How Should Solar Panels be Placed?

Updated: Dec 1, 2021

The direction that solar panels face on your roof impacts efficiency, the amount of energy the system produces. In the northern hemisphere, solar panels should be placed on south-facing roofs. Solar panels should also be positioned to capture the most direct sunlight during the course of the day, which depends on the pitch of the roof and tilt of the panels. It’s important to check that the roof isn’t shaded by trees, buildings, or other homes.

The age of your roof and the length of time until it needs to be replaced is another consideration. Since solar panels generally last 25 – 30 years, installing them on a new or fairly new roof makes it unlikely you’ll ever need to remove the solar panels and re-roof during the lifetime of the system. This is important because removing and reinstalling solar panels can get costly.



South-facing solar panels are generally tilted between a 30-to-40-degree angle to best capture the sun’s rays and prevent snow accumulation in colder climates. (Snow will usually slide off panels easily.) The slant and size of the roof determines whether panels will fit more efficiently vertically or horizontally. Vertical installation is more common unless you have a flat roof. However, the amount of energy produced is not impacted either way.

In some communities, especially in southern states, homeowners’ associations (HOAs) can restrict the placement of solar panels, but not if the solar energy system’s performance will suffer as a result. If you live in an HOA or deed-restricted community, it’s always a good idea to check the bylaws first.

And – it’s always a good idea to get a professional opinion about solar panel installation. Contact Ion Solar Pros at 866-582-0000 for a free consultation and estimate of your energy savings by going solar.


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