Does The Color Of My Roof Affect My Solar Panels?

The Most Comprehensive DIY Solar Panel GuideQuestion: I’ve heard that the color of a roof can make a difference in the interior temperature of a house. Does the color of my roof affect my solar panels?

Answer:
Painting your roof while can affect your solar panels in two ways. First let’s remind ourselves that the color white reflects the most sunlight in the spectrum of colors, while on the other end black absorbs the most sunlight.

So painting your roof white will reflect more sunlight, which could potentially bounce back into your solar panels and generate more electricity. The extra electricity generated would be small, since the sunlight directly hitting your solar panels from above has the best chance of being converted into electricity. This might only happen when the sun is low in the sky and your solar panels are tilted in a way that they can catch reflected sunlight from your roof.

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The second way painting your roof white could affect your solar panels is by reflecting excess sunlight, it will in turn will help to cool your house. Whereas a black roof would otherwise capture and essentially help heat your house (whether you want it to or not). A cooler house means it takes less energy to bring it down to the temperature you want, and would require less air condition and fan usage. Your solar system would have more energy for your home’s other energy needs.

Roof paint is now a readily available item in hardware stores, and it comes in a wide variety of colors. Some roof paints even include a metallic component that reflects additional sunlight.

The downside of painting a roof white is that during the winter month’s your roof will still reflect sunlight that could otherwise be used to heat your house. To offset this, a combination of a white roof and solar panels could be the answer.

Both roof paints and solar energy systems are available as DIY kits in your local home improvement store.

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