How to Install Solar Shingles

What You'll Need
Solar shingles
Nail gun
Felt sheeting

Solar Shingles are becoming very popular among home owners that are trying to add components and systems to their home to become green conscious. With energy costs rising, home owners today are looking for ways to reduce their home heating and cooling bills. In addition, they are looking for ways to power their energy needs through alternative means. Solar shingles provide some of these types of benefits to homeowners. To install solar shingles, follow the directions below.

Step 1 - Understand Some Background

Before you run to the store to purchase solar shingles, you need to consider the following:

  • Do you live in a sunny location? There is no need to install solar shingles if you do not get any direct sunlight. If you live in a heavily wooded location, the benefits will not outweigh the expenses.
  • Check the building codes. Take a trip to your local township or municipal building. Ask if you can speak with the code enforcement officer. You need to make sure you are allowed to add these shingles to your home before you go ahead and do it.
  • Do you have enough room on your roof? You need at least 300 square feet of space for your solar shingles

Step 2 - Remove the Old Shingles

Remove the old shingles. If your roof was built before 1975, your shingles likely contain asbestos and you will need to take the necessary precautions. Make sure you have a dumpster that can accommodate the materials that you will be throwing away.

Step 3 - Add Felt Sheeting

After you have removed your existing roof, you will want to roll out a felt sheeting. Tack the felt sheeting in place at the seams and at the corners of your roof with a couple nails.

Step 4 - Add the Solar Wiring

Drill holes for the solar wiring (the wiring comes with your roof shingle material). You will need to weave the solar wiring throughout the surface of the area you are covering. The wiring will later attach to each shingle and then to your energy generation source.

Step 5 - Add the Shingles

Add the shingles one by one. Most solar shingles are 12 inches wide and long. They are usually a little thicker than the normal asphalt shingle. Nail each shingle down one by one using your nail gun.

Step 6 - Wire the Shingles

Now you will need to connect the wiring that was run over the roof and through the shingles. If you are not comfortable with the electrical wiring component, seek the help of a certified electrician. Each solar shingle system is different. Consult the directions that were included with your shingles. You will wire the shingles to a junction box on the underneath side of your attic or roof's surface. Be sure to check the connections appropriately.

Step 7 - Visually Inspect Roof

Visually inspect roof to make sure the seams are secure and the shingles are nailed down correctly.