing panels facing true south reduces the payback period on the upfront solar installation costs and results in the highest electric bill savings.


Impact of Direction of Solar Panel Output

Loss of output is the result of installing solar panels in a direction that is not south-facing in the United States. Let’s look at the typical output loss for the different installation directions:

  • North-facing panels: 30%
  • East or west-facing panels: 15%
  • Southwest or southeast-facing panels: 8%

In instances where you are unable to install solar panels in a south-facing direction, it may be necessary to install a greater number of panels to make up for the output loss. This will increase the upfront cost of installation.

There are a number of other factors that will determine the output of solar panels installed on residential roofs. One of these is the property’s latitude. A property in the north of the country with a non-south solar panel alignment will experience a greater loss of output compared to a property in the south that has the same non-alignment.

Another factor is the pitch of your roof. If your solar panels are not in a south-facing alignment, properties with a steeper roof will experience a greater loss of output.

For more on solar panels and making the switch to solar energy, be sure to check out Blue Raven Solar.


The Best Direction for Solar Panels

With your solar roof, the best direction to install solar panels is absolutely south-facing. Installing solar panels in any other direction than true south will result in a loss of output, of upwards of 30%. We recommend that you speak to an experienced solar panel installer for further information on the best place to install solar panels on your property.

Like this blog post on solar panel placement? Be sure to check out our other informative articles on a wide range of interesting topics.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.