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When using solar panels on the roof of you home, you may wonder whether they help reduce the heat absorbed by the roof. If you’ve recently installed solar panels onto your roof or are thinking about having this done, you may be wondering if they can help keep the roof cool.
Solar panels do keep your roof cool and can reduce heat by approximately 38%. This is because solar panels absorb heat from the sun, which is converted into energy that can be used as electricity. Without solar panels, heat from the sun would directly hit your roof and increase its temperature.
Keep reading to find out how solar panels can keep your roof cool and why this is important.
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Do Solar Panels Reduce Heat in Your Roof?
Solar panels are designed to absorb heat from the sun when its rays hit the roofs of houses and buildings. When heat is absorbed by solar panels, you can avoid absorbing heating through your roof and increasing the overall temperature of your home.
Direct sunlight on a roof can significantly increase its temperature, particularly if your roof is made from tiles of a dark color. Therefore, adding a barrier in the form of a solar panel will stop the direct sunlight from hitting your roof and will ultimately reduce its temperature.
Heat can also be reduced through the air gap found between your solar panels and the top layer of your roof. An air gap should always be left when installing solar panels, as this prevents your solar panels from getting too hot. The air gap tends to keep the panels cool as well as the top of your roof by increasing airflow, and subsequently making your roof a cooler space.
Why Do You Need to Keep Your Roof Cool?
It’s beneficial to keep the roof of your house cool to prevent the top rooms of your house from becoming too hot. In the summer particularly, attics can become unbearably hot and if your office has been converted into a bedroom or office the temperature may affect how comfortable it is to spend time in this room of your house.
It’s also important to keep your roof cool to protect it. While most roofs are constructed using material that is designed to withstand high temperatures, you may find that your roof becomes damaged during particularly hot periods such as heat waves. Solar panels can protect your roof from becoming too hot and ultimately needing repaired/replaced.
Can Solar Panels Increase the Temperature of Your Home?
Solar panels do not generally increase the temperature of a property. As solar panels create a gap between the surface of the roof and the solar panels, this creates ventilation which in turn will make your roof and therefore your property cooler.
Studies show that a building’s roof can be up to 5 degrees cooler than areas without flexible solar panels and unprotected from sunlight. It is therefore very unlikely that you would experience a temperature increase when installing solar panels.
However, you could increase the temperature of your home using solar panels. This could be achieved by converting the solar energy produced by the panels into electricity, which you could then use to heat your property.
Read more about Solar Water Heaters here.
Do Solar Panels Affect Attic Temperature?
Your attic is likely to be significantly cooler after installing solar panels due to direct sunlight being absorbed by the solar panels rather than directly hitting the surface of your roof.
The ventilation gap between the solar panels and the roof will also help to cool down your roof, and in turn, reduce the temperature of your attic. Get the Best Solar Attic Fans for your home.
The cooler your roof, the cooler your attic, which is why solar panels making your roof cooler can often impact the temperature of your attic too. It’s been reported that solar panels can reduce the temperature of your attic by up to 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
Can Solar Panels Insulate Your Roof in Colder Months?
While solar panels can reduce the temperature of your roof, they can also help to insulate your roof in the colder months of the year. This is achieved by helping your roof to retain heat and therefore not lose it as the outside temperature drops.
This is particularly helpful in winter or at night when the temperature drops. Having solar panels installed on your roof can help it maintain heat for a longer period, and therefore not cool down as quickly.
If you use your attic regularly as a bedroom, solar panels can help significantly when it comes to retaining temperature. This can be said for both the summer and winter seasons.
How Hot Do Solar Panels Get?
Typically, solar panels range between 15 degrees Celcius and 35 degrees Celcius. It is at this level that they perform best, producing a high level of solar energy to benefit your property. Solar panels will feel hot when using your hand to feel for the temperature if they’ve been subjected to direct sunlight.
If solar panels get to the region of 50/60 degrees Celcius this is no longer effective and can reduce their efficiency. This can occur if the solar panels were installed without a sufficient ventilation gap in between the roof and the panel.
Providing that sufficient airflow is provided when fitting the solar panels to your roof you shouldn’t experience any overheating issues. If you live in a particularly hot country, you may need to choose solar panels that are of a higher quality to ensure your solar panels aren’t getting too hot and at risk of overheating.
In summary, solar panels keep your roof cool for two main reasons. The first is by absorbing the solar energy that your roof would otherwise attract to create electricity – by placing a barrier in between your roof and direct sunlight you are reducing the amount of heat your roof absorbs and therefore cooling it down.
The second reason is by creating a ventilation gap between the roof and the solar panel, increasing airflow, and thereby reducing the temperature.