The costs to heat and cool your house keep rising, so making a home energy efficient is on the rise. One method is with the addition of solar panels. However, before you go run out and have them installed, there are a few things you should take into consideration.

Get an Inspection Performed

It is a good idea to get a full roof inspection performed before you have solar panels installed. You want to consider the age of your roof and its current condition to decide if it is better to replace the roof first. While many people know to look for water marks inside the home or check for leaks, not everyone knows the exterior signs of an aging roof. Using a professional will make sure that your shingles and framework will be sturdy enough to handle the weight of the panels.

Consider a Roof Replacement

It is not cost effective to hire someone to install solar panels, only to have them come back out again and have them take them down so the roof can be replaced a few years later. Before you have the panels installed, talk to a roofing contractor about the life of your roof and whether a replacement would be in your best interest. Contractors can pinpoint the age of your roof simply by looking at the materials used and when you moved in, even if you do not know the installation date. In addition, they will look for any spots that may be sagging or beginning to show signs of weakness.

Consider the Costs

It is easy to become overwhelmed with the costs involved with installing solar panels on your property. First you have the cost of the inspection, then the potential cost of a new roof, and finally the cost of the solar panels. However, if you do not properly plan for the installation, you will have to factor in the lost time that solar panels will lower your heating/cooling expenses if they have to be removed for a roof to be put on later. More importantly, a new roof will have better insulation and the solar panels will further the efficiency of your home. Finally, there are often programs to help offset the cost by offering tax incentives and grants to the home owner.

Not every homeowner will need to have a roof replacement before having the solar panels installed, but not all roofs are ready for the additional burden. If you are seriously considering solar paneling, make sure you talk to a professional (such as Ringer Roofing & Skylight Inc) that you trust and find out what route will be the best for you.