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What Direction Should Solar Panels Face?

You’re well aware of the benefits of installing solar panels on your home. From reducing or eliminating energy bills to helping the environment, it’s a good idea on many fronts.

But before you get too excited, it’s important to remember that the installation process is both tedious and precise. For that reason, it’s critical to hire a professional to manage the project from start to finish.

One of the most important questions you must answer is, What direction should solar panels face? With a self-install, it’s easy to make a positioning mistake. And should that happen, it will reduce the efficiency of the panels, along with your energy savings.

What Direction Is the Best Direction for Solar Panels?

There’s only one answer to this question: south. Regardless of where you live in the United States, your solar panels should face south to obtain maximum power generation.

However, there is some leeway. Depending on the positioning of your home, you have the flexibility to face your panels southeast or southwest.

Ideally, panels mounted on a standard pitch roof would face south, allowing for maximum production. Should your panels face southeast or southwest, you can expect them to generate roughly 10% less power. However, that may still be enough to power your home.

Note that your installation professional can use technology to track how the sun hits your home, thus allowing them to install your panels facing the right direction with the right tilt.

What Happens If Your Roof Doesn’t Face South?

If you can’t install your solar panels facing south, it’s not a dealbreaker. In this case, there are several options to consider:

  • Install the panels facing a different direction. Panels facing west or southwest may still be able to produce enough energy to fully or partially power your home. Your installation professional can make this determination.

  • Install more panels. Solar panels facing a direction other than south don’t receive as much direct sunlight, but you may be able to compensate for this by using more panels.

  • Install on the ground or on a wall. It’s a common misconception that you can only install solar panels on your roof. If you don’t like the look and/or if your roof doesn’t face south, you can install your system on a south-facing wall that receives direct sunlight. A ground-mounted system is also possible, as long as you have the space for it. This is often preferred over wall-mounted, as it’s cheaper to install and maintain.

Find a Trustworthy Solar Installer to Help with Your Solar Panel Installation

With so many benefits of solar panel installation, don’t let anything stand between you and installing the system of your dreams. An experienced, trustworthy solar panel installer can help you harness the power of the sun no matter which direction your roof faces. Freedom Solar is the largest residential solar installer in Texas, and we’d love to help. Contact us today to get started.